Women’s Soccer Wins First Two Games of A-10 Action


Fordham Women’s Soccer followed up its victory over Richmond with a blowout against George Washington (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram).

By Charlie Maisano

Fordham Women’s Soccer followed up its victory over Richmond with a blowout against George Washington (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram).

The Fordham women’s soccer team wrapped up its five-game home stand against two conference opponents. The contests ended quite differently from one another.

The Rams began last week with a 3-5 record and entered the match against the Richmond Spiders, their first Atlantic 10 foe of the year, on a two-game winning streak. For the Spiders, the beginning of conference play would hopefully be a way to jumpstart their season; they came to Jack Coffey Field on Thursday winless in their eight games played.

Fordham was on the attack early but was unable to get anything past Richmond goalie Emily Wigg. They outshot the Spiders 8-4 in the first half, but Wigg finished the first 45 minutes with four saves. That is the most saves made by an opponent in the first half against the Rams this season.

The second half was more of the same from both squads. Neither team was able to put the ball in the back of the net, so they headed to overtime. One overtime period wasn’t enough either, which meant Fordham would play in its second double overtime game of the home stand.

Unlike the first double overtime game, the Rams were the ones celebrating on the pitch. Senior Clara Gastaldi punched a game-ending shot from the right side of the box diagonally inside the left post in the 107th minute of the match. The game-winner was her second goal of the season.

Head coach Jessica Clinton was glad her team got the win, but did not expect the winless Spiders to play at such a high level when the game began.

“Richmond came out completely different,” said Clinton. “They high pressed from the whistle which was a surprise based off of what I had seen, but our group also knows that conference play is completely different and things can change in an instant. I was proud of the team’s response to how Richmond started.”

To round out both the two-and-a-half week homestand and Homecoming Weekend, the Rams faced the George Washington Colonials on Sunday. The team not only wanted to continue its now three-game winning streak, but it also wanted to prove to the other conference coaches that they were wrong in their predicitions. George Washington was ranked eighth, one spot ahead of Fordham, in the A-10 preseason coaches’ poll.

The Rams got some revenge within the first 16 minutes of the game. Gastaldi was fouled in the box by a Colonial defender, which allowed Clinton to choose someone for a penalty kick. She decided to choose team captain, senior Brooke Salmon. Salmon buried the shot in the right corner of the net, her first of the season, to give Fordham the early 1-0 lead.

After halftime, the team went on a scoring barrage. Junior Amanda Miller doubled the Fordham lead with her first goal of the season in the 59th minute. Ten minutes later, junior Margaret Roughley took a cross in the box from Miller and smashed the ball past George Washington’s Anna Tapen while sliding. Her third goal of the season made it 3-0 Rams.

Four minutes later, Roughley was unleashed once more. She scored again, this time from sophomore Maura Holst, to finish off the Colonials 4-0. The second goal by Roughley cemented her first career multi-goal game and helped the Rams win their fourth consecutive game.

Clinton loved what she saw from Roughley at Jack Coffey Field-

“Her aggressiveness works everywhere,” she said. “She’s a tempo changing player. She can change the tempo with her movement, the pass or the dribble. That’s what makes her so deadly. She has a strong soccer IQ, and she’s getting better with each game.”

With the long home stand over, the Rams will begin a two-game road trip this week. They will play the Davidson Wildcats tomorrow and the Rhode Island Rams on Sunday.

Although the team hasn’t played on the road in an extended period of time, Clinton knows the team can handle the challenge.

“We know traveling is tough,” she said. “I feel like we are taking care of each other and playing smartly. Momentum for us comes from our confidence. Our bench group has really given us a boost. Everyone needs to continue to be great.”