Columbia falls to Yale 3-1 in a defensive battle.

Yale (6-4-4) took advantage of every opportunity in Saturday night’s game. The Bulldogs currently stand second in the Ivy League conference despite having the second-fewest shots in the Ivy League—only Columbia (1-9-4) has fewer. Both teams were nearly even in possession with Yale having a slight edge. Ultimately, another hard-fought game for the Lions ended in a defeat due to a lack of scoring attempts and the resulting inability to score. 

The Bulldogs opened the scorebook on a counter attack just 10 minutes into the game. After the initial goal, Columbia very clearly stepped back as if they had already lost. Communication became less frequent and the Lions struggled to get back on their feet. Yale scored their second goal off of a 34th-minute corner kick that landed at the feet of Forward Kahveh Zahiroleslam, who fired a point-blank shot past Columbia Goalkeeper Michael Collodi. In the minutes following the goal, the Lions regained their fight and turned the tide of the game in their favor. Striker Sebastian Gunbeyi tapped the ball past Yale Goalkeeper Elian Haddock, and Columbia started gaining momentum. However, the turn of play was cut short due to the halftime buzzer, saving Yale from an equalizing goal.

Halftime: 2-1 Yale

Both teams started the second half strong, but with completely different goals in mind. Columbia needed to equalize and return to a possession-based style of play, and Yale wanted to stall and minimize Columbia’s contact with the ball and halt all momentum shifts. The Bulldogs started to waste time in the 50th minute to try and run the clock down as much as possible. Despite the inquiries of Lion Head Coach Ken Anderson, the referee refused to stop the clock for these stagnant periods, and as many as 10 minutes were taken off the clock by slow foul, corner, and goal kick approaches as well as general slowness when faced with any sort of play restart. The Bulldogs successfully accomplished their second-half plan in the cruelest way possible, and the referee was compliant. Yale scored again in the 75th minute and snuffed out any hope of a Columbia win. Winger Ryan Kipness, hoping to knock the ball loose, received a red card for a slide tackle into Haddock in the 85th minute. Coach Anderson had implored the head referee the entire second half for clock management but to no avail. In the final minute of the game, Anderson asked the referee to stop the clock, and the referee replied while laughing as the game was about to end, “Now, I’ll stop the clock for you” Clock mismanagement likely contributed to Columbia’s loss, but ultimately the Lions failed to score.

Final Score: 3-1 Yale

Columbia will face Harvard at Rocco B. Commisso Stadium on Saturday where they will attempt to get their first Ivy League conference win. Harvard (6-5-3) sits just above the Lions in conference standings while Dartmouth (2-10-1) is behind (still in last). If they are able to win against Harvard, Columbia will rise to 5th place. However, if they wish to do so, the Lions must make some offensive changes and keep a clear head.

free kick via mclt