Men’s Soccer Season Ends on Senior Day

The Rams finished 3-4-9 overall for the year and 1-2-5 in the Atlantic 10 conference. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Rams finished 3-4-9 overall for the year and 1-2-5 in the Atlantic 10 conference. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

After a long and challenging fall, the Fordham men’s soccer team wrapped up their season last Saturday with a 3-2 loss against the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers on the Rams’ Senior Day.

The match was crucial for Fordham, as a win would have seen them claim an Atlantic 10 playoff spot. Loyola Chicago, also playing for their playoff lives, stood firmly in Fordham’s way and ended their season.

The Ramblers began the scoring in the 16th minute, when graduate student Andrew Schweinert dribbled up the field and layed off a pass to senior Oscar Dueso. The midfielder converted a shot to the right side past senior goalkeeper Callum James, making the score 1-0 Ramblers.

The Rams quickly got an equalizer in the first half. Junior Florian Deletioglu got the play started by playing the ball over to sophomore defender Jed Dixon, who delivered a beautiful cross to the head of graduate student Timo Hummrich for his fifth goal of the year.

The second half of the game opened with a bang as both teams scored within a minute of each other. Once again, the Ramblers got to it first, with redshirt senior Billy Hency making magic in the midfield. He created space for himself in the middle before driving down the field and delivering a rocket of a shot past James with his weak foot. Hency caused havoc for the Rams all day with his accurate set piece deliveries and poise under pressure.

Fordham answered back with another goal from Hummrich. The star of the game for the Rams scored off a penalty kick due to a handball by Hency in the box. 

However, the Rams faltered later in the second half, allowing Loyola Chicago to take the lead. Hency delivered a beautiful free kick to the head of Dueso, forcing James into a save. 

Junior Julian Cisneros was there to tap in the rebound from close range, making the score 3-2 Ramblers. This marked Cisneros’ first goal of the season and the fourth game-winning goal of his career.

There was plenty of time for the Rams to find that equalizer, but they could not manage to grab it. Fordham’s season ended with the 3-2 loss, while the Ramblers secured their spot in the A-10 tournament, seeding fourth. This marked Fordham’s eighth consecutive game without a win.

It was a long road for Fordham this season as they struggled to lock down games, leading them to tie nine times and only secure one win in the A-10 conference against St. Bonaventure back in September. 

Many young Rams had breakout seasons, as freshmen Daniel D’Ippolito and Nathan Simes started in three and nine games, respectively. D’Ippolito started in midfield against Loyola Chicago in place of suspended graduate student Daniel Espeleta, while Simes’ five goals were second on the team behind Hummrich.

Meanwhile, many graduate students and seniors will likely take their final bows. Graduate students Demetri Skoumbakis, Jakob Gesien, Espeleta, Ben Shepherd, Jack Sluys and Hummrich were key leaders this year for the Rams. 

With an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, the future is more clouded for seniors Conrado Duhour, Ben Lekperic, Adrian Valentine, Savvas Christoforou and James. All were critical players throughout their time in the program and could return to Fordham if they desire. 

It is a sad ending for the Rams, even after their excellent start to the season in their exhibition matches and non-conference schedule. Now, with the season in the books, the Rams will have to look towards next year to hopefully return to the A-10 tournament and perform better in conference play.