NEW YORK -- The Columbia men's soccer team will look for its third consecutive victory, and to keep its Ivy League title hopes alive as it hosts Harvard at Columbia Soccer Stadium on Saturday. The match will be preceded by a brief ceremony honoring the eight Lions who will be taking part in their final home match at Columbia: Francois Anderson, Alexander Aurrichio, Nick Faber, Zach Glubiak, Mike Mazzullo, Ronnie Shaban, Jesse Vella and Will Young.
Columbia (7-7-1, 3-2 Ivy) enters the weekend tied for fourth in the Ivy League standings, but just two points out of the top spot held by Cornell (8-1-5, 3-0-2 Ivy). Brown and Dartmouth are knotted for second place with 3-1-1 records in league and Yale, whom the Lions beat last weekend 1-0, stand at 3-2 in the conference.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior defender Ronnie Shaban headed home a corner kick from junior Nick Scott to propel the Columbia men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Adelphi on Tuesday evening. Scott also assisted on the Lions' first goal of the evening in the first half, as he whipped a cross into the box that sophomore Henning Sauerbier one-timed into the back of the net.
ALL-TIME vs. HARVARD
In a series that dates back to 1960, Harvard holds the edge, 29-19-3. From 1977-85, the Lions won nine straight matches between the two schools recently years snapped a six-match winless streak to the Crimson last season by virtue of a 1-0 victory in Cambridge.
LAST YEAR vs. HARVARD
David Najem scored his third goal of the season in the 33rd minute, helping the Lions to a 1-0 win over Harvard at Ohiri Field. 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.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON
Harvard has struggled in 2011, going 2-10-3 and 0-4-1 in the Ivy League after making the NCAA Tournament in four of the last five seasons. The Crimson have not been on the winning side of things since defeating UMass, 1-0, on Sept. 16. The team has, however, tied its last two matches against Dartmouth (1-1) and Colgate (3-3). Jamie Rees and Connor McCarthy scored in the final 11 minutes of the match against the Red Raiders to salvage a tie. Brian Rogers and Obiajulu Agha lead the team with two goals apiece.
GAME-WINNERS IF YOU WILL?
For the fifth time this season, junior Will Stamatis scored the goal that led to victory for the Columbia men's soccer team. His 33rd-minute strike against Yale helped lift the Lions to a 1-0 win. Three of those goals have come in overtime, and on the season he has a team-leading six scores.
NICK DOES THE TRICK AGAINST ADELPHI
Junior Nick Scott set up both goals in Columbia's 2-1 win over Adelphi on Nov. 1. Scott made a cross from the left side that found Henning Sauerbier for a score in the first half, then found Ronnie Shaban far post off a corner kick in the second stanza to break a 1-1 deadlock. Despite missing the early portion of the season due to injury, Scott leads the team with five assists in nine matches played.
AROUND THE IVY LEAGUE
With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Ivy League championship race is heating up. Five teams are within two points of each other at the top, with Cornell (11 points, 3-0-2) narrowly leading Dartmouth and Brown by a point. The Big Red and Big Green square off in a pivotal showdown in Hanover, N.H., at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of that match will control its own destiny to an Ivy League crown. Also in the mix at the top are the Brown Bears, who will battle Yale on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Columbia takes on Harvard with a win necessary to keep chances of an Ivy League title alive. Princeton takes on Penn in the final match of the day in Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m.