Columbia men’s soccer came out of the gate at Reese Stadium in New Haven on Saturday afternoon ready to play. Within the first 10 minutes the Lions (3-7-4, 1-2-2 Ivy) had Yale (4-7-4, 1-2-2 Ivy) on its heels with three shots early in the match. But the Lions failed to maintain their pressure on the Bulldogs and finished the game in a 1-1 tie.
The Lions’ early run was capped off at the 14th minute with a goal from 15 yards out by forward Henning Sauerbier, courtesy of an assist from Kyle Culbertson.
Columbia kept its energy at a high level as the first half closed out with the Lions having a 1-0 edge over their Ivy opponents. But by the time the second half rolled around, a momentum shift reared its head. The Bulldogs were able to turn up the energy and pressure, preventing Columbia from getting any real opportunities until very late in regulation.
This shift was solidified at the 69th minute with an easily chipped-in goal by Yale’s Scott Armbrust. On the shoulders of this second half goal, it quickly became apparent that the Light Blue was going to be fighting an uphill battle late in the game, as overtime loomed on the horizon.
The Lions did manage a surge late in regulation. With only one minute remaining before overtime, Sauerbier was nearly able to ice the game, getting past the goalie only to be shut down by a determined Bulldog defender.
The two overtime periods were peppered with action as both teams managed to get three shots off, but neither team could quite punch one in.
The game was almost won by the Bulldogs in the second overtime when Yale’s Kevin Michalak managed to sneak past the Lions’ defensive front. However, thanks to a little extra effort, Lions goalie Kyle Jackson was able to tip the ball just wide for one of his four saves.
Although Columbia managed to get more shots off (11-9) and Yale had a season-high 10 offside penalties, the Lions were not quite able to capitalize, pushing most of their shots slightly wide.
Saturday’s stalemate with Yale puts Columbia in a fifth-place tie with the Bulldogs in the Ivy League.
The Lions will take to their home turf Thursday against Adelphi, looking to achieve and maintain the high level of energy that was on display early Saturday afternoon.