Men's Soccer Closes Out Season With Scoreless Draw Against Cornell
NEW YORK -- The Columbia men's soccer team dominated the opening 80 minutes of the match against Cornell and after going down a man in the 81st minute, battled the Big Red scoreless over the final 30 minutes of play to salvage a 0-0 draw at Columbia Soccer Stadium on Saturday evening.
The tie extended the Lions' Ivy League unbeaten streak to four (2-0-2), and pushed their scoreless streak in conference matches to 310 consecutive minutes. The match also marked the final collegiate contest for a trio of Columbia players: Bayo Adafin, Peppe Carotenuto and Hayden Johns.
Columbia took control early, and had a prime opportunity in the seventh minute. First-year Steven Daws made a run up the middle and sent a shot toward the lower-right corner of goal but his attempt slid just wide.
The Lions would continue their dominance throughout the period, holding the Big Red to zero shots over the first 45 minutes of action. In the 24th minute, junior Mike Mazzullo tested Rick Pflasterer with a 35-yard blast to the right side but Pflasterer was up to the task.
After the break, first-year David Najem had an opportunity to put Columbia on the scoreboard. Adafin made a nice run up the left side and found Najem, who's shot was cleared by a Big Red defender at the goal line.
From there, the match would turn physical and would reach a peak at the 80:15 mark as junior goalkeeper Alexander Aurrichio was issued a red card for a tackle at the edge of the 18-yard box. The Lions would turn to first-year Michael Attal in net, and Attal was up to the task from the get-go as he stopped the free-kick shot by Cornell's Matt Stengel from 20 yards.
At the 84-minute mark, Johns would come up huge as he cleared a shot from the Big Red's Daniel Haber that looked destined for the back of the net. The Lions would battle to the end of the regulation without conceding another chance.
The Big Red had a pair of corner kicks but nary a shot in the first overtime period, while the Lions had just one shot -- a long-distance attempt from junior Ronnie Shaban that was saved easily by Pflasterer. Play would open up a little bit in the second extra session, but neither team could get a clear shot toward net as the match finished scoreless.
Aurrichio and Attal each had one save in the combined shutout, while Pflasterer turned away three Columbia shots for Cornell.