Women’s Soccer Preview


Fordham enters their first season under head coach Magnus Nilerud. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

With a new school year beginning, the season is already in full swing for the Fordham’s women’s soccer team. After a poor season last year which saw them go 4-12-2 overall and miss out on the Atlantic 10 tournament with a conference record of 2-7-1, they have changed their head coach, bringing in Magnus Nilerud to become the fourth in the program’s history. Nilerud is coming off a successful 23 year spell at the University of Bridgeport with an overall record of 295-126-27 record. In addition to that, he led the team to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, winning three NCAA regionals and winning the NCAA Division II National Championship back in 2018.

When asked about what the expectations are for this season, Nilerud said that “the goals started back in the spring [of 2022] with trying to change the culture in the camp and the program as a whole.” Nilerud also said that one goal for the season “is to qualify for the A-10 playoffs and once we’re in the playoffs we will take each game at a time.”

When asked how he could bring his previous successes to Fordham, Nilerud noted, “it wasn’t done overnight. It was a lot of hard work going through small changes year after year until eventually, the culture of the program was so hard to break that it became natural to anyone that walked through the doors. You had no choice as a student-athlete to be a winner on and off the field, it was just how the DNA ran through the program.” Nilerud acknowledged that it will take time to shape the Rams but has praised his team stating that “the new incoming student-athletes have responded tremendously to what we have been doing in preseason and at the start of the season.”

In order to change the mentality of the program, you also need to have leaders on the pitch as well. The two team captains are senior Kristen Cocozza and junior Cambrie Arboreen. Nilerud praised Cocozza for her experience both on and off the field and called her “a natural choice to lead the program into its new chapter.” He also praised Arboreen, stating that she “is a natural leader and everything you want as an ambassador of the program.” 

With three games already played, the Rams have won one and lost two. Despite the slow start, Nilerud said that there were positives to be taken away. He praised his team, stating that the team “is a fantastic group of women far beyond the soccer field.” He also praised their work ethic, willingness to train, and, importantly, their core values.

The Rams’ next game is next Thursday at home against Hofstra University at Jack Coffey Field. The game will be at 7 p.m. and can also be viewed on ESPN+.