Women’s Soccer Loses to Saint Louis, Wins on Senior Day

Fittingly%2C+senior+Brooke+Salmon+netted+the+only+goal+on+Senior+Day+as+the+Rams+took+down+La+Salle+on+Sunday.+%28Julia+Comerford%2FThe+Fordham+Ram%29

Fittingly, senior Brooke Salmon netted the only goal on Senior Day as the Rams took down La Salle on Sunday. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

By Charlie Maisano

Fittingly, senior Brooke Salmon netted the only goal on Senior Day as the Rams took down La Salle on Sunday. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

Its undefeated streak in the A-10 may have come to an end, but the Fordham women’s soccer team had plenty of reasons to celebrate this weekend.

The week started off on the wrong foot for the Rams on Thursday, as they fell to the Saint Louis Billikens on the road, 1-0. Both teams entered the contest unbeaten in the conference and looked to maintain their spot at the top of the standings with a victory.

Junior goaltender Kelly LaMorte had her work cut out for her from the opening whistle against the aggressive offense of the Billikens. She saved a season-high seven shots, including one on a penalty kick in the first half. Fordham’s defense struggled to help her out all night, as Saint Louis took 14 shots with eight of them on goal.

Unlike the Billikens, the Rams had a rough offensive performance. They only took four shots with three on goal. All three of their shots on goal came in the first half and they displayed very little offense in the second half.

With the game still scoreless into the 88th minute, both teams ramped up the pressure in order to prevent overtime. It was the Billikens who were finally able to break through against LaMorte on their eighth shot against her. Freshman Hannah Friedrich scored her eighth goal of the season to give Saint Louis the lead and eventually the victory. The loss made Fordham 5-1-1 in the A-10, while Saint Louis remained unbeaten at 7-0-0.

The Rams had to move on from the loss and prepare both physically and mentally for their game on Sunday against the La Salle Explorers. The matinee was Senior Day for Fordham and all six seniors were honored in a pre-game ceremony. The six student-athletes who were honored consisted of Lane Cronin, Clara Gastaldi, Brooklyn Gonzalez, Colleen Hickey, captain Brooke Salmon and Keri Villano.

“It’s a special day with a little extra emotion and perhaps want from that class,” said head coach Jessica Clinton. “Seniors take such pride in the day and are playing in front of family and friends that haven’t seen them play before. A little extra push is always nice.”

After a scoreless first half, the Rams opened the second half with the deciding goal between two of the seniors. In the 53rd minute, Cronin took a corner kick and was headed into the back of the net by Salmon who waited for the ball right in front of the box. The score was Salmon’s second of the season and marked the third consecutive year a senior scored the game-winning goal on Senior Day.

When the clock ran out, the Rams charged the field in celebration, as they officially clinched a spot in the A-10 Tournament for the first time since 2016.

Coach Clinton was elated to be back in the tournament after the Rams missed out last season.

“We were absolutely disappointed and gutted last year because we fought in games and things didn’t go our way. This year, our group has worked so hard to get themselves in a position to clinch early and I’m so proud of them. This is our senior class’ third trip to the A-10 Tournament and there is a lot to be said about that.”

Just because they clinched a spot does not mean the Rams can relax just yet. There are still two more games left in the regular season, and seeding for a potential home game in the first round is still at stake.

Coach Clinton said the main takeaway for this team heading into the final stretch of the season is to make sure they finish in the top four of the conference, plain and simple. The Rams first crack at clinching a home game will be tomorrow when they host the Saint Joseph’s Hawks at 7 p.m. They wrap up the regular season on the road this Sunday against the Duquesne Dukes at 1 p.m.