Fordham beat UMass in a double-overtime thriller on Sunday. The Rams have two games left to play this season. (Photo by Andrew Esoldi/The Ram)
The Rams, who are no strangers to overtime thrillers, beat UMass in two overtimes to get what may be a critical win with the Atlantic 10 tournament just two weeks away.
Fordham opened up the scoring with a Casey Nowakowski goal off a Jessica Widmann assist in the seventh minute of the game. Nowakowski, a senior defender, took the pass from Widmann and put it in the top left corner of the net for her first career goal.
The lead would not last, as UMass’s Brittany Moore knocked in a rebound off a Grace Coombs shot that tied the game at one. Moore scored again in the 59th minute, taking a lead pass from Megan Burke on the right side of the field that allowed her to get the ball past goalkeeper Ally White to take a 2-1 lead.
Fordham would tie the game at two 11 minutes later, as senior defender Kaitlyn Carballeira took a cross and dished the ball to a streaking Widmann, who scored her third goal of the season with a shot to the top right corner.
What remained in regulation, as well as the first overtime period, saw the Rams take multiple shots that would have resulted in the game winning goal. That goal would not come until the 108th minute, when Widmann passed the ball from the left side of the field to junior midfielder/defender Maria Lorena Canicatti. Canicatti drilled the ball in to the net from 15 yards out, scoring her third goal this season and giving the Rams a much needed conference win.
“At practice we’ve been focusing on possessing the ball and playing to the forwards’ feet in order to continue to build the attack,” said Canicatti, on the offensive success that they experienced on Sunday and the preparation that went in to it. “I felt we did a great job of pressuring their defense and we were able to get several shots on goal.”
Offensive success will be a necessity if the Rams are to earn a berth in the A-10 tournament. Junior midfielder Widmann is one of Fordham’s best offensive players and, having just scored a goal and tallying two assists in their win, will look to carry her momentum in to next Sunday’s contest against Dayton.
“I would not be experiencing individual success at forward without the help from the rest of my teammates,” said Widmann, when asked about her individual success this past weekend. “Everyone worked hard against UMass, fighting until the end to win the game.”
Fordham (2-3-1, 4-8-3) currently sits at number nine in the conference, one behind the UMass Minutewomen (2-3-1, 6-8-2). The Rams have two remaining regular season contests, where they will need at least one win to have a chance at the eight seed. Their two contests come at Dayton next Sunday and against Duquesne next Friday. Two opponents could not be on more opposite sides of the spectrum, as Dayton is 5-0 in conference play and Duquesne is 1-2-1.
Ninth place in the conference will not be good enough, as only the top eight teams qualify. The Rams should be favored to win their last regular season game against Duquesne, but will find themselves as the underdog against Dayton. UMass faces Richmond and St. Bonaventure in their final two games, which occupy the 10th and 11th spots in the conference. The Minutewomen are likely to get at least one win against their remaining opponents, making Fordham’s matchup with Dayton next Sunday key. It could very well have the season on the line.