Pioneers Suffer OT Defeat at Columbia, 2-1

Junior forward Brian Francolini tallied his first score of 2011.
Junior forward Brian Francolini tallied his first score of 2011.

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Sophomore midfielder David Najem ripped a shot from 25 yards out that deflected to junior forward Will Stamatis who buried it far post to give Columbia a 2-1 overtime win over the Sacred Heart University men's soccer team, Sunday afternoon.  Stamatis' goal ended the game just 1:11 into the extra frame.  The loss dropped the Pioneers to 1-1, while the Lions remain unbeaten at 2-0.

Columbia registered the first goal of the game 20 minutes into the contest with a play that started with a pass from Najem to sophomore mid Henning Sauerbier.  Sauberbier then played a through ball to senior mid Francois Anderson for the score.  The Lions took their lead into the break outshooting Sacred Heart 9-0 in the half.

The Pioneer offense awakened at the start of the second as junior forward Brian Francolini (Ellington, Conn.) flicked the ball around a Columbia defender and put it in the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.  Sophomore defender Omer Levy (Yahud, Israel) picked up an assist on the play.

The remaining 42 minutes were scoreless with the Lions offense holding a 5-2 advantage in total shots.  Overall Columbia outshot Sacred Heart 15-3.

Senior goalkeeper Alex Fait (Ottawa, Ont.) made seven saves in net for the Pioneers, while his counterpart Lion senior Alexander Aurrichio made just one save in the win.

Sacred Heart returns to action Tuesday night at Holy Cross at 7:00 pm.