The University of Rhode Island men’s soccer team opened up Atlantic-10 conference play this past Saturday, losing to the No. 25 ranked Fordham Rams, 4-2.
The Rams have now lost two straight, and after suffering their first loss of the year to in-state rival Brown on Sept. 22. They now sit at 6-2, with Fordham at 5-1-2. Prior to these to losses the Rams were undefeated and had yet to allow a goal.
Fordham scored the first goal of the game just eight minutes in, taking advantage of a rebound by sophomore Forward Sameer Fathazada. Rhode Island struck back quickly with junior Midfielder Stavros Zarokostas heading a corner kick from senior Midfielder Dominik Richter into the net at the 16th minute. However, Fordham took back control of the game again in the 42nd minute, just three minutes before the half, with a goal coming from senior Midfielder Janos Loebe. Rhode Island had a quick answer again just over a minute into the second half. The Rams evened the contest at two goals apiece, with Richter scoring the goal. The decisive goal for Fordham came in the 66th minute of the game, with Fathazada scoring for the second time in the contest. The exclamation point for Fordham came with just under ten minutes left in the match, in the 81st minute, with junior Defender Joergen Oland scoring the fourth and final goal for Fordham.
“The game could’ve ended up more like 7-6,” said Rhode Island Head Coach Gareth Elliott. “I don’t know if there was a lot of quality defending.”
Rhode Island has now allowed 13 shots on goal in their last two games, which equals the total amount of shots on goal they allowed in their first four games of the year.
Freshman Goalie Roger Penske was in net for Rhody, facing seven shots and stopping three. Rhody was able to generate plenty of offense with nine shots on goal, but Fordham’s goalie, senior Rashid Nuhu was excellent, stopping seven of nine shots faced. Rhode Island outshot Fordham in this game as well, 16 to 13, and generated more corner kicks as well, eight to seven. Five of Fordham’s corners did come in the second half. This was a hotly contested game as well between these two Atlantic 10 rivals, as there were six combined yellow cards, two from Fordham and four from Rhode Island. Rhode Island also suffered a red card, with Zarakostas being the receiving player.
“There’s no excuses out there, a referee points one way that’s the way its gonna go,” said Elliott.
The Rams now look forward to their upcoming contest on Saturday, October 6th, where they travel to New York to play St. Bonaventure.
“St. Bonaventure is much improved and they’ve got a talented squad up there,” said Elliott. “That’s a tough road trip.”