Fordham Women’s Soccer Triumphs Over George Mason

The Rams defeated their conference rivals in a dominant season finale



Midfielder Danielle Etienne, FCRH ’23, scored the first goal of the game, bringing Fordham to victory over George Mason.


The Fordham women’s soccer team beat the George Mason University (GMU) Patriots in a resounding 2-0 victory on Saturday, Oct. 24, in their last game of the season, signaling toward a promising future for the program as Head Coach Jessica Clinton looks to rebuild. 

The outcome of the Parent’s Weekend was quickly secured in Fordham’s favor, with the first goal coming within three minutes courtesy of a free-kick by midfielder Danielle Etienne, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23. The Patriots failed to respond in the ensuing 87 minutes.

Etienne is a star player for Fordham and is also a member of the Haitian national team. In 2020, she helped lead her country to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Olympic Qualifiers. 

This win was far from ordinary for the Rams — this season has not been what Clinton hoped for.

The Rams’ second goal came after 10 minutes on a technically brilliant shot by Milan Bornstein, FCRH ’22, off a perfect pass by Jenna Devine, FCRH ’22. Fordham’s defense was notable and held firm throughout the game, particularly in the second half. 

Ultimately, the Rams’ win didn’t count for much; the Rams now stand 13th in the Atlantic 10 (A10) conference with a 4-12-2 record. It was a frustrating game for George Mason, as they needed one more win to have a chance at securing sixth place.

This win was far from ordinary for the Rams — this season has not been what Clinton hoped for. Going 4-12 overall with 2 draws, the team struggled enormously to build momentum. Before this last game, the Rams scored a total of two goals in five previous contests. Players like Etienne and Alexandra Taylor, FCRH ’24, were moved from position to position throughout the season, and their offense has been less than stellar. 

Taylor began the season as a forward and helped the team on the attacking end, but in this last game, she played back in the mid-field. Despite difficulties, the Rams did show marked improvement from the previous full season in 2019.

Clinton struggled in 2019 to maintain the Rams’ reputation as a solid defensive team, which has been the general expectation after previous years of high defensive intensity under her tutelage. This season, the Rams allowed 30 goals and scored 18 across 18 contests. 

The ratio is an improvement from 2019, when the Rams went 5-11-4 and scored 15 goals while allowing 32. The Rams should look to continue improving their defense to put themselves back in the A10 conversation.

Additionally, Bornstein’s career season was a major highlight. She scored five goals across all games and made her 81st appearance against VCU on Oct. 14, breaking the record previously held by Brooke Salmon, FCRH ’18. Forward Caitlin Kennedy, FCRH ’23, has also had a career season with five goals. She was named A10 Offensive Player of the week twice, attributed partially to her four-game goal-scoring streak in late August and early February.

What went wrong for the Rams’ this season was clearly not present in this final contest, raising hopes for a more successful next season. The 200-plus fans and parents in attendance were as energetic as if the past season hadn’t happened and the Rams fed off of their energy. The previously struggling defense did not show any weakness against George Mason. 

The Rams demonstrated the exact kind of effort needed to win a game against a playoff contender.

In the first half, the Patriots were taken by surprise, facing unrelenting pressure on every single attack, and barely getting the ball past midfield. It was an electric Fordham offense that anchored the defensive energy. The Rams demonstrated the exact kind of effort needed to win a game against a playoff contender.

In the first three minutes, a rough foul by George Mason midfielder Sarah Chontosh, GMU ’22, led to a free kick by Etienne. The kick was long, around 20 yards, but Etienne managed to expertly weave the ball past the Patriots defense into the top right corner of the net, grazing the crossbar. The Rams erupted in cheers. For the first time in a while, Fordham had a reason to celebrate early.

Just seven minutes later, a rapid Fordham push brought the ball up the midfield. Hope Baisley, Gabelli Graduate School of Business ’22, passed to Devine in the keeper’s box. Devine crossed left to Bornstein who placed the ball right in the center of the goal past GMU keeper Louisa Moser, GMU ’22.

against George mason, alexandra taylor kicks the ball
Alexandra Taylor, FCRH ’24, began as a forward but played this game as a midfielder. (COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS)

The rest of the first half and the entire second half had little in the way of offense from both sides. The Rams milked the clock, and the midfielders did the dirty work of clearing nearly every Patriot attack, giving Fordham keeper Serena Mensah, FCRH ’24, little to do. Only twice did Mensah need to step in and even then, the Patriot shots were not on goal. 

The game ended with the Rams fervently clearing every ball and a mad 11th-hour dash by the Patriots to get at least one goal in. Ultimately, Fordham’s defense held, and the game ended 2-0 in the Rams’ favor. 

This final game was what Clinton saw as a reason for optimism. A solid team win, with high octane offense and unrelenting defense, which has put the Rams in a position to make a statement next season.