Men’s Soccer Loses Battle of the Bronx to Manhattan in Overtime


Fordham Men’s Soccer lost the latest round in the Battle of the Bronx. (Mackenzie Cranna/The Fordham Ram)

Fordham Men’s Soccer had an ideal start to Atlantic-10 conference play, which saw sophomore Paul Makaj score in overtime to break a 1–1 tie, giving the Rams a win over La Salle University. One other auspicious development for the Rams is the increase in offensive output. Fordham has scored nine goals in its last three games, compared to just twice in the first four games of the season.

A-10 conference play would have to take a backseat on Tuesday evening, as Fordham welcomed the Manhattan College Jaspers to Jack Coffey Field for its yearly “Battle of the Bronx” matchup. The Jaspers came into the game on a five-game losing streak and, traditionally, have not had much success against the Rams. Last year, Manhattan was able to secure its first win against Fordham since 2004.

Early on, it looked as though Fordham would not allow Manhattan the pleasure of a second consecutive win in its rivalry.

Although the Jaspers had the first shot on goal, Fordham controlled possession for the first 20 minutes and a goal seemed imminent for the home team. Then, in the 24th minute, senior defender Joergen Oland collected the ball unassisted and ripped a right-footed shot into the upper left corner of the goal. It is Oland’s fourth goal of the season and his most impressive one to date, putting the ball where perhaps only Mr. Fantastic of Marvel’s the Fantastic Four could have defended it.

Despite being known as a lockdown defender, Oland currently leads the team in goals scored and has shown he is one of the best two-way players in men’s soccer. Manhattan would eventually have the advantage in first half shots, 4–2, yet Fordham went into halftime maintaining its 1–0 lead.

In the second half, the Jaspers upped its aggressiveness on offense, which saw Manhattan taking control of the middle of the field, opening up chances on goal. Capitalizing on a Rams’ defensive breakdown, Jasper forward Berti Fourrier put the ball in the back of the net to tie the game up at 1–1.

The Fordham defense wore down in the final 25 minutes of regulation, allowing Manhattan six shots while the Rams offense could not muster another scoring opportunity down the stretch. However, 90 minutes would not be enough for either team, so Fordham had to endure its third straight overtime game this season.

In the first minute of overtime, the Rams had a great chance to send the Fordham faithful home happy, but junior midfielder Chris Pensuwan’s shot was stopped by Jasper goalkeeper Marcellin Gohier. Just two minutes later, the aforementioned Fourrier, who scored Manhattan’s first goal, put a beautiful ball into the 18-yard box. The pass found its target in forward Noah Amissah, who was able to finish past Rams goalkeeper, grad student Konstantin Weis, giving the Jaspers the golden goal but most importantly, the 2–1 win on the road.

The disappointing loss drops Fordham to 2–4–1 on the year, a far cry from last season’s pace, in which the Rams maintained a record at 4–2–1 through seven games in 2018. The Rams will have to put this loss quickly behind them before getting back into A-10 conference play this Saturday evening against St. Bonaventure University. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and can be seen exclusively on ESPN+.