NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s soccer team (1-2) will host its second straight home contest Wednesday, Sep. 18 when local rival Manhattan makes the short trip down the 1 train to the Baker Athletics Complex for a 7 p.m. match against the Lions.

Columbia opened up its home slate with a 2-1 downing of visiting Iona Saturday, Sep. 14. Senior midfielder David Najem recorded his second goal of the year to get the Lions on the board just over 12 minutes into the contest. A pair of first-years in Nicholas Pappacena and Andrew Tinari notched the first points of their Columbia careers, earning credit for the assists on the tally.

The Gaels tied the contest just moments later on a penalty kick, but sophomore Antonio Matarazzo came up with the game-winner in the 62nd minute. The Fair Lawn, N.J. native blasted his first goal of the year into the top left corner from the top of the penalty area and the Lions limited Iona to just four shots the remainder of the half to pick up their first win of 2013.

The Lions will be looking to get to .500 on the year Wednesday. After opening the year with two tough losses on the road, Columbia defended its home pitch with an impressive 2-1 victory over Iona.

Najem, a three-time All-Ivy League selection, has returned to prime form for his senior year, scoring twice in the first three games of the season. The Clifton, N.J. native paces the Lions with four points and eight shots to headline the improved Columbia offense. Fellow senior Will Stamatis is second on the team with seven shots. As a team, the Lions have racked up 36 shots in the first three games, an improvement of 11 over the same period a year ago.

Kyle Jackson continues to shine in net for Columbia. With four saves against Iona, Jackson now has an Ancient Eight-high 21 stops.

1-2-0 Record 0-4-0
Ivy League Conference MAAC
1.00 Goals Per Game 0.75
.083 Shot % .062
4 Assists 2
David Najem (4 pts.) Leading Scorer Dan Laguna Kennedy (4 pts.)
Kyle Jackson (1-2) (.808 save %) Goalkeeper Alex McDowall (0-4-0) (.577 save%)

The Jaspers head into Wednesday’s contest winless after falling to 0-4 with a 2-0 loss at home to LIU Brooklyn on Sep. 13. It was the second time this season Manhattan has been blanked, after dropping its season-opener at Army by an identical score.

First-year Daniel Laguna Kennedy leads the Jaspers’ offense with a pair of scores this season on five shots on goal. In four games this season, Manhattan has been outscored 11-3.

Alex Coates McDowall has played all but 19 minutes in net for Manhattan, posting a goals-against average of 2.91 with a .577 save percentage.

The Lions have yet to lose to the Jaspers in a series that dates back to Sep. 27, 1977. Columbia and Manhattan tied, 1-1, in the first game of the series, but in the last seven games the Lions have registered a 33-2 goals advantage to capture victories in each game.

Last season, Columbia took down Manhattan by a score of 2-0 with 2013 graduates Nick Scott and Quentin Grigsby scoring for the Lions.