NEW YORK – The streaking Columbia men’s soccer team (3-2), will return to action Wednesday evening when it hosts LIU Brooklyn (1-5-1) at the Columbia Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
The Lions pushed their win streak to three games with a 2-1 downing of Northeastern on Saturday at Parsons Field. Senior midfielder David Najem scored the opening goal eight minutes into play and classmate Will Stamatis provided the game-winner in the 59th minute.
The victory marked the first road win of the season for Columbia after taking down Iona and Manhattan at home.
The Lions will look to win their fourth contest in a row for the first time since 2003. Columbia last won three games at the end of the 2011 season when it defeated Yale, Adelphi and Harvard.
The tandem of Najem and first-year Andrew Tinari has helped drive the offense this season. In each of the three wins for Columbia, Tinari has assisted on a Najem tally. Najem’s .80 goals per game average places him 18th in the national rankings.
Columbia has also made a statement this season on the defensive end of the field, highlighted by stellar goalkeeping from Kyle Jackson. Averaging 5.4 saves per game, Jackson ranks 20th in the nation, while the Lions as a team rank 16th in saves per game with a 5.8 per game mark (two Columbia defenders were credited with saves in the shutout win over Manhattan).
NAJEM REPRESENTING THE IVY LEAGUE
In recognition of his stellar play last week in which he scored two goals and added an assist in two Columbia victories, Najem was named co-Ivy League and College Sports Madness Player of the Week.
|COLUMBIA||TEAM MATCHUP||LIU BROOKLYN|
|1.60||Goals Per Game||0.43|
|David Najem (9 pts.)||Leading Scorer||Three Players (2 pts.)|
Kyle Jackson (3-2) (.818 save %)
|Goalkeeper||John Connelly (1-4-1) (.794 save %)|
SCOUTING LIU BROOKLYN
The Blackbirds enter Wednesday’s match with just one victory to their name, a 2-0 decision at Manhattan on Sep. 13. In their last two games, LIU Brooklyn was shut out at Rider, 1-0, and fell to Houston Baptist, 2-1.
LIU Brooklyn has scored just three goals the entire season on 55 shots, while allowing nine scores on 131 shots. The Blackbirds are also just shy of being doubled up on corner kick attempts, with opponents firing 53 crosses to just 27 from LIU Brooklyn.
Sophomore Tanner Sica, junior Brice Merwine and first-year Nathan Stewart have been credited with the Blackbirds’ three goals in 2013. John Connelly has started six games in goal for LIU Brooklyn, giving up 1.09 goals per game, while making 27 saves.