Najem's First-Half Tally Lifts Men's Soccer Past Harvard, 1-0
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- First-year David Najem scored his third goal of the season in the 33rd minute, helping the Columbia University men's soccer team to a 1-0 win over Harvard at Ohiri Field on Saturday afternoon. The win over the Crimson is the first for the Lions since 2003, and moves the team to 6-8-2 and 2-3-1 in the Ivy League.
The Lions began the match strong offensively, firing four of the first five shots. Junior Mike Mazzullo got things started in the 16th minute with a shot on frame that was saved, and the next eight minutes saw senior Hayden Johns, junior Francois Anderson and first-year Henning Sauerbier get into the action with shots. Johns' attempt went wide, while Anderson's chance was blocked right to Sauerbier, who had his shot saved by Austin Harms.
Najem scored what would end up being the game-winning goal at the 32:39 mark of the first half. Sophomore Will Stamatis dribbled the ball near the top of the box and sent a pass to his left, finding Najem, who struck the ball over Harvard's Austin Harms and into the back of the right side of the cage. Columbia headed to halftime with a decided 7-3 advantage in shots and a 1-0 lead.
The second half would not see either team find the back of the net, as the Lion defense limited Harvard to just one shot on goal -- a long-distance effort by Kyle Henderson that was easily saved by junior Alexander Aurrichio. Aurrichio finished the day with three saves to pick up his fourth shutout of the year.