After a welcome week off, Columbia men’s soccer (2-4) is back in action on Saturday night at Long Island (1-6).
Last Saturday, the Light Blue fell, 1-0, to Delaware in its sixth game in 16 days. The only goal of the foul-filled affair was a header off of a free kick.
The Lions have scored only four goals this season. After taking a few days to rest, they worked on several aspects of the game, including getting more scoring chances.
“We spent a lot of time ... reorganizing the way we get forward,” senior defender Quentin Grigsby said. “Trying to outnumber and outbalance: better than relying on individuals to get it done.”
“We’re looking at creating more opportunity for ourselves in the final third of the field, whether that be through a combination play along the flanks or penetration through the midfield,” Lions head coach Kevin Anderson said. “We’re looking at more quantity as well ... and hope then that with quantity comes quality of finishing it and scoring goals.”
The break was good for Grigsby and fellow senior defender Ifiok Akpandak, who lead the team in playing time this season—both have played a full 90 minutes in each of the last four games.
“Fortunately, defense, I think, is a little lighter than offenseóless space that you need to cover on the field,” Grigsby said. “That being said, the amount of minutes we played is a lot. We tried to manage minutes throughout this early portion of the season, and so we’ve actually played, as a defense, a little bit less, aggregately, than we normally would.”
Long Island also had a needed break after completing a five-in-16 stretch that included two games in California and a 2-1 loss at La Salle on Saturday. The Blackbirds were outshot, 21-8, and have been outscored 14-3 so far this season. Senior forward Jakeem Johnson is the only player to have scored, tallying twice.
In their last meeting, two years ago, Columbia defeated the visiting Blackbirds, 1-0. Junior midfielder David Najem, then a freshman, assisted on the goal.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. in Brooklyn, N.Y.