Fordham Men’s Soccer Prepares for Atlantic 10 Championship

The Rams completed their undefeated season last Saturday, qualifying as the third seed for the championship tournament

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COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

The men’s soccer team is poised to make another run in the A10 Championship after a 5-0-2 regular season.

By CHRISTOPHER MURRAY

The Fordham men’s soccer team concluded its season this past Saturday with a 2-0 victory against St. Joseph’s University. The Rams’ win secured them the third seed in the four-team Atlantic 10 (A10) Championship and completed their undefeated 2021 campaign. 

Despite a monthlong hiatus due to COVID-19 protocols, Fordham was able to finish the season strong. During the final month of their season, the Rams won four of their final six games to finish with a 5-0-2 record. 

The Rams’ soccer team is led by four captains: goalkeeper Josh Levine, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’21; forward Sameer Fathazada, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’21; midfielder Jacob Bohm, FCRH ’21; and defender Matt Sloan, GSAS ’21. 

Levine was named the A10 Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after making three saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season. Levine owns the highest save percentage in the A10, saving 88.2% of shots attempted against him. 

Fathazada is tied for the lead in points this season for the Rams. He has three goals and one assist, including the decisive goal from the penalty spot in Fordham’s double-overtime (2OT) win against a then-unbeaten University of Massachusetts Amherst team. 

Bohm, a member of the 2017 A10 All-Rookie Team, has played a large role in securing the midfield for the Rams this season. He also notched an assist in Fordham’s final game of the season.

goalkeeper wearing an orange jersey in a soccer game
Josh Levine, GSAS ’21, has been the best goalkeeper in the A10 this season, saving 88.2% of his opponents’ shots. (COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS)

Sloan has five points this season and leads the Rams in shots attempted. He has been a crucial member of the Fordham defense which has led the A10 in goals allowed (four) and finished second in goals against per game (.57). 

The four captains are not the only Rams making contributions for the team this season. Luke McNamara, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’21, and Florian Deletioglu, GSBRH ’24, have both scored three times, a tie for the most goals on the team.

Defender Jack Sluys, GSBRH ’22, has also helped the Rams find success. The junior has played all 690 possible minutes for Fordham this season and has served as the backbone for the Fordham defense. 

It is safe to say that Fordham has exceeded expectations this season. The Rams were chosen to finish fifth in the conference by the A10 Preseason Poll, yet they finished third overall by points despite playing one fewer game than both of the teams ahead of them in the standings. The Rams also finished the season as the sole undefeated team in the A10. 

Fordham will be competing in its seventh straight A10 championship tournament on Thursday, April 15. The Rams will face the Saint Louis University Billikens, who finished second in the conference. While the Billikens’ point total surpasses Fordham’s, their win percentage is just .667. This pales in comparison to Fordham’s .800 win percentage.

This should not diminish from the Billikens’ success this season. Saint Louis’ soccer team has outscored its opponents 26 to 7 this season and lost just twice in conference play. To reinforce the team’s status as a formidable opponent, both of its losses in the conference came in 2OT. The Billikens competed fiercely for the entirety of both of those matches, coming up just short. 

soccer player in a white uniform kicking a ball
Sameer Fathazada, FCRH ’21, has been a playmaker all season for Fordham, scoring three goals in seven games. (COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS)

As Fordham looks to complete a near-perfect season, it will depend on its leadership and depth. The Rams have an abundance of upperclassmen and 11 different point scorers on their roster, and this formula has proven to be a winning one thus far. 

The season also represents another successful campaign for second-year coach Carlo Acquista. Last season, he led the Rams to a 5-2-1 A10 record and to the A10 Championship Semifinals. An A10 championship would be a tremendous positive mark on the coach’s young career at Fordham. 

The four-team soccer championship will begin on April 15 with the 1-seed University of Dayton Flyers facing the 4-seed George Washington University Colonials at 1 p.m. The Rams will then meet the Saint Louis University Billikens at 4 p.m. in an effort to extend their season. The championship game will occur on April 17 at Baujan Field at the University of Dayton. All games can be viewed on ESPN+.

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