Men’s Soccer Struggling to Find Momentum in A-10 Play


Fordham split two games this week against St. Bonaventure and Massachusetts (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

By Andrew Posadas

Fordham split two games this week against St. Bonaventure and Massachusetts (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

Conference play in October can be tough for any college soccer team. It can be especially difficult when every team in the conference is giving you their best shot. That seems to be the case this season for Fordham’s finest. When you make a successful run in the NCAA tournament as Fordham did last season, you unintentionally draw a target on your back.

The Rams were ranked first in the A-10 preseason poll coming into the season, prompting coach McElderry to say, “We know every team in conference wants to knock us out.”

Four games into conference play, Fordham is 2-2, and to be quite honest, it is a head-scratching 2-2. It’s been a tale of two different Fordham teams in conference games. Take this past week, for example. Last Wednesday, the Rams went on the road against a Duquesne team towards the bottom of the standings. Although Fordham looked like the better team, the Dukes played up to their competition, where a competitive game went into overtime.

It would take junior Joergen Oland’s team-leading fifth goal of the season to seal a Fordham victory on the road. A beautiful pass into the box from senior Janos Loebe found junior Johannes Pieles for a header that was saved by the Duquesne keeper. That would lead to Oland getting a shot off of the rebound to give Fordham the win.

This leads me to their last game this past Saturday against UMass. Again, Fordham played better throughout, but seemed a step off. First touches were off. Passing was off. The Rams didn’t seem to be in their normal groove. Scoreless at halftime, the Minutemen opened the second half with a goal in the 53rd minute. Even having outscored UMass 12-8, Fordham could not find the equalizer and ultimately lost the game 1-0.

Coach McElderry made an emphasis that the team “always has high expectations in conference,” so having lost two conference game to inferior teams is a bit troubling. Nevertheless, seeing this team at their best is reassuring if you’re a Fordham fan.

This same team went to Madison and beat Northwestern and Wisconsin on the road Labor Day weekend. The Rams also put up four goals against a Rhode Island team that had only conceded one goal prior to that conference game.

Every team goes through the dog days of their season. We can’t hold Fordham to a higher standard because of the run they made last year. I’m with McElderry; last year was last year. Success can’t always be carried over from season to season. I expect Fordham to be at their best heading into the A-10 tournament. Don’t forget this squad was ranked as high as 11th in the country. To quote Dennis Green’s famous football rant, Fordham men’s soccer is what we think it is: a contender for the national title.