Men's Soccer Scores Late to Upend Defending Ivy League Champion Princeton, 2-1
PRINCETON, N.J. -- In thrilling and dramatic fashion, the Columbia men's soccer team picked up its second win of the Ivy League season on Saturday night. Junior Will Stamatis scored the game-winner -- his fourth this season -- with just 1:43 remaining in regulation to give the Lions a 2-1 win over Princeton.
With the victory, the Lions (5-6-1, 2-1 Ivy) move into a four-way tie with Yale, Dartmouth and Brown for second place in the conference. Cornell, by way of a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday, is in sole possession of first place at 3-0.
Columbia opened the scoring in the 17th minute, as sophomore Henning Sauerbier found the back of the net for the third time in as many matches. Senior Mike Mazzullo and junior Nick Scott assisted on Sauerbier's tally, which found the upper-right corner of goal to put the score at 1-0.
Both teams had a number of chances over the remainder of the first half, with the majority going wide of frame. Outside of the goal by Sauerbier, just one shot -- senior Jesse Vella's attempt in the 40th minute -- out of 15 between the two sides got either goalkeeper involved.
Following the break, the Lions received some good fortune in the 51st minute as reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Antoine Hoppenot hit the post with a shot. A pair of corner kicks followed for Princeton, but neither led to a chance of any kind.
A foul from about 30 yards out by the Lions set up a prime scoring opportunity for the home side in the 56th minute. Princeton's Chris Benedict blasted a shot to the right side that senior Alexander Aurrichio made a diving stop on to keep the Lions ahead by a goal.
Another free kick 27 minutes later led to the equalizer for the Tigers. Benedict again took the set piece and struck a shot that made its way through Columbia's wall in front of goal. The ball found the foot of Princeton striker Matt Sanner, who scored to even the contest at 1-1.
Princeton's Manny Sardinha had a chance to put the home team on top moments later but his attempt was saved by Aurrichio with less than six minutes remaining.
Columbia, who dropped a tough 3-2 decision to Penn last weekend after the Quakers scored with just 44 seconds to play, reversed its late-match fortune a week later. And it was Stamatis who got the job done.
Mazzullo initiated the game-winning tally by sending a ball into the box from the right side. The pass found classmate Will Young, who dropped it over to Stamatis on the left side. Stamatis accepted the feed and fired a shot past Princeton's Max Gallin to send Columbia home a winner.
Sauerbier led the Lions with three shots, while sophomore David Najem registered a pair. Benedict tallied four shots for the Tigers, while Sanner and Hoppenot each had two.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, Oct. 22 against Dartmouth. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.