Fordham Men’s Soccer Caves to Saint Louis Billikens

The Rams fell to 3-7-1 as offensive woes continue in underwhelming 2021 season



Nick Buchholz, FCRH ’24, made nine saves against the Billikens, but the effort was not enough to avoid defeat.


The Fordham men’s soccer team lost 2-0 against the Saint Louis University (SLU) Billikens on Saturday, Oct. 2. In Fordham’s third Atlantic 10 (A10) Conference game of the season, the Billikens, ranked 15th in the nation in the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll, remained undefeated with a 7-0-3 overall record while Fordham fell to 3-7-1. 

In the first half of the game, the Billikens took multiple shots at Fordham’s goal but keeper Nick Buchholz, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’24, blocked nine attempts. On one shot, John Klein, SLU ’23, swiftly kicked the ball toward the goal but it was not strong enough. The ball landed near the goal and out of Buchholz’s reach, but defender Luke McNamara, Gabelli Graduate School of Business ’22, entered the six-yard box and made the save.

The Rams were more aggressive than usual in this game, as commentators noted that Matt Sloan, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’22, appeared well on his way to getting carded. Strong team defense worked well for Fordham, especially for Buchholz who prevented a landslide defeat.

Fordham’s offense improved greatly in the second half as players were able to attempt six shots, but the team failed to convert on any of these opportunities.

Buchholz’s performance in this game was stunning, and made sure that the Billikens had no easy shot. He made an especially difficult save after Klein made another shot on goal and he extended himself. Using every extra inch of height he could get, he blocked the shot by tapping the ball over the crossbar with his fingertips. 

Buchholz had a rough time, however, with the speed and strategy that Saint Louis employed. With 23 minutes left in the first half, Simon Becher, SLU ’23, was up against McNamara, who acted like a shadow to Becher as he trailed him from half field. Unable to shake McNamara, Becher made a pass to Klein, who was immediately confronted with pressure from the Rams. He sent the ball back to Becher. Staggered by the quick movements made by the Billikens, the Rams left the goal post wide open and Becher’s shot snuck behind Buchholz and put Saint Louis in the lead, 1-0. 

10 minutes after its first goal, Sebastian Fabrin, FCRH ’24, brought Christian Buendia, SLU ’25, down forcefully, giving the Billikens a free kick. The free kick landed on the head of Mujeeb Murana, SLU ’24, who redirected it into the goal. At halftime, Saint Louis led, 2-0.

In the second half of the game, the Billikens aimed to convert an early score as Becher made an attempt immediately following the break. The ball skated around Buchholz’s legs and rolled near the goal, but McNamara again acted as goalie and sent the ball out toward the middle of the field. Fordham’s overall defense was stronger this half, as the Rams consistently blocked every shot attempt and intercepted many passes made by the Billikens. 

Fordham’s offense improved greatly in the second half as players were able to attempt six shots, but the team failed to convert on any of these opportunities.

Fordham’s defeat could have been worse if not for the efforts of Buchholz and the Rams’ defense. This does not, however, take away from the implications of the loss, as the team now falls to 10th in the A10 standings with a 1-2 record in the conference. The Rams will look to salvage what has become a disappointing year as they face Davidson College on Wednesday, Oct. 6.