Evan Fournier continues breakout season with strong performance against Fordham

Fournier scores one goal and an assist in draw

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Kayla Wong / Daily Collegian

By Marco Lopez , Collegian Staff

Evan Fournier continued his breakout season on Saturday as the Massachusetts men’s soccer team tied 2-2 with Fordham (3-1-6, 1-0-2). Fournier finished with one goal and one assist in the game, his second game this year with at least one goal.

Fournier and UMass (5-0-5, 0-0-3 Atlantic 10) started off hot, with Fournier connecting on a goal just seven minutes into the game off a pass from sophomore Andrew Ortiz. The goal was Fournier’s third goal of the season, tied for second most on the team with junior Nick Zielonka.

“I think at the edge of the box, he curled it into the goalkeeper’s top left-hand corner with the outside of his left foot, it was a fantastic goal. The swerve was going outside, he swerved it back in,” head coach Fran O’Leary said of Fournier’s goal.

Fournier also helped the Minutemen out with their second score of the game, delivering a pass to sophomore Shizu Yohena who was able to drill a long-range strike from the top of the box into the top right corner of the goal. The assist from Fournier was his fourth of the season, the most on the team this year.

This season has been a breakout year for Fournier in his senior season, his fourth with the team. The departure of several key players from last season has allowed Fournier to emerge into a star role for UMass. This season, Fournier has become a full-time starter for the first time in his career, starting all 10 games for the Minutemen. His three goals and four assists this season are both career highs and his 10 total points by far eclipses his previous highs of 2 points in 2019 and 2021.

“I thought tonight he was very influential on both sides of the ball. It was our best performance maybe as a team tonight, we were very good,” O’Leary said. “It went hand in hand with I think Evan [Fournier’s] best performance as a UMass player.”

Fournier has had multiple terrific games this season for the Minutemen and is a big reason why UMass is still unbeaten through 10 games. He started the season off with a bang scoring two goals in a 4-0 win over Sacred Heart in the home opener.

He then followed that performance up with two assists in a 3-0 win over Boston College. Fournier’s red-hot start to the season helped fuel the Minutemen early on, easing the many questions coming into the season with the team’s high number of departures.

“He’s just growing stronger and stronger, and his influence on the team is becoming larger and larger. So we’re delighted with him and we’re delighted for him,” O’Leary said.

Marco Lopez can be reached at [email protected]