NEW YORK-The Columbia men's soccer team today stretched its winning streak over Harvard to eight years.
The Lions' 3-0 upset victory before 1150 fans at the Columbia Soccer Stadium makes them heavy favorites to claim their eighth consecutive Ivy League title.
Playing without All-Ivy forward Nikhil Singh--who was sidelined with a bruised kidney suffered in the booters' opener against MIT Wednesday--the Crimson squandered numerous scoring opportunities.
The hosts' first goal came at 4:01 of the first half when a tripping penalty on Ian Hardington and Mark Pepper gave Columbia a penalty kick.
Harvard goalie Matt Ginsburg dove left but the Lions' Neil Banks shot right into an open net.
Columbia 1, Harvard 0.
But the clincher for the hosts came at 52:23 in the second half when Jim Wurster snuck the ball under the diving Ginsburg.
With many of the players distracted by an injured Lion writhing on the ground, play continued in front of the Harvard goal.
After the Crimson (1-1 overall, 0-1 Ivy) failed to clear the ball, Wurster hit his roller, which Ginsburg appeared to have stopped. But the ball wiggled under him to give Columbia a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Lions added a third goal at 69:22, when Kurt Dasbach beat Ginsburg on a beautiful play off a direct kick.
Ginsburg's early troubles overshadowed a fine performance late in the second half, when the senior goalie made a series of tough saves.
The Crimson clearly missed Singh, both for his height and his direction on offense.
Several high balls sailed in front of the Columbia net untouched, and the booters were unable to click on offense.
Aside from the penalty kick, Harvard's offense controlled the first period. On at least five occasions, Cantabs broke in alone on Columbia goalie Jeff Micheli, only to misfire or be thwarted by the Lion netminder, who notched six saves for the afternoon.
The Crimson's best chance came from the foot of forward Nick Hotchkin, whose shot from about seven yards out was abruptly halted by Micheli, a second-team All-Ivy selection a year ago.
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