NEW YORK - The Columbia men's soccer team will make its second-to-last road trip of the year Saturday, traveling to New Haven, Conn. to take on Yale. Kick-off is set for 4:30 p.m. at Reese Stadium, following the conclusion of the women's game between the Bulldogs and Lions.
The Lions will be seeking their first victory since Oct. 9 when they defeated Penn, 1-0, on the road. Since that match, Columbia has played to a tie in a pair of contests and lost a tough match to Dartmouth. In its two most recent Ivy League matchups, the Lions tied Princeton, 0-0, in a defensive struggle, and fell to the Big Green, 2-1.
Defense and goaltending have been the cornerstones of the season for Columbia, with keeper Kyle Jackson ranking among the best in the conference. Saturday's game will feature two of the Ivy League's top net-minders, as Yale keeper Bobby Thalman ranks second in the conference with a .831 save percentage, while Jackson is third at .811.
Whereas defense has been the highlight of the season for both Columbia and Yale, each squad will be looking to take better advantage of its offensive opportunities. In 13 games this season, the Lions have tallied 10 goals, while Yale has only found the back of the net in half of its 14 contests. Eight different Columbia student-athletes have scored this season, with Nick Scott being the lone multi-goal scorer. Scott and Kofi Agyapong lead the Lions with five points apiece.
Yale is coming off its first win since a 2-1 downing of Marist on Sept. 23. After the game against the Red Foxes, Yale went scoreless over it next five matches before scoring twice to beat Penn, 2-1, last Saturday. After giving up a goal in the 66th minute, Yale's Scott Armbrust broke the scoreless streak in the 70th minute to tie the game and then Peter Jacobson gave the Bulldogs the victory with his game-winner in the 88th minute.
In the last three meetings against Yale, Columbia is 1-1-1. The Lions won last season's match at home, 1-0, and tied the Bulldogs in New Haven, Conn. in 2010. Yale's last win in the series came on Halloween in 2009 by a score of 2-1.