NEW YORK - Antonio Matarazzo headed home the game-winning goal off a Bryce Terrill corner kick with 12 seconds remaining, as the Columbia Lions defeated Binghamton Wednesday night at the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium.
“Winning headers is really something I pride myself on,” said Matarazzo after the game. “Bryce served in a nice ball and it was nice to get that goal.”
Columbia served as the aggressor for the majority of the contest, outshooting the Bearcats, 24-4. The Lions placed six shots in each half on net, while the lone shot Binghamton placed on net the entire game found the back of the goal.
The opening half passed without a goal from either side, but Columbia had a number of opportunities. Ron Zori and Nicholas Pappacena each ripped shots on goal in the final five minutes, but Stefan Frantellizzi was able to make the stop on both attempts. Andrew Tinari also had a solid scoring opportunity with 90 seconds remaining, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
The offense continued to fire on all cylinders for Columbia in the second half, paying off in the 59th minute with the game’s first goal. Slick passing within the penalty area, including a couple heel click passes from Anton Wesener and David Najem led to Pappacena coming free near the goal where he slid the ball past Frantellizzi near post. The goal was Pappacena’s second of his rookie campaign.
Just over six minutes later, the Binghamton offense, which was stifled most of the night, received an opportunity via a Columbia foul 35 yards from the net. Ben Nicholson struck a nice ball that carried long enough to clear Columbia goalkeeper Kyle Jackson’s outstretched hand and ease under the crossbar for the equalizer.
Columbia regained control of the match after the goal though, recording five shots off a number of rushes deep into the Binghamton zone. Will Stamatis looked to have the go-ahead goal for the Lions in the 85th minute, but his shot hit the outside of the post and drifted wide.
With time winding down in the final minute, Terrill rushed to set the ball for the corner, lacing a cross to the far post where Matarazzo directed it between Frantellizzi and the post for the game-winner.
The Lions will be back in Ivy League play this weekend when they visit Dartmouth Saturday evening for a 7 p.m. match.