Men's Soccer Concludes Historic 2011 Season
Nov. 17, 2011
Bronx, N.Y. - While the 2011 men's soccer season is officially over at Fordham, it's time to look back and reflect on the impressive season just turned in by the Rams, a season that featured a slew of accomplishments, both individually and as a team.
The year was capped by Fordham capturing a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title for the first time in school history. The Rams accomplished this with a 7-2 mark in league play, earning the number one overall seed at the A-10 championship. Overall, the Rams compiled an 11-7-1 record. During the year, the team faced three ranked opponents and defeated two of them, #23 Xavier and #10 Charlotte, marking the first time in a quarter-century that Fordham beat two top-25 teams in the same season. These wins helped Fordham earn an RPI of 60 at the end the season.
Among individual accomplishments, seven players were feted as All-League and another was name Co-Player of the Week during the season. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Meara and sophomore midfielder Nathaniel Bekoe were both named All-Atlantic 10 First Team. Meara also took home the Defensive Player of the Year Award and was named to the Herman Trophy Watch List, awarded annually by the Missouri Athletic Club to the United States's top male and female college soccer players, as well.
On the year, Meara notched an 11-6-1 record with a miniscule 0.65 goals against average and ten shutouts. He led the Atlantic 10 in goals against average, shutouts and save percentage (.862). In the NCAA rankings through games of November 13th, he is sixth in save percentage and 14th in goals against average.
Meara's ten shutouts this year bring his career total to 31, surpassing Jeff Knuth's Fordham (1985-88) career record of 27. Meara has also set new Fordham all-time marks for games played in goal and minutes played in goal.
Bekoe appeared in all 19 games for the Rams this fall, starting 18 of them at midfield, registering two assists on the season.
Three of the seven Fordham players that earned Atlantic 10 honors were named to the Second Team: junior defender Ryan Curran and senior midfielders John Niyonsaba and Tim Richardson. Curran, who played in all 19 games for the Rams, was part of a defense that led the conference in shutouts, goals allowed and goals against average. Niyonsaba, who scored the only goal in the 1-0 upset of #10 Charlotte, led the 2011 Rams with three goals and three assists for nine points, while Richardson ended the season tied for the team-lead in goals, with three and he added two helpers for eight points.
The other two Rams honored by the conference were senior forward Aaron Markowitz, who was named Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference, and freshman midfielder Jack-Tim Murphy, who was selected to the All-Rookie Team. Markowitz, an Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Economics major who never had a semester below a 3.8 grade point average, the pitch, he scored a pair of goals against La Salle on Senior Day. Murphy finished the season tied for the team lead in goals (three). Among first year players for the Rams, he saw action in the most games. His goals came against Adelphi, Saint Louis and Saint Joseph's.
During the season, senior midfielder Matt Courtenay was named Co-Player of the Week after scoring the lone goal in Fordham's 1-0 upset of #23 Xavier and senior midfielder John McHugh scored a pair of golden goals, one coming against Columbia and the other at Temple.
The 2011 campaign was the culmination of a memorable four years for the senior class. The 11 student-athletes led the Rams to four winning seasons in a row, made three A-10 playoff appearances and totaled 39 wins.