PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Ivy men’s soccer season got underway this past weekend with Penn and Columbia each opening the year with a pair of wins to pace the League. Penn downed city rivals La Salle (2-0) and Saint Joseph’s (5-1), while Columbia opened with a 1-0 win at Fairfield and followed that effort up with a 2-1 overtime home win against Sacred Heart.
Penn’s win over La Salle was head coach Rudy Fuller’s 100th career win while leading the Quakers, making Fuller the 10th Ivy coach to reach the 100-win plateau. In Columbia’s overtime victory, junior forward Will Stamatis scored the game-winning goal just 1:11 into the first overtime.
Other weekend wins around the League included season opening victories by Yale and Harvard. The Bulldogs downed Central Connecticut State University (2-0), while Harvard beat cross-town rival Northeastern (1-0) on Sunday evening. Sophomore Max McKiernan and freshman Max Morice both scored in the Yale win, while Harvard forward Brian Rogers scored the Crimson’s game-winning goal with less than seven minutes to play.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Columbia sophomore midfielder David Najem (Clifton, N.J.) led the Lions to a pair of victories over the weekend. Najem scored the game-winning goal in the 29th minute of Columbia’s season-opening 1-0 win at Fairfield, then assisted on both goals in a 2-1, overtime win over Sacred Heart that gave Columbia a 2-0 start for the first time since 2001.
The sophomore midfielder was dangerous all match long against the Stags, as a pair of tremendous saves by All-MAAC goalie Michael O’Keefe was the only thing that stopped Najem from recording a hat trick. Against the Pioneers, Najem played the role of distributor in tallying two assists, including the game-winning goal in the 92nd minute.
Najem becomes Columbia’s first Ivy League Player of the Week since Sept. 15, 2008 when Bayo Adfin earned the honor.
Najem’s Weekly Stats
2-2 GP-GS, 1G, 2A, 4Pts., 5 Shots, 3 SOG, 1 GWG
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Penn freshman forward Duke Lacroix, Penn (New Egypt, N.J.) earns Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors after a two-goal performance versus Saint Joseph’s. Lacroix now leads Penn in goals after the first weekend of the season.
Both of Lacroix's goals came in the second half, turning a 2-1
lead at the break into the eventual final margin. His first strike
came after dribbling through three defenders and then cutting right
to left across the box and going back across his body with a shot
to the low corner. Then, in the final minute of the match, Lacroix
emerged from a scrum in the box and sent in a shot for his second
on the day. Lacroix was active in both of his first collegiate
matches, with 10 total shots and eight offerings on goal.
Lacroix is Penn’s first Ivy League Rookie of the Week since November 1 of last season when Stephen Baker won the award.
Lacroix’s Weekly Stats
2-2 GP-GS, 2G, 4Pts., 10 Shots, 8 SOG
Christian Barreiro, Penn (Sr., M - Baltimore, Md.)
2-2 GP-GS, 1G, 2A, 4Pts., 7 Shots, 3 SOG
Max McKiernan, Yale (So., M - Louisville, Ky.)
2-2 GP-GS, 1G, 2Pts., 1 Shot, 1 SOG, 1 GWG
Max Morice, Yale (Fr., M - Stillwater, Minn.)
2-2 GP-GS, 1G, 2Pts., 4 Shots, 3 SOG
Brian Rogers, Harvard (Jr., F - Bronxville, N.Y.)
1-0 GP-GS, 1G, 2Pts., 2 Shots, 1 SOG, 1 GWG
Noah Cohen, Dartmouth (Fr., GK - Johannesburg, South Africa)
2-2 GP-GS, 200:00 Min., 2GA, .90 GAA, 8 Svs., 1 SO
The Ivies have another busy week of non-conference action ahead, highlighted by participation in several tournaments over the coming weekend. All told, the Ancient Eight will play 18 games this week.
The tournament slate includes Penn playing at the Aztec Soccer Classic, Cornell playing for the Mayor’s Cup and Columbia making the trek to New Mexico for the Lobo Invitational. In addition, both Brown and Dartmouth will play host to tournaments over the weekend.
Monday, September 5
1 - Brown vs. Bryant, 5 pm
Tuesday, September 6
Saint Peter’s at Columbia, 7 pm
Lafayette at Cornell, 7 pm
Friday, September 9
2 - Penn at San Diego, 10 pm
Quinnipiac at Yale, 7 pm
3 - South Carolina at Dartmouth, 7 pm
Fairleigh Dickinson at Princeton, 7 pm
4 - George Mason at Brown, 7:30 pm
Harvard at St. John’s, 7:30 pm
5 - Robert Morris vs. Cornell, 7:30 pm
6 - Columbia at New Mexico, 9 pm
2 - Penn at San Diego, 10 pm
Sunday, September 11
2 - Penn vs. San Diego State, 3 pm
6 - Columbia vs. Missouri State, 12:30 pm
3 - South Florida at Dartmouth, 1:30 pm
4 - Temple at Brown, 2:30 pm
5 - Cornell at Hartwick, 3 pm
Rhode Island at Harvard, 3:30 pm
Yale at St. John’s, 7:30 pm
1 - Ocean State Soccer Classic (Kingston, R.I.)
2 - Aztec Soccer Classic (San Diego, Calif.)
3 - Dartmouth Soccer Classic (Hanover, N.H.)
4 - Brown Soccer Classic (Providnce, R.I.)
5 - Mayor’s Cup (Oneonta, N.Y.)
6 - The Lobo Invitational (Albuquerque, N.M.)