Fordham Men’s Soccer Flounder Against Saint Louis 2-1

After going down early, the Rams struggled to close the gap in a physically taxing contest



The Rams struggled to keep up with Saint Louis’ physical play throughout the match.


After a thrilling draw against Davidson College the week prior, the Fordham men’s soccer team fell 2-1 to the Saint Louis University (SLU) Billikens during an Atlantic 10 (A10) matchup on Oct. 8. Although Fordham headed into the match with a two-game tie streak, the loss broke an undefeated run of 10 games.

From the first whistle, the Rams failed to impose themselves. Saint Louis had no issue in this regard and sought to capitalize on the Rams’ slow start. The Billikens played a defensive line formed by significant players such as Donny Ross, SLU ’25, Alberto Suarez, SLU ’23, and Enzo Okpoye, SLU ’23. They set multiple offside traps in the first 10 minutes of play, grinding Fordham’s progress to a halt. 

Saint Louis struck first at the end of the 12th minute of play. John Klein, SLU ’23, received a cross and fired the ball low into the corner. The shot was saved, but forward CJ Coppola, SLU ’26, secured the rebound and planted it in the back of the net, earning him his fourth goal of the season. 

As they attempted a hapless counterattack, the Rams could not find a foothold in the uphill battle they were facing. Fordham was unable to create a goal-scoring opportunity until a quick succession of shots by Sebastian Fabrin, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’24, and Savvas Christoforou, GSBRH ’23, in the 20th and 21st minutes of the game, respectively. Both shots were casually stopped by Carlos Tofern, SLU ’23. 

As the game progressed, it became a physical battle between both teams. The Rams began to work their way into the game, creating more attempts and shots. Conrado Duhour, GSBRH ’23, and Daniel Espeleta, Gabelli Graduate School of Business (GGSB) ’24, each attempted a shot as the clock wound down. 

Fordham only lost the game 2-1, but the match dealt a blow to the team’s momentum and placement in the A10 standings.

After the opening score, the physicality of the match resembled one of American football rather than soccer. Although the rest of the half featured just five shot attempts across both teams, it ended with Saint Louis racking up 16 fouls. The box score revealed this to be the most lopsided element of the game, as the Rams only committed three fouls in the half.

This would become the story of the game, as the second half provided much of the same. The Rams were knocking on the door of an equalizer, but the Billikens continued to physically trouble the home team. 

The second period began with four unanswered shot attempts by Fordham coming from Espeleta, Fabrin and Florian Deletioglu, GSBRH ’24. The Rams were mounting the pressure, forcing the Billikens to resort to physicality. Frustration seemed to be boiling over in the Fordham camp as Jakob Gesien, GGSB ’24, late goal scorer the week before, picked up a yellow card in the 71st minute. 

The Billikens capitalized on the other end of the pitch and tacked on another goal for a 2-0 lead in the 72nd minute. The goal was converted emphatically by Grady Easton, SLU ’25, off of a looping cross. Many Fordham players argued for a handball call, gesturing toward the referees in frustration. This did not change the fact that they were now facing a two-goal deficit with less than 20 minutes left in the game. 

The Rams didn’t drop their heads and pressed on in an attempt to replicate the heroics of previous performances. Nathan Simes, GSBRH ’26, sought to close the gap moments later with a header, but it was blocked. Jack Sluys, GGSB ’24, followed up with another shot, but his attempt sailed over the crossbar. 

Later, the Rams won back-to-back corners but still couldn’t break through the sturdy defense of the Billikens. In the midst of this offensive renaissance, Saint Louis picked up another two yellow cards. The final statistics showed the Billikens with 26 fouls and the Rams with only five. 

After four more shot attempts, the Rams managed to claim an 88th-minute consolation goal scored by Deletioglu. The Rams swiftly moved the ball up the field, stringing together a series of passes. Simes sent a through ball to Deletioglu who navigated the ball past the goalkeeper. The assist underlined that Simes’ repertoire has expanded past goal scoring to include crafty playmaking. 

Fordham only lost the game 2-1, but the match dealt a blow to the team’s momentum and placement in the A10 standings. Bruised and battered by an extremely physical Billikens team, the Rams will now look to bounce back at Saint Joseph’s University on Oct. 15. 

Fordham would benefit from Simes finding the back of the net again, as he has not scored since the Rams’ A10 opener on Sept. 17 against the University of Rhode Island. Furthermore, the team has been starting slow, and while it hasn’t been costing them losses but certainly hasn’t helped in winning games. As the season comes to a close, adjustments may be crucial to a strong finish and a preferential placement in the A10 Championship later this month.

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