Columbia (3-6-1) dropped the game following each of its previous two wins this season by identical 1-0 scores. After taking down Manhattan in early September, the men’s soccer team found a much tougher opponent in Monmouth. But all it took to alter the result from draw to loss was a single instance of missed coverage on a set piece. A week later, after defeating St. Peter’s, the Lions fell to Delaware after allowing a goal off a set piece and being unable to secure a goal of their own.
The close scores indicate that, for Columbia, a single play is the difference between a positive result and a loss. The Light Blue will try to make it two positive results in a row on Tuesday night against Providence (2-7-1).
“Obviously Providence is going to be tough, but it’ll be a good indicator of where we are,” freshman goalie Kyle Jackson said.
Columbia played a tight contest at Penn over the weekend and came out the victor, 1-0. Sophomore defender Jack Gagné scored the lone goal in the first half. The win was only the team’s second victory in its eight games that were either drawn or decided by one goal. Last year, the Lions went 8-5-2 in these tight games.
If Columbia can generate enough scoring opportunities to cancel out coverage mistakes that have plagued it throughout the season, it will be able to find positive results.
“They’ve worked extremely hard to put together a performance that was consistent for 90 minutes and get the rewards of that performance, so I think they should be going into the week feeling confident, but also solidifying the fact that our identity as a team we’ve now established,” Lions head coach Kevin Anderson said. “If we can stay consistent with that, I think now we approach the remaining half of the season, hopefully in a better light.”
Although Providence’s record is not intimidating, it does play in the Big East, and its slate this season includes matches against ranked opponents like No. 9 Marquette, No. 2 Connecticut, and No. 3 Georgetown, as well as No. 19 Brown. Both the Friars and Lions have faced Brown and Monmouth already this year, with four losses in the four matches.
Senior forward Keith Jecewiz leads Providence with three goals and seven points this season, while junior midfielder/forward Wilder Arboleda has two goals and an assist.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Columbia Soccer Stadium.