Men’s Soccer Beats Bonnies, Ties Rutgers

The Rams pulled out a much needed win against a conference opponent, only to draw against Rutgers later in the week.

Mens Soccer has continued to put up solid outings. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Men’s Soccer has continued to put up solid outings. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Men’s Soccer had a successful week, taking a much-needed win against St. Bonaventure University and drawing against Rutgers University. After going on a three-game streak of tying opponents, the Rams needed a shakeup to hopefully get back to winning ways.

In the first half against the Bonnies, the Rams led in shots 9-3. However, they couldn’t find the back of the net. Even with their five corners, the Rams did not score off a set piece in this matchup like they have so often this season.

What started off as a scoreless first half turned into an all-out attack from the Rams to take the lead. In the 50th minute, senior midfielder ​​Savvas Christoforou threaded a pass to senior Adrian Valentine who then found graduate student Ben Shepherd at the center of the box. The midfielder promptly took a shot in the bottom left corner, scoring the Rams’ first goal of the night.

The second goal, in the 76th minute, came as a result of a penalty kick issued on a breakaway run from junior Florian Deletioglu, who was taken down in the box by St. Bonaventure goalkeeper Nicolas Pucci. Graduate student Jack Sluys stepped up to the challenge, netting his first goal of the season.

Just one minute later, the Rams tallied their third goal of the night, as a result of another Deletioglu breakaway. Deletioglu found the foot of sophomore Jed Dixon who squeaked the ball just under the crossbar to net his first career goal as a Ram. 

The Rams managed to pick up their first win since Sept. 6 against Manhattan College, with the final score being 3-0.

After that big win, the Rams traveled to Piscataway, N.J. for a non-conference game against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were unbeaten through their previous six games, and the Rams had quite the match ahead of them.

While no goals were scored in the first half, Rutgers kept Fordham on their toes. Outshooting the Rams 7-2, senior goalkeeper Callum James had his work cut out for him. He recorded two saves in the first half, which was critical in keeping the score 0-0. This game also marked James’ first start in net for the season, taking over for the usual starter, graduate student Demetri Skoumbakis.

In the second half, there was an immediate change of pace. Rutgers scored their first goal in the 49th minute when Jackson Temple broke down the left sideline and fed the ball through to Pablo Avila who was sitting in the perfect position on the back post. It was Avila’s second goal of the season. 

While Fordham was outshot again in the second half, one of their shots found the back of the net. Graduate student Daniel Espeleta picked up a ball in the box, slotting it into the upper right corner, equalizing the score and getting his first of the season.

Neither team was able to break the equalizer as James shut down the last attempt from the Scarlet Knights and recorded six saves in the contest. The Rams struggled offensively against the Big 10 team, with only one shot on goal in the match from Espeleta. 

Looking to improve their record, the Rams now will take on the University of Massachusetts on Saturday at 7 p.m. for another Atlantic 10 matchup. The game will be played at Jack Coffey Field with the Rams celebrating Alumni Day, and can be live streamed on ESPN+.