Men’s Soccer Explores La Salle And Finds 2-0 Victory

Fordham Men’s Soccer earns 2-0 road win over La Salle University on Tuesday night to remain unbeaten behind goals from Galen Flynn and Florian Deletioglu, as well as stellar play in net by Josh Levine.

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Despite facing numerous shots on the day, Levine’s (above) stout presence in goal kept the Explorers off the scoresheet to aid the Rams’ victory. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Andrew Posadas, Managing Editor Emeritus

An emphasis on experience and depth continues to pay fruitful dividends for the Rams through five games this season. Despite coming off consecutive overtime matches against the University of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, respectively, Fordham Men’s Soccer showed little attrition en route to defeating the La Salle University Explorers 2-0 in McCarthy Stadium. Tuesday night’s win marks Fordham’s seventh straight win over the Explorers, dating back to 2014.

Through 20 minutes of scoreless action, an innocuous free kick by the Explorers into Fordham’s penalty area produced what looked to be a devastating injury. Matt Sloan, graduate student defensive midfielder, cleared the ball from danger before subsequently landing on an already fallen La Salle player in the 21st minute and injuring his ankle. Play was halted as Sloan laid on the field for nearly 20 minutes until being safely placed in an ambulance and transported to a local medical center.

Initially feared to be an injury capable of compromising Sloan’s availability for the upcoming fall season, head coach Carlo Acquista reports preliminary x-rays show signs that he may have suffered a potential high ankle sprain. However, Acquista and the team will receive a definitive diagnosis on the severity of Sloan’s affliction following an MRI.

Playing the remainder of regulation without arguably your best two-way player is never ideal, but freshman defender Galen Flynn made Fordham’s life easier in the 27th minute. Flynn settled a deflected pass from just outside the 18-yard box, using nifty ball handling to break through a pack of defenders and rip a shot past La Salle goalkeeper Mitch Foster for his first goal this season.

The Rams 1-0 lead held true heading into halftime yet they opened the second half intent on strengthening their lead. Not even a minute into the second half, freshman midfielder Florian Deletioglu gave Fordham the decisive insurance goal. Deletioglu made the Explorers pay with a fantastic series of crafty moves after a weak clearance attempt.

Deletioglu’s run was highlighted by a silky shot fake which shook off his defender, creating more than enough room to place a left-footed strike into the right corner pocket of net from 18 yards out. Deletioglu’s third finish of the season brings him even alongside senior forward Sameer Fathazada for the team lead in goals scored.

When asked about how valuable Fordham’s depth has been so far, Acquista admits getting ample production from several players certainly makes his job less arduous. Acquista said, “You gotta make it difficult for me to make the right decision and these players are doing that right now, so it’s making my life easier in the long run.”

A two-goal lead was more than enough for graduate student goalkeeper Josh Levine, who snagged eight saves on the way to picking up his third clean sheet this season. La Salle may have enjoyed 16 total shots to Fordham’s six throughout regulation but proved inconsequential on the scoreboard. Levine’s leadership efforts on and off the pitch starting from when he first arrived at Rose Hill has absolutely earned him Acquista’s trust.

“It started back then [beginning of season] with the trust factor,” said Acquista. “When you trust your players and your goalkeeper, you have the potential to go a long way.”

Fordham improves to 4-0-1 overall this season and currently has seven conference points, tied alongside the University of Massachusetts Amherst atop the Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer North division. The Rams will look to sweep the regular season series after outlasting the Minutemen in double overtime last week when both squads meet for an early 11:00 a.m. kickoff at Jack Coffey Field. This time around, the stakes are immense as Saturday’s winner may very well find themselves in the driver’s seat of ultimately winning this division.