The Massachusetts men’s soccer team lost a 2-1 nail bitter falling to Fordham in the 110th minute of double overtime by way of a penalty kick scored by Sameer Fathazada.
The University of Massachusetts (5-1-1, 1-1-1 A-10) lost its first game of conference play to the Rams (3-0, 1-0 Atlantic 10). It is the first loss on the season and one that the Minutemen certainly had within reach.
“Obviously very disappointed to lose it in the last 30 seconds of double overtime,” UMass coach Fran O’Leary said. “I thought Fordham came out faster than us, put us on the back foot for the first 20-25 minutes. We gave up a goal and maybe could’ve given up more. We wrestled control back and got the goal back and I felt we dominated after that. We were the better team, we created more chances. When we look back on it, for our dominance we didn’t test their keeper enough.”
In the first half, Fordham got on the scoring sheet early thanks to a 9th minute goal by Florian Deletioglu that was assisted by Lennart Keßner. UMass didn’t register a shot until the 30th minute by Ryan Levay, which was the spark it needed to generate some chances. Another shot by the Minutemen came by Filippo Begliardi Ghidini in the 39th minute that was saved after heading toward the top right part of the net.
It wasn’t until the 43rd minute where UMass capitalized on a chance and it converted from the penalty spot to level the game up at one. Yosuke Hanya won the penalty and Begliardi Ghidini put the ball in the back of the net to tie things up right before halftime.
“The front three caused problems,” O’Leary said. “Yosuke did a terrific job to win the penalty, but I think again we maybe were just lacking that little bit of quality and a little bit of luck. With that we might have scored two or three and come away with all three points.”
In the second half, the Minutemen controlled the tempo and flow of the game but couldn’t capitalize on any chances. UMass outshot the Rams 9-4 in the half but wasn’t able to pull ahead in the game. The game stayed knotted up at one and went in double OT where Fordham narrowly pulled away in the last thirty seconds after a foul by Graham Brenner to grant them the penalty.
“I think one thing that was different about this [game] is we always have started fast,” O’Leary said. “This was the first time where a team has put us on the back foot early in the game. We are going to need to address that and improve on that for Saturday. Common characteristics are our mentality was good, we fought our way back into the game. I think we deserved something. It can be a cruel game, and tonight was a little cruel enough.”
UMass finished the game outshooting Fordham 19-8, but it was nearly level in terms of shots on target with a tally of 8-6.
The Minutemen head back into action on Saturday against Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m.
Frederick Hanna III can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @FrederickHIII.