Women's Soccer Begins Home Slate With the Battle of the Bronx
Aug. 23, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - Following the team's trip to Michigan, the Fordham women's soccer team is back home Friday, when the Rams host the Manhattan Jaspers at Jack Coffey Field for the team's season opener, as well as the 20th edition of the "Battle of the Bronx".
SERIES HISTORY: Tonight's game is the 20th all-time meeting between the Rams and Jaspers with Fordham holding a 11-7-1 edge in the series.
LAST TIME OUT: Similar to the team's opener against Michigan, the Fordham women's soccer team's second game of 2012 saw plenty of shots, as the Rams and Michigan State Spartans combined for 36 at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan on Sunday. Unfortunately for the Rams, the result of the match was also the same as the Spartans picked up a late goal in each half to win by a 2-1 margin.
Play was tight in the opening half, as the two teams combined for just seven shots by the midway point of the frame. Fordham goalkeeper Rachel Suther made two saves over the first 40 minutes, which included a brilliant stop on Rachel VanPoppelen with 6:30 remaining in the half.
The Spartans kept the pressure on and were rewarded with a goal in the 42nd minute. Off a corner kick play, Annie Steinlage picked up a loose ball in the box and knocked it into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Suther's day would end at halftime with just the two saves, as she was replaced by Ally White. White would make three saves in the second half before Michigan State netted its second goal of the game in the 79th minute. Off a corner kick, the ball hit the post and the rebound was knocked in by Jordan Mueller.
The Rams had one more scoring chance over the final 7:19 of the game to try and tie the game, but Maksuti's shot with about three minutes left was grabbed by Spartans' goalkeeper Courtney Clem, sealing the victory.
White (0-2) was charged with the loss, having made four saves in 45 minutes of action.
PRESEASON POLLS: The Atlantic 10 Conference released its 2012 women's soccer preseason poll this afternoon, which found Fordham picked eighth out of the 16-team league, receiving one first-place vote.
The Atlantic 10 has an expanded look heading into this season. Not only did the league add Butler and VCU as conference members, but the Atlantic 10 also expanded the championship tournament from six teams to eight teams.
The Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship will be held November 1-4 at the University of Rhode Island's Soccer Complex in Kingston, R.I.
In the preseason poll, Dayton, coming off of their third consecutive Atlantic 10 title, has been predicted to once again win the A-10 Championship. Richmond and La Salle, who finished with the best 2011 conference record, round out the top three, respectively. Dayton received 13 of the 16 first place votes, while La Salle, VCU, and Fordham each received one.
In its inaugural season with the Atlantic 10, VCU places fourth in the predicted order of finish, followed by Massachusetts (fifth), Charlotte (sixth), St. Bonaventure (seventh), Fordham (eighth) and Saint Louis (ninth). Butler, also making its A-10 debut, comes in at 10th, while Xavier is predicted 11th, followed by Rhode Island (12th), Saint Joseph's (13th), George Washington (14th), Duquesne (15th) and Temple (16th).
WE'RE BACK!:Fordham returns nine starters from last season, including the Rams' top two scorers in sophomore Kristina Maksuti and senior Annie Worden. Maksuti, an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selection, led the Rams with nine goals and five assists for 23 points, while also registering four game-winning goals. Worden notched six goals and three assists for 15 points, as a junior, just one point shy of her career-high.
The Rams also return plenty of experience in the back, which includes senior goalkeeper Rachel Suther, junior defenders Kaitlyn Carballeira, Mary Solimine, Casey Nowakowski, and midfielder Kaitlin Abrams. Suther played in a career-high 17 games a year ago and made a career-best 78 saves, as she solidified her spot as the Rams' top netminder. Between Carballeira, Solimine, Nowakowski, and Abrams, the group had only one player miss a game, breeding plenty of familiarity and confidence.
WHO'S NEXT: The Rams continue a string of three straight home matches on Sunday, September 2nd, when Fordham hosts the Marist College Red Foxes at 1:00 PM on Jack Coffey Field.