Fordham Men’s Soccer Defeats Rhode Island 2-1

October 16, 2011

The Fordham men’s soccer team entered Sunday’s contest with Rhode Island in dire need of a win after falling to UMass on Friday night.  In the end, in what was a very physical game, the Rams prevailed over their counterparts 2-1 to improve to 3-1 in the Atlantic 10.  The game featured a pair of penalty kick goals from both sides, a total of 23 fouls, and eight saves from Fordham goalie, Ryan Meara.


The first half began with URI testing Meara in just the second minute.  Ross Morison blasted a shot at Meara that he saved to keep the game scoreless early.  In the sixth minute, the Rams nearly capitalized to score the first goal of the game.  On a corner kick, Julian Nagel found Nathaniel Bekoe, who immediately blasted a shot just wide of the net.  The score remained even at 0-0 into the 15th minute.


In the 15th minute, some physical play in the box resulted in a penalty kick for the Rams.  Sophomore defender, Casper Gimand, calmly stepped up and buried the ball into the back of the net to give Fordham a 1-0 lead.  That lead nearly evaporated in the 29th minute if it wasn’t for the timely play of Meara.


Rhode Island’s Matt Sykes was in traffic to the left of the goal he put the ball directly at the net.  Meara’s quick reflexes parried the shot and kept the edge at 1-0.


Less than two minutes later, URI would draw level.  Because of more physical play in the box, the New England Rams were awarded a penalty shot.  Despite guessing right and diving in the proper direction, Meara was unable to corral the penalty shot from Joey Haught and the game was level at 1-1.


The game would head into the second half still knotted at 1-1.  In the second half, Meara made one of his best saves of the season.  On a ball to the left of the goal, URI’s Mike Casey jumped and flipped in the air, ripping a bicycle kick towards the corner of the goal.  Meara dove and made a sprawling catch to preserve the tie.  Meara made a career-high eight saves in the win.


Fordham put the game away in the 85th minute.  Meara punted a ball nearly two-thirds of the field to Taylor Gulbins, who out jumped the URI goalie, Peyton Warwick, and got his head on the ball.  There was contact between the two and Warwick fell to the ground.  The ball rolled into the net and the Rams had the 2-1 victory.


With the win, Fordham improves to 7-5-1 overall, 3-1 in A-10 games.  URI is now 4-8-1, with a conference mark of 1-2-1.  Aaron Markowitz led Fordham with three shots.  Jack-Tim Murphy took two.  Meara recorded his second career point after assisting on the Gulbins marker.


The men’s soccer team is now 1-1 on its five-game-homestand.  The squad returns to action on Friday, October 21, when they host the Saint Louis Billikens at Jack Coffey Field at 7:00 P.M.

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