Defending A-10 Champs Too Much for Men's Soccer
EASTON, Pa. - Early goals within the first four minutes of both halves set the tempo as the Lafayette men's soccer team fell to Fordham by a 4-0 score on Friday evening at Mike Bourger '44 Field at Oaks Stadium.
The visitors took advantage of set pieces, scoring two goals off corners in the opening 45 minutes. The second pair came during the run of play at the beginning and end of the second stanza. The loss drops the Maroon and White to 0-4 on the season, while Fordham improves to 2-2-1.
"We always talk about set pieces being so important. To be down 2-0 at halftime on two corner kicks is all that needs to be said. We have to defend set pieces and when you get down early, especially against a team like that, it plays into their hands," head coach Dennis Bohn said. "I was proud of how we fought in the second half. There's no quit in these guys. They're a proud group, we're a proud program and I know we're going to get better."
Lafayette's best chances offensively came during the second half as sophomores Ryan Goncalves and Chris Gomez connected for an opportunity in the 56th minute. Working down the left side, Goncalves sent a through ball for Gomez into the left side of the box, but his shot back across goal was stopped with a diving save from Fordham keeper Rashid Nuhu.
Just three minutes later, sustained pressure from the Maroon and White led to a corner. Gomez's service was low toward the near post, but flicked back to the top, where freshman Andrew Venezia corralled it. His shot was well-placed in the top left corner, but Nuhu read it well to thwart the chance.
Senior goalkeeper Brian Ehrlich was tested throughout the night and came up with his biggest save in the 61st minute. Working a counter up the middle of the field, Jannik Loebe fired a shot on net from the top of the 18-yard box. Ehrlich sprawled to his left for a one-handed stop and absorbed enough of the shot to be able to pounce on any rebound chance.
With six minutes remaining in the contest, the Maroon and White put together their final effort at lighting the board. An initial shot from sophomore Joey Gordon was stopped with a kick save, but the rebound came to freshman Alistair Person, whose shot was deflected off the goal line by a Fordham defender. Then, on the ensuing corner, sophomore Zack Capolongo's near-post run met the service, but his one-time volley erred just wide.
The Rams finished with a 13-9 advantage in shots, but the Leopards held a 5-3 edge in corners. Ehrlich made three saves in defeat.
Next up for Lafayette is a trip to Ithaca, N.Y. on Sunday, battling with Cornell at 3 p.m.