Men’s Soccer on Wrong Side of Thrilling Finish


By Andrew Posadas

Rashid Nuhu sends a ball downfield. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Scattered thunderstorms set the mood for this year’s Battle of the Bronx between Manhattan and Fordham. The 25th-ranked Rams came into Wednesday evening’s game having drawn in their last two games, while the Jaspers sported a four-game winning streak. Fordham’s finest were focused on finishing a season-starting road trip on a high note. However, a last second corner kick from Manhattan gave the Rams their first loss of the season, and their first to Manhattan in 14 years.

The Battle of the Bronx, at least between the men’s soccer teams, has not been much of a battle lately. Just twenty minutes separates each school in the boogie down, but the distance between wins for Manhattan is much further.

It had been fourteen years since the Rams caught a L from Manhattan College. Putting things in perspective, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dorm fourteen years ago.

This year’s battle saw Manhattan more aggressive than Fordham, outshooting them 11 to five. It didn’t seem to bother senior goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu or junior defender Joergen Oland, anchors for the Ram’s defense, as they were holding the Jaspers scoreless. While defensively in sync, the offense for Fordham seemed stagnant throughout stretches of play.

With less than ten minutes to go, momentum and, most importantly, possession began to favor the Rams. It only seemed fitting that the #CardiacRams hashtag be used again to bask in its glory for Twitter to see. Late-game heroics are essentially this team’s calling card so far in the young season. Unfortunately, lady luck wasn’t wearing maroon and white tonight.

Thirty-six seconds separated regulation and overtime, a situation the Rams have frequently been in this season. However, they weren’t able to extend the game to their comfort zone of overtime, as Manhattan netted a corner kick to win 1-0.

You almost forget how much late-game losses hurt following the men’s soccer team, especially when they’ve answered the bell countless times, mustered up enough magic to come back and win close games. They grind out hard-fought victories. Being on the wrong side of a dramatic finish isn’t Fordham’s style.

Starting the year with six games on the road is a daunting task to ask of your team. However, head coach Jim McElderry understands that this team thrives under competition. Playing solid teams now only benefits the squad moving forward into conference play. Going 3-1-2 in the process isn’t ideal, but they Rams will take a winning percentage back home.

Fordham now begins a four-game home stand, opening this Friday evening at 7 p.m. against Columbia.