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Men's soccer loses to Fordham

The Explorer men’s soccer team lost 4-1 to the Fordham Rams last Friday to open the Atlantic 10 schedule and drop to 2-7-1 overall. Senior Joe Heavey scored his first goal of the season in the loss.

La Salle came out strong in the Bronx, with Heavey’s goal coming in just the third minute off a set piece pass from senior Mike Lehr. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, as the Rams rallied to score two goals in each half. Fordham’s Kevin Meyer scored three goals for the Rams, including the game-winner in the 30th minute.

Despite the loss, head coach Pat Farrell was not disappointed with his team.

“We came out with a lot of emotion and energy,” Farrell said. “It was just a couple unlucky breaks and some problems in the last 15 minutes of the first half.”

A couple unlucky breaks, indeed.

The tying goal was scored on a penalty kick. Another goal was controversially called by the head official, who overruled the linesman who had a much better view. Farrell and goalkeeper Dan Pfeifer maintain that the ball never crossed the line, but the only thing that matters is that it showed up on the scoreboard.

Perhaps the biggest setback for La Salle came very late in the first half, when senior forward Jeremy Ortiz was booked for a red card. Ortiz ran on to a pass from junior Ryan Dougherty inside the scoring area, but a defender played the ball out before Ortiz could get there. With all his momentum carrying him towards the ball, Ortiz swung and kicked the defender. Although the Fordham player was not injured, Ortiz was ejected.

The team is obviously upset to lose the former A-10 First Team honoree, but coach Farrell said there was little that could have been done differently.

“[In that situation,] you have to go hard or you’ll get hurt,” Farrell said. “You have to finish the play.”

Unfortunately for the Explorers, the team was hurt by the discretionary call by the official, and Ortiz will be suspended for one game.

After only one home game so far this season, La Salle will play four straight A-10 matches at McCarthy Stadium. Coach Farrell believes that the artificial surface will play to his team’s strengths.

“We are 2-1 on artificial fields this year,” Farrell said. “We are a quick team with technical ability, and this surface is very quick. If you make a mistake, it’s not the field; it’s you.”

Farrell stressed the fact that the A-10 games are always competitive, and that after the top two or three teams, the talent level is very equal.

“Anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” Farrell said.

None of the teams that the Explorers play on this homestand have a winning record against A-10 opponents. La Salle faces the Dayton Flyers on Friday night at 7 p.m. and the Xavier Musketeers on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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