NEW YORK - The Columbia men's soccer team claimed its first victory of the season Wednesday night, topping Manhattan 2-0 at the Columbia Soccer Stadium. Nick Scott scored the Lions' first goal of the season on a penalty kick just four minutes into the second half and he then assisted on Quentin Grigsby's tally just over two minutes later.
The Lions controlled possession for a majority of the opening half, but neither team was able to break through with a score. Columbia had a trio of good opportunities during the last 16 minutes, beginning with a Michael Abraham shot in the 29th minute that went just wide. David Najem followed up with a pair of scoring opportunities of his own, putting the first over the net and forcing Manhattan goalkeeper George Ellis to stop the next.
Columbia keeper Michael Attal also turned away both shots on goal he faced in the first 45 minutes, to keep the game scoreless heading to the intermission.
After playing five halves without scoring, Columbia found its offensive stride in the opening minutes of the second stanza. Columbia's first goal came after the Lions were awarded a penalty kick after a Jaspers defender was issued a foul in the goalkeeper box. Nick Scott streamlined a shot past Ellis to record Columbia's first goal of the season and put the Lions up 1-0 with 41 minutes remaining on the clock.
Scott would play a key role in Columbia's second tally just over two minutes later. Serving up a well-placed ball off a corner kick, Scott hit a striding Grigsby who headed the ball directly into the top right corner of the goal. Grigsby's goal gave the Lions a 2-0 advantage, which they would hold on to until the final horn.
For the third straight game, Columbia registered more corner kicks than its opponent, tallying seven to Manhattan's two. Columbia now has 24 corner kicks this year, while its opponents have only managed six. Manhattan held the edge in shots, 14-10, over Columbia, but Attal and fellow netminder Kyle Jackson who played the second half, combined for Columbia's first shutout of the season, stopping all eight Jaspers' shots on net.
The victory gives the Lions momentum to build on as they head back out on the road to face Monmouth Saturday. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.