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Fordham holds onto first place, despite struggling over weekend

Five teams are within a games reach of leading the Atlantic 10 division, with the A-10 Men’s Soccer Championships just over two weeks away. After this weekend, the true contenders have started to emerge.

While A-10 leader Fordham gained a single point this weekend, other teams were moving up. Dayton, who is tied for second place with Saint Louis, lost its first match in eight games to Richmond by a score of 1-0. Receiving the loss fired up the Flyers (9-4-1, 4-1-0 A-10) as they cruised to a 2-1 win at George Washington.

The Billikens (9-5-0, 4-1-0 A-10) looked to capitalize on Dayton’s loss to the Spiders (5-8-2, 2-2-2 A-10) when they played league-leader Fordham. Saint Louis picked up three points after the match, having defeated the Rams 4-1. The Billikens went back home to face La Salle, where goalkeeper Ross Kaufman earned an assist in the 1-0 victory for Saint Louis.

No. 9 Charlotte (9-1-4, 3-0-2, A-10) gained four points this weekend with a 3-0 shutout over the Explorers. The 49ers continued its 13-game unbeaten streak with a 2-2 tie to Fordham.

The Rams lead the A-10 with 13 points, just ahead of Dayton and Saint Louis (12 points). Charlotte sits in fourth place within a games reach with 11 points. The top six teams in conference play make the tournament. Duquesne currently sits in fifth place and St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island and Temple sit in a three-way tie for sixth place with nine points.

Rams struggle over weekend

League leader Fordham did not gain a victory this weekend, losing 4-1 on Oct. 23 at St. Louis. The game started off tight, as both the Rams and Billikens scored goals in the opening 30 minutes.

The second half saw an entirely different game. Sophomore Alex Johnson started off St. Louis’ second half tear with a goal right after the halftime break. His goal was succeeded by Mike Roach’s two scores in the remainder of the half, shutting down Fordham.

Following the match against the Billikens, Fordham faced off against No. 9 Charlotte. The match ended in a 2-2 draw after two periods of overtime.

The match opened up with a goal from Rams midfielder Tim Richardson. Charlotte came right back with a goal by senior Adam Gross, who won Co-Player of the Week honors. Going into halftime, the two A-10 powerhouses were tied up despite Charlotte’s 8-2 shot advantage.

Almost 15 minutes after the halftime break, sophomore Charles Rodriguez netted a goal to give the 49ers the lead. Fordham found itself down with three minutes left in the match, which provided senior Alex Brunbauer with the opportunity to score a goal (second of season) which leveled the score. After two scoreless periods of overtime, each team took away one point with the draw.

Gross, Brewster earn Co-POW

Both Charlotte’s Adam Gross and Richmond’s Ben Brewster came away from this past weekend with the honor of being named A-10 Player of the Week.

For Gross, this is his second Player of the Week honor, with the first coming in the opening weekend of the season. He received the award after netting a goal in the 49er’s 3-0 victory over La Salle as well as an early goal in Charlotte’s draw with Fordham. Gross now leads the 49ers with a seven goals.

Gross has found much success this season, leading the 49ers in goals and assists. He also leads the team in game-winning goals, with a total of three. Gross is tied for third in goals in the A-10, and is in second place for assists.

Brewster earned the award after being a factor in the Spiders’ Oct. 25 victory over Xavier. Brewster scored the first goal of the game in the second minute. After the Musketeers (2-10-1, 1-5-0 A-10) came back to tie the game up, it was Brewster who changed the score with a timely goal, minutes before the conclusion of the match.

On the Richmond squad, Brewster is tied for second in goals scored with three. He also is in second place for the Spiders with shots taken.

Herb Scribner can be reached at hscribne@student.umass.edu.

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