Men’s Soccer Holds on for Victory Over Columbia


Fordham took down Columbia on Friday night, and the team is getting ready for Atlantic 10 conference play. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Andrew Posadas

Fordham took down Columbia on Friday night, and the team is getting ready for Atlantic 10 conference play. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

In any sport, you can be assured that every team has one common objective for their season: win the home opener. Winning your first home game can be crucial in starting the season off on the right foot. Luckily for the Fordham Men’s Soccer, their home opener was decided by the right foot of senior Janos Loebe.

Ideally, your first game at home won’t be against major competition. Don’t tell Fordham’s finest that. Head Coach Jim McElderry has made it clear that they wanted a tough non-conference schedule to prep them for A10 conference play. That’s why it only made sense for Fordham to host Columbia, a team eerily similar to them.

Columbia, like Fordham, also received a bid to last year’s NCAA tournament. The Lions came into Jack Coffey Field winners of three out of their last four games, including an impressive road win over then 11th-ranked Butler. They also had bragging rights over the Rams, having beaten them last season. Seniors Janos Loebe and Rashid Nuhu looked to change that.

Both squads opened the first 20 minutes of the game with aggressive offense. Fordham’s best chance came in the 20th minute when Loebe found freshman Sindri Ingimarsson for a header off of a corner kick, only to be denied by the Columbia goalkeeper.
Just three minutes later, junior Johannes Pieles capitalized on a costly Columbia turnover at midfield. Pieles quickly put Fordham in attack mode before finding Loebe on a beautiful through ball. Wasting little time, Loebe drove a shot past the keeper for his first goal since the Rams’ season opener at Holy Cross.

Fordham would then have to step up defensively, given Columbia’s constant pressure to find the equalizing goal. As they have from the first game, junior defender Joergen Oland and the aforementioned goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu have been anchors for the defense. Both would have busy nights as the Lions outshot the Rams, 15-5.
Oland admitted how fatigued he felt after the game, but made sure to add the win was the team’s main focus. “Yeah I’m dead [tired] now. Had a dead leg in the beginning of the [second] half which made it hard to run but we got an important win.”

Nuhu would have two highlight saves throughout the match. One off of a header in the box in the last minute of the first half, preserving Fordham’s lead. The second save would come late in the second half on a last minute Columbia free kick, giving him his second cleansheet of the season. Loebe’s goal would prove to be the winning one, improving Fordham’s record to 4-1-2.

Fordham’s game against Seton Hall this Tuesday was cancelled due to rain and thunderstorms in the area. Men’s Soccer continues its homestand this Saturday against Seton Hall at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.