NEW YORK -- The Columbia men's soccer team improved to 3-2 in Ivy League play on Sunday afternoon, edging Yale, 1-0, at Columbia Soccer Stadium. Junior Will Stamatis scored his sixth goal of the season in the 33rd minute, and the goal stood up as the Lions pulled to within two points of first place in the conference.
Columbia had its first chance to score in the 25th minute, as a corner kick found the head of senior Ronnie Shaban at the far post. Shaban was left all alone, but missed just high.
Eight minutes later, the Lions got on the scoreboard as junior Nick Scott made a run up the left side and crossed the ball into the box. The pass found the foot of sophomore Henning Sauerbier, who deftly dropped it to Stamatis who finished from point-blank range to put the Lions on top.
For Stamatis, it was his sixth goal of the season but first that came in the first half of play.
As the match moved to halftime, the Lions had another opportunity with six minutes remaining as Stamatis got a head on a free kick from Shaban but Yale goalkeeper Bobby Thalman made the save easily.
Early in the second stanza, Columbia continued to pressure the Bulldog defense and nearly picked up an insurance goal in the 48th minute.
Senior Francois Anderson got in behind the backline and hit the crossbar with a shot. The rebound came down in the box but Anderson couldn't quite get a clean shot off and Yale cleared the ball out of harms way.
In the 70th minute, the Bulldogs nearly found the equalizer as Brad Rose got an attempt off from the right side that looked destined for the back of the net. But senior Jesse Vella was able to get a piece of it and deflect it over the touch line for a corner kick.
From there, the Lions fended off two more corner kicks and held on for their first shutout win since the season opener against Fairfield.
Senior goalkeeper Alexander Aurrichio went the full 90 minutes without seeing a shot on goal but did pick up his second shutout of the year. Stamatis closed with five shots, four of which were on frame.
The Lions are back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 1 as they close out non-conference play at Adelphi.