Gungor Joins Victoria Camaj, Joann Murino, and Ivana Lahcanski in Fordham's Incoming Class for 2012
Rams Add Three Players for Next Season
Photos from the Fordham-Dayton Atlantic 10 women's soccer match on October 9, 2011
Entering the 20th season of women's soccer as a varsity sport at Fordham, one person has been the staple of the program through most of its history. That person is head coach Ness Selmani, who begins his 17th season at the helm of the Rams, and 20th overall at Rose Hill.
Under Selmani's guidance, the Rams have become a major contender for the Atlantic 10 Championship, earning conference championship berths in five of the last nine seasons.
In 2009, Fordham made the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals for the fourth straight year, while having three players earn All-Atlantic 10 honors, including two First Team selections in Katie McDermott and Lauren Bustos.
The previous year, Fordham set a new team-best with eight conference victories in 2008, which put them in a tie for second place in the Atlantic 10, while having the second-most wins in a season in team history with 12. The team also finished 10th in the Northeast regional rankings by soccerbuzz.com. In addition to the team accolades, Selmani had three players earn All-Atlantic 10 honors, which included Bustos earning the Atlantic 10's Defensive Player of the Year award.
After not earning a postseason bid in 2005, Selmani guided the Rams to back-to-back Atlantic 10 Championship game appearances the next two seasons.
In 2006, Fordham recorded 14 overall wins, the most in program history, surpassing the 11 wins in 2003. The Rams made their first ever Atlantic 10 Championship game appearance, and fell just short of their first conference title. Individually, Selmani was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the second time in his career, while a total of six Rams received postseason accolades. He also was the recipient of Fordham's "Iron Major" Award as Fordham Coach of the Year.
In 2007, the Rams made it six winning seasons in their last seven, as they went 10-5-5 overall with a 7-1-3 Atlantic 10 record, finishing second in the regular season standings, which tied their best-ever finish. They once again made the Atlantic 10 championship game, and had five players receive postseason awards.
The Rams reeled off six consecutive winning seasons from 2003-08 under Selmani, starting in 2003, where they placed second in the Atlantic 10 with an 11-7-2 overall mark and a 7-2-2 conference record, setting then team marks for overall wins and conference wins in a season. The team also clinched its second Atlantic 10 Tournament berth, while also seeing postseason play in the ECAC Tournament.
The Rams finished with four players earning postseason honors that year, while Selmani was the recipient of the 2003 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year award, as well as being a co-recipient of the Fordham "Iron Major" Award as Fordham Coach of the Year.
With a great deal already accomplished, Selmani continues to look forward and build on the successes he and his squad enjoyed for close to a decade. In 2001, the Rams had their first-ever 10-win season (10-9-1) and earned their second ever postseason appearance, seeded #2 at the 2001 ECAC Tournament. The team also set or tied 11 different school records throughout the season.
Selmani took the head coaching reigns in 1996, leading the Rams to an Atlantic 10 Tournament berth and an 8-7-3 overall record in his first year. This was the best record in the program's history, prior to the 2001 season. He then led the Rams to their most wins in Atlantic 10 play in 1997, which was matched in 2001.
Prior to taking over the head coach position for the women's team, Selmani assisted Fordham men's soccer head coach Frank Schnur for two seasons, helping the Rams to a 9-5-4 record in 1995, which at that time was their best mark since the 1990 season.
Of Albanian decent and raised in Kosovo, Selmani has brought a wealth of soccer experience to Rose Hill. Before arriving at Fordham, he coached at various semi-professional clubs throughout the area, including the Olympic Development State Team, and both the Boys' and Girls' Empire State Teams. Coaching the New York State Albanians in the 1989-90 season, Selmani's team broke every record in one of the oldest soccer leagues in the country with a 20-0-4 record.
Selmani is also the Director of Coaching for the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, and has covered World Cup Soccer for the Staten Island Advance. A resident of Staten Island, Selmani holds a United States Federation "A" coaching license.