The men’s soccer team (0-2) looks to earn its first win of the season in its first home game this Saturday against Iona (2-1-1).
“Our objective is to never give points away when we’re at home,” Columbia head coach Kevin Anderson said. “I know your objective is to win every game, but when you’re at home specifically, you feel more comfortable, you’re more at ease.”
The Lions were only 2-4-2 at Columbia Soccer Stadium last year, but Anderson said the team has made significant progress over the last nine months.
The Light Blue, though, opened its season with a pair of tight losses. It dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 2 Creighton after surrendering two goals in the final 15 minutes, which sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Jackson attributed to the team pressing forward for a potential go-ahead goal. The team fell 1-0 a couple of days later to Nebraska-Omaha. After seeing his team score multiple goals in a game only twice in last fall, Anderson liked the offensive creativity his team showed in its season-opening road trip, despite the lone goal scored.
Meanwhile, the Gaels, who have not faced the Lions since 2006, dropped their opener 1-0. They escaped with a 2-2 draw in their second match, despite getting outshot 24-8 and playing 24 minutes down one man. Iona has since rebounded with back-to-back wins, including a 3-0 decision over Harvard.
Anderson said that the Gaels have “a few talented players that, if you don’t pay attention to … will make you pay.” Senior Franklin Castellanos and junior Ignacio Maganto each have three assists already, while senior Samuel Adjei leads the Gaels with three goals.
Kickoff is at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Columbia Soccer Stadium.