The Lions battled the University of Pennsylvania Quakers to a 1-1 draw.

On October 5, the Columbia Men’s Soccer team (1-6-3) used their game against nationally ranked Hofstra (10-1-1) as a test before going into another week of Ivy competition. The Lions scored for the first time in nearly a month against Hofstra, and, after scoring against Penn (4-3-2) in Saturday’s game, the Lions have now scored in two consecutive games hinting that the Lions are making progress in the attacking third. Yet the wait for a Columbia win is still on after another frustrating game led to a ninth straight winless result.

Throughout the entire first half, both sides had near equal opportunities to score. Important stops from the Columbia defense kept the ball out of the back of the net, and the Lions were able to keep attacking. Two notable opportunities arose in the 12th minute when Defender Keenan Foley headed a ball just wide of the goal as well as when Midfielder Brian Timoney narrowly sent a volley over the crossbar. The Lions capitalized on their last major opportunity which came just over thirty seconds before halftime. Winger William DeNight sent in a well placed corner that made its way over the Quaker Goalkeeper Nick Christoffersen thanks to a challenge from Defender Matthew Leong. Forward Jake Novoshelski seized the chance and headed the ball into the back of the net giving the Lions a 1-0 lead just before halftime. 

Halftime Score: 1-0 Columbia

Columbia opened the initial 20 minutes of the second half with a possession-based style of play and utilized its defenders as additional attackers. This time period, although held scoreless, was the paradigm of soccer. The Lions played like professionals and acted as a well-versed, cohesive unit. Excellent passing, communication, and composure were key to Columbia’s success in the opening minutes of the second half. Just over halfway through the second half, it seemed as if a haze settled over the stadium. The Lions slowed, passes became sloppier, and a lapse in communication allowed Penn to regain control. In a rare mistake for the Columbia defense, Quaker Striker Stas Korzeniowski walked into the eighteen yard box and fired the ball into the back of the net. After the 73rd minute equalizer, Columbia faced an uphill battle against the newly rejuvenated Penn offense. Quaker attacks came more often, and the Lions found themselves on the back foot the remainder of the half. 

Full Time Score: 1-1

In college soccer, if the game is tied after full time, two-10 minute periods are played in a golden-goal fashion. This means whoever scores the next goal wins and the game is over. Thankfully, the Lions were able to revive themselves before starting overtime and mounted overwhelming pressure against the Quakers. Shot after shot came from Columbia attackers, yet all were unsuccessful. Winger Will DeNight and Defender Max Gonzalez led the way for Columbia in the final 20 minutes. Nevertheless, the scoreline stayed even and the Lions faced another heart-wrenching result.

Final Score: 1-1 Draw

Despite not winning in the past nine games, Columbia has only been scored on 11 times this season—having the least amount of goals scored against them in the Ivy League. Goalkeeper Michael Collodi also leads the Ivy League with the lowest goals-against-average and highest save percentage. The Lions are now tied with Penn (state) and Harvard for 5th place in the Ivy League conference and will play their next two games on the road at Ivy co-leader Princeton (5-5) and at Dartmouth (1-8) who are (still) in last place. 

soccer field via Bwarchives