Women’s Soccer Draws With URI on Senior Day

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Women’s Soccer Draws With URI on Senior Day

Women’s Soccer avoided a disappointing result at home to Rhode Island. (Alex Wolz/The Fordham Ram)

Women’s Soccer avoided a disappointing result at home to Rhode Island. (Alex Wolz/The Fordham Ram)

Women’s Soccer avoided a disappointing result at home to Rhode Island. (Alex Wolz/The Fordham Ram)

Women’s Soccer avoided a disappointing result at home to Rhode Island. (Alex Wolz/The Fordham Ram)

Charlie Maisano, Staff Writer

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The Fordham women’s soccer team may have only played one game this week, but it was an emotional and long one, to say the least.

After having a day off for the first time this season, the Rams tied 1–1 with the struggling Rhode Island Rams on Senior Day in a contest that went into double overtime. It was the seventh overtime game of the season for the team and it is now 2–2–3 when playing an opponent past 90 minutes.

Prior to the matchup, the five seniors on the team — Morgan Busacca, Kelly LaMorte, Juliana Mascelli, Amanda Miller and Maggie Roughley — had a moment to remember. Each of them was individually honored and celebrated with members of their family by their side for all the contributions they have made to the team and university over the course of four years.

“They’ve done a lot for this program and have truly left a legacy,” said head coach Jessica Clinton. “Now our work is not done yet, but what they have done to move this program forward really has been remarkable. Their work rate on and off of the field, consistency in their actions and just being great all around people makes being around this group really fun. They are not afraid to do the dirty work. That’s a big step for any individual, athlete or non-athlete. They are incredible women, and we are so fortunate that they chose Fordham.”

There was still a game to be played after the festivities concluded on the field. Neither team could get anything going offensively as they went into the locker room scoreless at the half.

The second half, on the other hand, changed only 27 seconds in. Rhode Island’s Rebecca D’Anna notched her third goal of the season on a shot from the top of the box to give the team their first lead against a conference opponent all season.

Fordham was a minute away from handing the other Rams their first win against an A-10 opponent since 2016, until the team caught a break at the last possible moment. In the 89th minute, Roughley was pushed in the box by a Rhode Island defender, which awarded Fordham a penalty kick. Rather than go with a player who has taken a penalty shot in recent games like Roughley or Maura Holst, Clinton decided junior Saige Bingman would take the high pressure shot. It ended up working out for the squad, as Bingman snuck the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to tie the game at one apiece.

“Maggie and Maura have already taken PKs,” said Clinton. “They’ve been scouted. Simply stated, Saige has not been. We also need to give Saige the confidence to step up to the spot when the game is on the line. We trust her. It was a growing moment for Saige, and she did a great job hitting it into the corner.”

In overtime, both Rams were unable to put the ball in the back of the net, and each team walked away with a point in the A-10 standings.

This game should have been one for the taking for Fordham, as the Rhode Island Rams sit at the very bottom in the conference and have not won a game since Sept. 8.

“No one ever gives credit to the teams that aren’t winning, but URI is good, and they are competitors,” said Clinton. “Our struggle is that we weren’t mentally focused. We played to their level, and our conversation with the team post-game was that today was not good enough. Our mentality, our mistakes — they were uncharacteristic. We need to regroup, refocus, but it had little to do with URI and more to do with our own battle.”

Clinton’s sentiment will have to hit home for the Rams, as they face the number one team in the conference, the Saint Louis Billikens, at Jack Coffey Field on Thursday night. This performance isn’t reflective of who the Rams are, but they need to figure that out quickly before a team that has actually won some games this month makes its way to the Bronx.