The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Men’s Soccer Faces First Season Loss Against Saint Louis, 2-1

The Rams allowed the game-winning goal in the 75th minute while playing with 10 men due to a straight red card
Despite accumulating 10 shots, including seven in the second half, the Rams could not level the game to keep their unbeaten streak alive.

The Fordham men’s soccer team lost for the first time this season against the Saint Louis University (SLU) Billikens this past weekend on Sept. 23 at Robert R. Hermann Stadium. The Rams climbed back to level the match midway through the second half but ultimately allowed the game-winning goal with only 15 minutes remaining, giving the Billikens a victory on their Homecoming day. 

Fordham entered the game with a 4-0-3 record, including a 1-0 record in the fresh Atlantic 10 (A10) season. The university also beat its competitor, Manhattan College, in the “Battle of the Bronx” — the sports rivalry between the two colleges — earlier in the week in a dominant 2-0 affair. 

The Rams could not maintain the positive momentum, however, and came up just short against their intra-conference foes, the Billikens.

Both defenses held strong on Saturday during the early stages of the contest. Saint Louis, which has struggled to score the ball all season given its 0.67 goals per game mark entering the match, received a fortunate break in the 19th minute. 

As the Billikens pushed toward Fordham’s box, a through ball made its way between the teeth of the Rams’ defense. In a last-ditch attempt to recover, Jed Dixon, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’25 and a defender, slid into former Ram Galen Flynn, SLU ’26, tripping him inside of the box and drawing the whistle from the referee for a penalty kick.

It was unclear whether Dixon made contact with the ball or Flynn’s feet first, but the mistake proved costly for the Rams. Saint Louis captain Christian Buendia, SLU ’25, stepped up to the penalty spot and confidently buried the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net, putting the Billikens up 1-0. 

Almost immediately after going down, the Rams received an opportunity of their own. In the 20th minute, Saint Louis committed a foul outside of its own box. Midfielder Kai Griese, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’25, sent a marvelous swinging cross toward the goal, connecting with the head of Timo Hummrich, Gabelli Graduate School of Business (GGSB) ’24. The header had the appropriate amount of power behind it but narrowly missed the corner of the net before harmlessly rolling out of bounds. 

The physicality of the match did not stop there. Seven minutes after that prime chance, Liam Salmon, GSAS ’24, was taken down again just outside of the Billikens’ box. This time, however, Fordham took a more conservative approach and its attack was swiftly handled by Saint Louis’ defense. The theme of aggressive play in the match was one that continued throughout its duration.

The Billikens added offensive pressure as the first half came to a close, but the teams ultimately entered the halftime break with the score unchanged: Saint Louis was leading 1-0. Both squads returned for the second half firing on all cylinders. 

In the fifth minute of the second half, Florian Deletioglu, GSBRH ’24, found space well outside of Saint Louis’ box and delivered a strike toward the net. Ordinarily, a shot from this distance would be easily handled. This time, the ball was deflected and sent hurtling toward the corner of the net, forcing Jeremi Abonnel, SLU ’25, to make a diving stop. 

Despite a Saint Louis response that necessitated back-to-back impressive saves from Fordham’s keeper Carter Abbott, GSAS ’24, the Rams kept the pressure on and found success in the 58th minute. A perfectly placed cross from Adrian Valentine, GGSB ’24, found the unmarked head of midfielder Daniel D’Ippolito, FCRH ’26, who powered the ball into the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Just like that, the Rams were even with the Billikens once again. 

The Rams continued to hold the Billikens’ attack off after leveling the match. But just as quickly as the momentum had swung in the direction of the Rams, it swung back to the home team. In the 66th minute, midfielder Louis Lehr, GSAS ’24, committed a hard tackle while pursuing an attacking Billiken and was awarded a red card, sending him off for the remainder of the game. 

Forced to play with only 10 men, the Rams could not hold off the Saint Louis barrage for long. Ten minutes after the red card, a masterful chip over Fordham’s defenders by Carlos Leatherman, SLU ’27, connected with CJ Coppola, SLU ’26. Saint Louis’ star forward stopped on a dime inside of the box before firing the ball at the goal. The shot deflected off of Valentine, popping up in the air and just out of the reach of Abbott to give Saint Louis the lead once again.

Fordham would not be able to muster the equalizer. A few critical errors by the Rams set the tone for the match, as costly fouls contributed to both goals by the Billikens. Despite the missteps, Fordham went toe-to-toe with the team picked to finish first in the A10 in the league’s annual preseason poll.

The Rams will look to right the ship on Sept. 30 at the Joe Moglia Stadium. They will take on the Davidson College Wildcats and continue their push for the playoffs.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
CHRIS MURRAY, Former Sports & Health Editor
Chris Murray (he/him), FCRH ’24, is a former sports & health editor at The Observer. He is a political science and humanitarian studies double major with a minor in psychology. He is a Mets, Knicks and Rangers fan and spends his time trying new food or enjoying the outdoors.

Comments (0)

The Observer reserves the right to remove any comments that contain any of the following: threats or harassment, hateful language and/or slurs, spam (including advertisements unrelated to the topic of a given post), and incoherent phrasing. See the Community Guidelines page under the About tab for more information. Please allow up to a few days for submitted comments to be approved.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *