Rams Hoping to Break Away from the Pack


Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year Tim Richardson, FCRH ’12. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)


Published: August 25, 2010

Finishing last season with an overall record of 9-7-3 and an Atlantic 10 conference record of 6-1-2, the Fordham University men’s soccer team is looking to improve in the upcoming season. Coming off a 2-0 preseason victory over Long Island University last week, the Rams are starting strong this season.

Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year Tim Richardson, FCRH ’12. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

Leading the charge for the Rams this year is 2009 A-10 Midfielder of the Year, Tim Richardson, FCRH ’12. Having had a great 2009 season with the Rams, Richardson led the team in goals (6), points (14) and game winning goals (3).

With the start of the 2010 season just around the corner, head coach Jim McElderry believes that Richardson can improve on his stellar 2009 play. “He takes really good care of himself. He takes the game seriously so I expect him to have a very good season,” McElderry said.

Beginning their 2009 season on Sept. 2, the Rams played a home game against Hartwick College. Although the Rams had many opportunities, the team was unable to capitalize and lost the season opener 1-0.

This loss, however, was just the beginning of a downward spiral for the Rams. They lost their next three games and began the season with a four-game losing streak.

Describing last year as a work in progress season, McElderry believes this time around things will be different.

“I think last year was a little bit of a work in progress. We had a couple injuries at the beginning of the season and we tried to figure out what would work best. I think this year is a little bit different. We got a pretty good group of guys returning and we have a couple of incoming freshmen that can help us right away so we think it will be more of an easier transition,” McElderry said.

Despite the poor start to the 2009 season, the Rams were able to turn their season around with a 1-0 away victory over Massachusetts on October 3. With the victory the Rams gained momentum and went on to win the next four games, which included victories over conference rivals St. Bonaventure and George Washington.

With this mini winning streak, the Rams were able to the turn their season around, changing a 2-5-1 record into an above .500 record of 7-5-1. From then on the Rams were inconsistent, only notching a couple of wins in their last five games of the season, finishing off the 2009 season with a 9-7-3 record.

In spite of a mediocre overall record, the Rams finished the season an impressive 6-1-2 against conference opponents.

As a result, the Rams were able to qualify for the Atlantic 10 Championships seeded third. This was an improvement from the last two seasons, in which they were seeded fifth.

As the third-ranked team in the tournament, the Rams were set to face sixth seeded St. Bonaventure. Even though Fordham won their regular season game against St. Bonaventure on October 9, the Rams came up short in the A-10 championships, losing 1-0 to the Bonnies.

This was the third consecutive time the Rams were knocked out in the quarterfinal stage of the tournament.

Despite constantly failing to get past the quarterfinal, McElderry believes worrying about the past is not helpful. Instead, he feels that qualifying for the conference playoffs is the more important goal. “We will first try to get into the conference playoffs. I think that’s always the first step after that we will try in finish in the top two so that we can get a bye,” McElderry said.

With a sense of optimism in the air, McElderry hopes the returning players and incoming freshmen can help the team’s chances. “We have a couple of incoming guys, as well as returning players who have stepped up their level of play since last fall. We expect them to have bigger roles then they had in the past,” McElderry said.

The Rams will begin their regular season on Sept. 1 with a home game against Adelphi University and aim to make it to their fourth-straight Atlantic 10 tournament.