Men's Soccer Falls in Narrow Battle with No. 16 Fordham, 2-1
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross men’s soccer team narrowly lost to No. 16 Fordham in its season opener, 2-1, at Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium. Owen Azrak tallied the lone Crusader goal on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute of action.
In the opening half, the Rams got on the board first when awarded a free-kick attempt. As Fordham’s Janos Loebe fired off a shot from nearly 30-yards out, Henry Stutz made the initial save but the rebound popped out to Sameer Fathazada on the far post. Fathazada was able to send the ball past Stutz and give the Rams a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute.
Holy Cross responded when offensive pressure in the box led to a Fordham handball. Azrak took the penalty kick and beat Rams’ goalkeeper Dan Miklos in the 33rd minute to even the score, 1-1.
In the second half play was relatively even until Fordham broke the stalemate in the 76th minute. At the top of the box, Jack Sluys tapped a pass to Loebe, who let loose on the ball and sent in the go-ahead goal, 2-1.
Holy Cross sustained continued offensive pressure for the remainder of the game, outshooting Fordham, 8-3. The Crusaders were unable to even the score, despite five corner kicks in the final half.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Holy Cross outshot Fordham, 13-9, and 8-3 in the second half.
- Stutz made six saves to Fordham’s three.
- The Crusaders held the advantage in corner kicks, 8-1.
COACH KOOLMAN ON THE GAME:
“In the first half we came out well, we were super hyped and maybe a little too over anxious to play but from there we settled in a little bit. Early on, a lot of the chances they received were because we caused too many unnecessary fouls. In the second half, we were better in executing. We created chances, the ball bouncing around the box. We have to be better there, getting secondary balls and we need to finish on those opportunities.”
The Crusaders are back in action on Friday, Aug. 31 when they host Siena at 7:05 p.m.