Men’s Soccer Back on Track With Win Over UMass

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Men’s Soccer Back on Track With Win Over UMass

Men’s Soccer now sits at 3–1 in the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference standings. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Men’s Soccer now sits at 3–1 in the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference standings. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Men’s Soccer now sits at 3–1 in the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference standings. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Men’s Soccer now sits at 3–1 in the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference standings. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Andrew Posadas, Assistant Sports Editor

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Fordham Men’s Soccer went into Amherst, Mass. over the weekend losers of its last three contests, which included two non-conference losses to Stony Brook University and Seton Hall University. During that three-match losing streak, the Rams offense has looked non-existent, outscored by those opponents 7–2. Luckily, its opponent on Saturday, the University of Massachusetts, also came into the matchup on a three-match losing streak of its own.

The Rams offense could not have been any more aggressive to begin the first half. In the first 10 minutes, Fordham earned two early corner kicks and tested the Minutemen goalkeeper Marvyn Dorchin with two shots on goal, one from junior midfielder Jacob Bohm and grad student forward Tomer Zloczower. UMass found itself playing on its heels on defense as a goal seemed imminent for the away team.

Fordham’s aggressiveness on offense would finally pay off in the 12th minute off the foot of Junior forward Sameer Fathazada. After the Rams were awarded a free kick due to a UMass foul, Fathazada lined up for a shot from about 25 yards out. He ripped a shot past the UMass defense and was able to put the ball just inside the post, where Dorchin could not get a glove on it. The goal is Fathazada’s second this season, and it would be the lone goal scored on the afternoon.

From there, the match saw Fordham’s defense control possession throughout and limit the Minutemen’s scoring chances in the 18-yard box. UMass had only seven total shots for the match, with only two of those shots coming on goal. Grad Student goalkeeper Konstantin Weis had perhaps his best game of the season, seemingly stifling every potential UMass offensive attack.

Behind Weis and the defensive back line, the Rams never looked back and maintained their 1–0 lead for the remainder of regulation. Fordham got itself a much-needed victory on the road, improving its record to 4–8–1 on the season. More importantly, head coach Carlo Acquista and his squad are now 3–1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, tied for fourth place with Duquesne University and George Mason University.

While the season has not gone exactly how Acquista envisioned in terms of out of conference success, the team’s success in the A-10 so far bodes well for the future. However, the schedule does not get much easier moving forward. Down the stretch, the Rams will have to face the likes of the aforementioned George Mason, as well as the two teams currently atop the A-10, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Those matchups will be the litmus test for a Rams team that has experienced a roller-coaster season filled with questionable losses and surprising wins. For Acquista, the first-year coach will be judged on how he finishes the regular season against stiffer competition in conference and if he can lead this team on a potential A-10 Championship run. The pressure will be squarely on him, considering this year’s A-10 Championship will be held in the Bronx at Jack Coffey Field.

Fordham Men’s Soccer will be back in action this upcoming Saturday at home against Saint Joseph’s University, who are currently winless in the conference at 0–4. The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN+.