The men’s soccer team (5-2) continued its roll on Sunday, defeating Fordham (2-6) 2-0, and pushing its streak to five victorious games—its first winning streak of that length since 1995.
For the second game in a row, the scoring didn’t begin until early in the second half.
“It took us a while to get control over the game, but once we figured out how to break the other team down, we actually dominated the game and deserved to win,” senior Henning Sauerbier said in an email. “I think we started to control the game when we played more over the flanks and made it a technical game, which suits us much better.”
Sophomore midfielder Antonio Matarazzo, a regular free kick-taker, took one and found the back of the net for his third goal of the season less than 10 minutes into the game.
“Toni’s goal was great off of a direct free kick,” Sauerbier said. “He saw that the goalkeeper was in the middle of the goal, which gave him the chance to score on the side of the goal that the goalkeeper is supposed to protect. The rest was perfect execution.”
Later, first-year forward Andrew Tinari tacked on another goal—the first of his college career—in the 83rd minute with a shot from just outside the box that found the top corner.
“I liked Tinari’s goal a lot because it was great quality of the entire team,” Sauerbier said. “His finish was just spectacular bending away from the goalie to the far top corner.”
Senior striker Will Stamatis, who led all players with four shots in goal, almost added another in the 89th minute, but his header rang off the crossbar.
In contrast to its last match—in which the Lions dominated most of the first half and all of the second—Columbia didn’t play its best until the second half. The Light Blue was outshot 6-5 before halftime (compared to a 14-8 advantage overall). Players have mentioned over the past week that the team’s slow starts have been a concern, even during this winning streak. But those stats don’t necessarily tell the whole story.
“I don’t think that the shots statistic reflects the game perfectly,” senior David Najem said in an email. “It’s always about the quality of the chances. However, the first half was definitely much more equal on both sides, whereas we were the better team in the second half. As I said, we dominated the second half because we improved our spacing and played more.”
Riding their five-game streak, the Lions will remain consistent as they head into conference play.
“We will keep preparing the same way,” Sauerbier said. “There are always things you have to work on. But I think that we have found a good rhythm and can be very confident overall. Everyone is more than excited to finally start the Ivy League play.”
The Lions open their Ivy slate on Saturday, hosting Brown.