Men’s Soccer Easily Handles Business Against La Salle

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Men’s Soccer Easily Handles Business Against La Salle

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By Andrew Posadas

Janos Loebe scored two goals in Fordham’s 3-0 victory over La Salle on Saturday night. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

With a week off prior to this past Saturday’s game against La Salle, head coach Jim McElderry and his squad benefitted from the extra rest this late in the season. Noting Fordham’s multiple overtime games this year, McElderry felt the time off revitalized the team going into its matchup with the La Salle Explorers.

From the opening whistle, Fordham controlled possession and pushed the ball into La Salle’s final third of the field. Leading the charge was Fordham’s triple threat on offense: senior Janos Loebe, sophomore Sameer Fathazada and junior Johannes Pieles.

With each passing game, the synergy between said three players becomes more evident. All three have shown the ability to make plays for one another and their teammates in open space. This became even clearer, when in the 25th minute, Loebe found Fathazada on a pin-point cross. The sophomore transfer from Oral Roberts put in the finish for his fifth goal this season.

Coach McElderry praised his team’s focus in implementing the game plan detailed throughout the week, as Fordham looked to find their attacking players in transition early and often. Speaking of Janos, Sameer and Johannes, McElderry believes they’re “really working off each other well as the season winds down, so we are much more dangerous in the final third of the field.”

Loebe kept his foot on the throttle offensively, going upper 90 in the 40th minute to punctualize a 2-0 Fordham lead at halftime. It marked Loebe’s fourth game with at least one goal and one assist.

The second half would see more of the same. Fordham outclassed La Salle on both sides of the field, limiting the Explorers to six shots for the entire game. Senior Rashid Nuhu notched only one save, but recorded his sixth shutout of the year.

With a win nearly in hand, a foul awarded the Rams a penalty kick in the 90th minute. Loebe stepped into the box and stepped out with his second goal of the evening. Fordham’s third goal finished off an unblemished 3-0 victory.

Fordham now moves to 8-3-4 on the year, but more importantly, are 4-2-1 in A-10 play. The Rams have now clinched a spot in the A-10 conference tournament with one game remaining on their schedule.

This Wednesday, Fordham men’s soccer closes out its season at home against Dayton on Senior Day. It should prove to be one of the more emotional Senior Days, given the class graduating this year. Perhaps the most successful class in Fordham men’s soccer history, the group includes Janos Loebe, Rashid Nuhu, Vincenzo Zuccala, Dan Miklos, Owen Lawrence and Matt Miller.

On sending his seniors out the right way, McElderry told me, “I hope we as a team can have them win their last regular season game at home and look to secure a home playoff match on Sunday.”