Fordham Women’s Soccer Crushes Rhode Island, 3-1

The two Rams went head-to-head, with the Bronx coming out on top in the second half


Kristen Cocozza, GSBRH ‘23, fired a shot into the corner of the net from 28 yards out to give Fordham a commanding 2-0 lead.


The Fordham women’s soccer team defeated the University of Rhode Island (URI) Rams 3-1 in another Atlantic 10 (A10) conference thriller. The season has seen its ups and downs for Fordham, but as the A10 schedule has progressed, there has been a marked improvement in performance. Prior to the URI contest, they won three out of five games. This is an impressive start for a team that has struggled in the A10 in previous seasons.

As the game opened, Fordham mostly controlled possession. They managed to send multiple shots at goalkeeper Faith Hutchins, URI ’24, including three that were swatted away. It wasn’t until the 44th minute that Ryann Lucas, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’25, managed to knock a goal in: a 30-yard volley into the top right corner.

Whatever hope URI had at the start of the second half was quickly extinguished by a yellow card on Hope Santaniello, URI ’25. This quickly led to Kristen Cocozza, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’23, hitting a 28-yard rocket into the top left to put Fordham up 2-0 with a half hour left to play.

URI marched back up the field to respond and found an answer in Tali O’Leary, URI ’23, whose first shot was saved by Fordham keeper Kyla King, FCRH ’26. A second-chance shot by O’Leary sent the ball into the net to put the score at 2-1.

An 84th-minute yellow card on Cambrie Arboreen, FCRH ’24, did not stop the Fordham offense from chugging along. Arboreen got into position, throwing off two defenders and scoring an insurance goal to solidify Forhdam’s emphatic win.

The win against URI is an encouraging sign of potential for the Fordham squad. They fell considerably short last year, going 2-7-1 in the conference, which included a 2-1 loss to URI. Over five conference games this year, Fordham has played with vigor, scoring nine goals over that stretch.

The Fordham Rams have also had some coaching staff shake-ups before the start of the season. A new head coach, Magnus Nilerud, who previously spent 23 years at the University of Bridgeport, was announced before the start of the season. The hiring of new assistant coaches and trainers has also drastically changed the makeup of the team.

In addition, there are 14 new players on the roster. This includes Canadian midfielder Tristan McFarlane, GSBRH ’25, who has started every game this season. Natalie Velde, FCRH ’26, is another international recruit, hailing from Norway. She has also played in all games this season so far and recorded three goals.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen if the changes in the roster and coaching staff will impact the course of Fordham’s women’s soccer program. Fordham currently holds a 4-7-1 record across the season, concealing their decent conference run so far. However, if the contest against URI is any indication, Fordham’s promising start in the A10 is just the beginning.

Get the latest Fordham sports updates on your Twitter feed. Follow The Observer’s sports Twitter page here.