Men’s Soccer Ties Davidson, Falters Against St. Louis

The Rams dropped their first Atlantic 10 matchup this past week. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Rams dropped their first Atlantic 10 matchup this past week. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

After a tough week of matchups, Fordham Men’s Soccer gets a much-needed break after tying Davidson College and losing in Atlantic 10 play for the first time this season against St. Louis University.

Starting off, the Rams traveled down to Davidson, N.C. for yet another A-10 contest. Davidson going into the match was 4-6-1, and in the first half of the match proved to be absolutely dominant compared to the Rams.

Unbeaten in their last four games at home, the Wildcats struck early in the third minute of play. On a free kick from freshman Jack Brown, the ball was free and freshman Alonzo Clarke was ready for action, netting his first career goal.

Davidson was not done there, as they opened up the second half in the 53rd minute scoring goal number two. The play started with junior Luke Bryant getting the ball to the foot of sophomore Vincent Bennage. The 2021 A-10 All-Rookie selection hit that into the upper right corner, doubling Davidson’s advantage.

About 11 minutes later, the Rams bounced back with a goal of their own. Junior Florian Deletioglu started things off by passing the ball to graduate student Timo Hummrich. Next, Hummrich was able to find senior Savvas Christoforou, who was sitting right around the penalty spot and knocked the ball past the keeper. This was the senior’s first career goal as a Ram.

But the Rams were determined to tie the game. In the 77th minute, they got their chance. Fordham was awarded a penalty kick when freshman Bennett Leitner went down in the box. It was Hummrich who was tasked with getting the Rams the goal. He delivered, scoring his second goal of the season to level the match.

Neither team was able to move past the tie even as multiple fouls occurred. Both sides played scrappy with a total of five yellow cards and one red card, dished out to Bryant late in the game. Fordham was able to outshoot the Wildcats 18-14, showcasing some impressive offense.

In net, Fordham’s senior goalkeeper Callum James was on point in just his second start of the season. He made six saves while his opponent Giacomo Piccardo recorded five saves after missing the previous five games.

Then, the Rams turned their attention to St. Louis, who they squared off against back at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx.

These two teams have quite a bit of history as the Billikens eliminated the Rams from the A-10 Championship semifinals last season in a penalty shootout after double overtime. St. Louis was 2-1-1 in the A-10 conference going into this game.

Once again, the Rams conceded a goal before they netted their first of the game. In the 11th minute, freshman CJ Coppola scored a rebound after his teammate John Klein’s shot missed. This was Coppola’s third goal in three games and his fourth of the season

The ultimate game decider came way later into the match in the 72nd minute. St. Louis’s redshirt sophomore Christian Buendia lobbed the ball into the box, finding the head of sophomore Grady Easton, who whipped it past James for a 2-0 lead.

The Rams pushed back in the 88th minute to ensure they would not be shut out at home. Graduate student Daniel Espeleta flicked the ball forward to freshman forward Nathan Simes, who then connected with Deletioglu. He went on a short breakaway, scoring a left-footed shot to cut the lead in half.

While the Rams fought to add yet another tie to their record this season, they fell to the Billikens 2-1. This snaps Fordham’s 10 match unbeaten streak, after coming back in three straight contests to tie their opponents.

St. Louis was a particularly physical team for the Rams to face, collecting 26 fouls over the match, to Fordham’s much cleaner five fouls. While Fordham dropped the contest, they did manage to outshoot the Billikens 6-5 for shots on goal.

Looking to turn it back around, the Rams are back in action on Oct. 15 in Philadelphia for a matchup against St. Joseph’s University. The game is set for a 5 p.m. start and can be livestreamed on ESPN+.