Men’s Soccer Seeks Improvement in 2022


The men’s soccer team finished 7-9-3 last year. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

After finishing 7-9-3 last year, the Fordham men’s soccer team looks to improve their record and reclaim their title of Atlantic 10 Champions. While the Rams went 4-3-1 in the conference, they were eliminated in the second round of A-10s by St. Louis University on penalty kicks. 

This season, head coach Carlo Acquista has already made changes to help bolster the coaching staff. New additions include Matt Sloan as a volunteer assistant coach and Fabio Reato as volunteer director of operations. Sloan comes from a strong Fordham background, serving as team captain previously. He was also a critical part of the 2020-21 A-10 Championship team, which competed in the NCAA Men’s Tournament for only the fifth time in school history. 

In the preseason coaches poll, the Rams placed fourth in the A-10 with 141 points, trailing St. Louis University, Rhode Island University and Virginia Commonwealth University. This is an improvement from their 2021 season, in which the Rams were seeded fifth in the preseason poll. 

Fordham’s preseason games emphasized the progress within the program, taking all three of their matches. The Rams’ offense came out strong in their opening match against Fairfield University on Aug. 13. Scoring four, the Rams’ offense saw goals from freshman forward Nathan Simes, junior defender Galen Flynn, graduate student midfielder Daniel Espeleta and freshman midfielder Daniel D’Ippolito. The defense held the Stags at three to take their first game by a final score of 4-3.

The Rams faced another close game against Sacred Heart University in their second match. Fordham’s offense again proved dominant, scoring three goals, courtesy of senior forward Adrian Valentine, graduate student defenseman Timo Hummrich and D’Ippolito, winning 3-2. 

The Rams’ final preseason game came against Marist College, which secured their number one spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) last season. Coming off a MAAC Championship title, the Rams put up an offensively dominant game against the Red Foxes. With a final score of 5-2, Fordham securely put an end to the preseason exhibition games.

Fordham lost eight players heading into this season but added a strong group of transfers and freshmen. The incoming transfers, all graduate students, include forward Jakob Gesien, midfielders Ben Shepherd and Espeleta, and defenseman Hummrich. While freshmen such as D’Ippolito have gotten off to a strong start, he is joined by fellow freshmen midfielder Aidan Pericic and forwards Bennett Leitner, Andre Insalaco and Simes. 

The Rams’ first regular season game against Hofstra University on Aug. 25 highlighted some of their successes during preseason; however, they just fell short. While Fordham managed to outshoot the Pride in the first half, the Rams couldn’t get any shots off them in the second half, being outshot 5-15. Hofstra managed to fluster the Fordham defense in the last minute of the game, taking the win 2-1.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, the Rams non-conference schedule continues with Providence University, Long Island University, Manhattan College, the University of Maryland — Baltimore County, Rutgers University and Princeton University. 

The Rams will kick off their A-10 matches against Rhode Island University on Sept. 17 at Jack Coffey Field before heading up to St. Bonaventure University on Sept. 24. Looking to make another strong run in the A-10 Championship, the team will mark their calendars for Nov. 5 as the start of hopefully another title win.