Men’s Soccer Flounders Against George Washington

Despite outshooting Colonials 14-4 and dominating play, Rams fall a goal short



Max Rogers, FCRH ’24, scored the lone goal for the Rams in the loss against George Washington.


The Fordham men’s soccer team lost its second consecutive game on Saturday, Sept. 25, falling 2-1 to the George Washington University (GWU) Colonials. The Rams entered the contest with a disappointing 2-5-1 record overall, but an undefeated record within the conference entering the game warranted hopeful sentiments as the Atlantic 10 (A10) rival Colonials visited Jack Coffey Field.

Fordham entered the game looking to move on from its tumultuous 4-3 loss to Rider University just four days prior. Former U19 Wales National Team goalkeeper Callum James, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’23, returned to the starting lineup for the Rams and the squad appeared rejuvenated in the early stages in front of the friendly crowd.

The game got off to a slow start, with neither team able to find their footing early on. As the first half continued, the Rams controlled the ball in George Washington’s defensive zone. Despite this possessive domination, the Colonials still managed to earn key chances throughout the half. 

With 23 minutes remaining in the first half, George Washington found a prime opportunity to score. The ball ended up at the feet of Tim Neumann, GWU ’24, who fired a shot from the top of the box. The attempt was easily handled by James, but he allowed a rebound that resulted in a point-blank follow-up. This time, James held onto the ball, as the proceeding shot was aimed directly at the keeper.

The first half continued without many major chances for either team, but this changed with just four minutes left in the period. Goalkeeper Justin Grady, GWU ’23, found one of his teammates’ heads with a long pass up the field and the deflected ball fell perfectly to forward Tom Cooklin, GWU ’23. The resulting breakaway forced James to leave his net and challenge the ball, but Cooklin wisely chipped the ball over the helpless keeper’s reach, giving George Washington a 1-0 lead. 

The goal and newfound deficit created an unfortunate situation for the Rams, as it appeared the early-season struggle was destined to continue. It did not take long for Fordham to respond, however. 

With just a minute left in the first half, a strong push by Fordham led to a handball inside the Colonials’ penalty area. Max Rogers, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’24, stood over the ensuing penalty shot and buried it into the back of the net, leveling the competition at one goal apiece going into the half. 

Fordham continued to get encouraging looks and maintain possession for long stretches at a time.

The Rams opened the second half with a newfound sense of spirit, capitalizing on their extensive possession to create high-quality chances. Fordham continued to make dangerous crosses but could not beat Grady.

With 28 minutes left in the second half, Oscar Haynes Brown, GWU ’22, had an alarming opportunity deep in Fordham’s territory. Brown possessed the ball inside of the penalty area. After cutting toward the goal line, he fired a dangerous shot, but James absorbed it into his stomach. 

Nevertheless, Fordham continued to get encouraging looks and maintain possession for long stretches at a time. One such chance came with 22 minutes remaining, as a deflected ball made its way to the feet of Jacob Bohm, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22. He fired a rocket that likely would have given the Rams the lead had a brave George Washington defender not put his body on the line to deflect the ball away.

The tie would be broken just minutes later. Many of George Washington’s best opportunities in the second half resulted from corner kicks surrendered by Fordham. With 20 minutes left in the second half, a failed clearance by defender Adrian Valentine, GSBRH ’23, led to yet another Colonial corner. 

George Washington cashed in on this chance, with a high arching cross from Cooklin sailing over James, who only managed to get a finger on the ball. The perfectly placed kick found its way to Aaron Kronenberg, GWU ’24, who tapped it in to give the Colonials a 2-1 lead. 

The game was far from over, with Fordham continuing to apply pressure to the George Washington defense. The Colonials surrendered a free kick dangerously close to their penalty area with just six minutes remaining. The foul was committed by Hrólfur Sveinsson, GWU ’22, who, upon voicing his displeasure with the call, received a red card and was immediately ejected from the game. 

After the brief stoppage, Fordham found itself with a premier chance to even the game. Rogers and Matt Sloan, GSAS ’22, stood over the ball for a moment before Rogers swung his leg and struck the ball. The beautiful shot seemed destined for the back of the net, evading both the wall of Colonial defenders as well as Grady’s outstretched arm. The ball could not evade Grady’s best friend — the crossbar — and it ricocheted off the post. 

It is fair to say that Fordham outplayed the Colonials, but at the end of the day, the only statistic that matters is wins and losses.

For the final five minutes, Fordham and George Washington found themselves in somewhat of a pattern. The Colonials, determined to prevent any open opportunities for the Rams, routinely fouled a Fordham player, leading to a promising free kick, which the Rams then failed to cash in on. 

Fordham’s final opportunity of the game came with 17 seconds remaining when a foul on George Washington gave the Rams a free kick from about 20 yards out. It was once again Rogers’ time to shine. He connected with the ball and sent a stunning shot toward the top corner of the net. A spectacular diving save from Grady pushed the ball to safety and secured the upset victory for the Colonials.

As the Rams fall to 2-6-1, it is fair to wonder what is going on with the Fordham squad. The story of this loss was a failure to capitalize on opportunities. The Rams outshot George Washington 14-4, but they left Coffey Field with just a lone goal to show for it. It is fair to say that Fordham outplayed the Colonials, but at the end of the day, the only statistic that matters is wins and losses. 

Fordham is running out of time to turn things around. The team once projected to finish first in the A10 now finds itself in ninth with few promising takeaways to be had from the young season. Crazier things have happened, however, and the Rams can still salvage the year and compete for a second consecutive A10 Championship.