NEW YORK - As the men's soccer season enters the final weeks of regular season action, each match becomes increasingly critical to determining the Ivy League Champion. This statement holds true for this weekend's matchup, as Columbia hosts Yale Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium in a contest between a pair of teams battling to remain in contention for the Ancient Eight title.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior Will Stamatis scored his third goal of Ivy League competition and fifth of the season to give Columbia a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute at Dartmouth last Saturday. FIrst-year Andrew Tinari added an insurance tally at the end of the half to help lead Columbia to its first Ivy League win of the year over the Big Green.
David Najem continued his stellar senior campaign, adding assists on both goals Saturday to bring his point total to 14, the third highest total in the Ancient Eight.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
The Elis picked up their fourth win of the season on Tuesday, defeating Central Connecticut State on the road, 2-0.
Yale remains tied for third in the Ivy League standings with seven points, having downed Harvard and Dartmouth this season.
Senior Peter Jacobson paces the Bulldogs offense with nine points and is tied with Cameron Kirdzik to lead the team with four goals. Blake Brown has started 13 of 14 games in net for Yale, posting a 1.23 GAA and .660 save percentage.
LAST TIME VS. YALE
Henning Sauerbier scored in the 14th minute to give Columbia a 1-0 lead in New Haven, Conn. last season, but Scott Armbrust evened the game in the 70th minute, as the Lions and Bulldogs played to a 1-1 tie. Kyle Jackson made four saves in the game, inlcuding two in overtime to preserve the tie.
The Lions are 4-0-2 at the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium this season. Columbia has shut out Manhattan and LIU Brooklyn and holds a 12-4 goal differential on its home pitch.
JUST KEEP WINNING
Columbia holds the best win percentage in the conference at .615. The seven wins for the Lions is also the highest total in the Ivy League.
After scoring just 12 goals all of last season, Columbia has found the back of the net 20 times this season, the second highest total in the Ancient Eight. Columbia’s plus-five goal differential (20 GF, 15 GA) is the best in the Ivy League.
MAKING IT COUNT
Sophomore Antonio Matarazzo and senior Will Stamatis have scored when it counts most this season. Each has three game-winning goals on the year, the most in the Ivy League. Stamatis’ 65th-minute tally at Dartmouth help Columbia pick up its first conference win, while Matarazzo’s header with 12 seconds remaining lifted the Lions over Binghamton.