Deletioglu Nets Overtime Winner Against VCU, Sends Fordham to A-10 Semifinals

An own goal gave Fordham the lead and Florian Deletioglu scored the second in overtime to lift Fordham atop VCU and to another berth in the Atlantic 10 semifinals where they will hope to learn from the past and take down the undefeated Saint Louis Billikens.


Deletioglu’s goal gave the Rams the victory against VCU and a spot in the A-10 Semifinals for the second year in a row. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics))

Over the weekend, the Fordham men’s soccer team continued its season with the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship against Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The Rams had the home-field advantage for the first round after receiving the fourth seed during the regular season. Fordham beat VCU on the road the last time these two teams faced off with a goal in the 89th minute courtesy of sophomore defender Galen Flynn being the difference in the 1–0 result on October 23.

In this match, the scoring started earlier than that. Fordham started the scoring in the 26th minute. Sophomore midfielder Max Rogers crossed a ball into the box where it then deflected off VCU defender Simon Fitch and into the back of the net for an own goal to give Fordham the early 1–0 lead. The score remained like that until after halftime. VCU equalized in the 49th minute courtesy of Jared Valdes. VCU’s Damian Gallegos fired a shot that deflected off of Valdes and ended up going into the net to even the score at one apiece.

Fordham had several chances in the second half to regain the lead but was unable to convert any of them. Redshirt senior forward Sameer Fathazada had two shots that hit both the post and crossbar, respectively, in the 53rd and 61st minute.

After 90 minutes of regular time, the match went into overtime. Neither team was able to score in the first 10 minute session of overtime. However, in the 101st minute, the Rams scored to give them the 2–1 win. Graduate student defender Matt Sloan took a throw-in and sent the ball into the box to graduate student defender Luke McNamara. McNamara was then able to pass it to Rogers on the left side, who sent a cross into the box. The ball fell to sophomore defender Florian Deletioglu who struck the ball that deflected off the right post and into the net to punch Fordham’s ticket into the semifinals of the A-10 Championship. This was Deletioglu’s fourth goal of the season,tying him for most on the team.

When asked about the victory and giving Fordham its third consecutive A-10 Championship semifinal, Fordham’s head coach Carlo Acquista said that it “is what [the team] works for.” In addition to that, Acquista said that “[they’ve] put [themselves] in a good position to win the conference.” When asked about Deletiglou’s winner, Acquista said that “the coaching staff put [Deletigolu] back in because the team needed someone in the box from a deeper run and score, so it was a picture moment for all of [them].” 

Fordham’s next match is this Friday as they travel to face Saint Louis University. The last time these two teams faced each other was only a few weeks ago when the Rams lost 2–0. The Billikens finished the year at the top of the A-10 standings and a perfect 8–0 in conference play.

When asked about how the team will prepare against Saint Louis, Acquista said that “as a staff, we have progressed since that last game [against Saint Louis]. We played them right after Seton Hall and I don’t think we were 100% prepared then. I think we’ll be a lot more prepared [for this game].” Acquista did say that some tactical changes will be made and those decisions will be made during the week. 

When asked about the team’s mindset after a win like this, he said that the team feels great, adding that “once [the team] gets on a roll, we are difficult to defeat.” The semifinal match is this Friday at 1 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.