In an emphatic 3–0 win, the Lions beat down on Manhattan College.
With a new coaching staff at the helm, and a team that feels rejuvenated, Columbia will aim to break .500 for the first time in five years. After drawing Lehigh 1–1 last week, trading penalties with the Mountain Hawks (0-1-2) in the second half, the Lions were set on doing better in their second home game of the season. Columbia swiftly handed Manhattan (0-2-2) their biggest loss of the season so far, displaying a different sort of attacking threat than we have seen in recent memory.
The Lions and the Jaspers looked to be evenly matched both in possession and play throughout the first 20 minutes of the game, yet Columbia soon proved itself to be the more physical of the two. Tallying seven fouls to Manhattan’s one in the first half, the Lions ramped up their pressure, playing with a sense of urgency that soon converted into a goal. Sophomore Carmine Falco (CC ’26) powered down Columbia’s right sideline, breaking through two defenders before whipping the ball into the box for Chad Baker (CC ’27) who took a one time left footed shot to score his first collegiate goal and put the Lions up 1–0. Multiple strong defensive efforts from Falco kept the Lions up going into the half.
Halftime — Columbia 1, Manhattan 0
Will DeNight (CC ’24) kicked off the second half with a goal just three touches after kickoff. Then, he scored again 15 minutes later. DeNight’s three goals on the season, one from Lehigh, helped the Lions to their fourth goal of the season, already halfway to last year’s total goal tally and a third of the way to that of the year before it. Fifth-year goalkeeper Michael Collodi (CC ’24) picked up where he left off last season with five saves on the night, including three Jasper breakaways that Collodi closed down and snuffed out. His control in the backfield allowed the team to reset throughout the match and change the point of attack. If the Lions keep up their physicality of play and continue to execute creativity on the field, they are sure to become a recognized force in the Ivy League this year despite their last place prediction.
Fulltime — Columbia 3, Manhattan 0
Columbia will head to Fairfield, Connecticut to face Sacred Heart University (1-3) on Saturday, September 9 at 5 pm.
Men’s Soccer 2023-24 via CUAthletics