NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s soccer team will head to Nebraska to open up the 2013 campaign this weekend with a pair of Omaha-based opponents on the docket. On Friday, Sept. 6, the Lions will begin the year against the No. 2 ranked Creighton Blue Jays, and then close out the trip against the Omaha Mavericks on Sunday, Sept. 8.

Scouting the Lions
Columbia will feature a solid mix of returners and first-years on the field this season. Four All-Ivy League selections from the 2012 season, seniors David Najem and Henning Sauerbier, as well as sophomores Kyle Jackson and Antonio Matarazzo, will be back on the pitch in 2013 for Columbia, seeking to capture the Lions’ 10th Ancient Eight Championship in program history.

Matarazzo and Jackson made significant contributions as first-years. As a defensive midfielder, Matarazzo led all players with 1,345 minutes, while goalkeeper Jackson received four Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. Najem, Sauerbier and Will Stamatis, who sat out last year due to injury, will look to provide the senior leadership for Columbia.

Men’s Soccer Season Preview Video with Coach Anderson

Scouting Creighton (2-0-0)
The Blue Jays moved up four spots in this week’s NSCAA Poll to No. 2 following shutout wins over No. 14 Tulsa (2-0) and Cal Poly (3-0) at home over the weekend. Creighton received five first-place votes in the poll and sits just behind North Carolina who received 12 top votes.

Newcomer Fabian Herbers has led the early charge for Creighton, posting four points in the Blue Jays’ two wins. His first collegiate goal proved to be the game-winner against Tulsa, while also assisting on a pair of tallies against Cal Poly.

Friday’s match, set for an 8:30 p.m. EST kick-off at Morrison Stadium, is the highlight of the 2nd Annual Creighton Socctoberfest. Creighton will offer free live stats HERE, and a live stream for a fee HERE. will provide a live blog for the season-opener HERE.

Series History
Friday night will mark the first meeting ever between Creighton and Columbia. The Lions last won their season-opener in 2011, downing Fairfield on the road, 1-0. In its last 10 openers, Columbia is 3-6-1.

Scouting Nebraska-Omaha (0-2-0)
Similar to Creighton, Sunday’s game will be the third of the season for the Mavericks. Omaha began the year with a 2-1 loss at home to Grand Canyon and then dropped a tough double-overtime match on the road to Missouri State, 1-0.

Sophomore midfielder Emir Alihodzic has the lone goal for the Mavericks this season, an unassisted tally against Grand Canyon. Omaha returned each of its three All-Summit League second team selections from 2012 in goalkeeper Matt Grosey, defender Felipe da Silva and Vance Rookwood.

Live stats of Sunday’s game will be available via Omaha’s site approximately 10 minutes before the noon kick-off HERE.

Series History
Sunday represents the first ever meeting between Columbia and Omaha.