NEW YORK - Looking to send its five seniors out on a high note, the Columbia men's soccer team played with an extra burst of energy the entire 90 minutes, but No. 14 Cornell notched one tally in the opening half to defeat the Lions Saturday at the Columbia Soccer Stadium.
The Lions had the first shot on goal in the 12th minute, but David Najem had his attempt stopped by Cornell keeper Rick Pflasterer. Ninety seconds later the Big Red put a goal on the board with their first shot of the game.
Jake Rinow was able to keep the ball in Cornell's zone after a Columbia clear attempt, heading the ball back into the penalty area. Daniel Haber gathered the ball and fired a shot in the back of the net.
The remainder of the half saw each team’s defense step up
and limit the offensive chances. Cornell went into the halftime break retaining
its 1-0 advantage, while also outshooting the Lions, 6-2.
In the second half, both teams picked up the intensity as
the action grew increasingly physical throughout the half, leading to a pair of
yellow cards being issued to Columbia. The offense also picked up in the second
half, as 13 shots were fired in the half.
Despite the 9-4 edge in shots favoring Cornell, the squads
traded runs and scoring chances equally throughout the half. Cornell had a pair of
scoring opportunities called back due to a foul and an offisides call, while
Columbia had a plethora of rushes stymied by Cornell defenders or Pflasterer.
Brendan O'Hearn had one last quality chance for the Lions in the 85th minute, but his header missed just wide. Cornell held on to secure the 1-0 victory, which earned them the outright Ivy League title.
Prior to the match, Columbia honored its five seniors: Ifiok Akpandak, Nick Scott, Quentin Grigsby, Will Young and Brendan O'Hearn for their contributions over the last four years to Columbia soccer.