Jaspers, Rams, Draw Even in “Battle of the Bronx”

By Jeffery Cool, Guest Writer

On a groggy Wednesday night, Manhattan took on Fordham at Gaelic park in the “Battle of the Bronx,” looking to notch its first victory of the season. Both teams were looking to claim bragging rights and turn their season in the right direction.

The Jaspers and Rams finished the back and forth game with a 0-0 draw, yet another goalless match for the Jaspers, who have not scored a goal through five games. Manhattan has been struggling with the injury bug this season, which has been a big part of why the offense is just not clicking so far.

“It has been tough with injuries,” Jorden Scott, head coach of the Jaspers said. “Every week we seem to be losing guys. It’s been really tough on the group emotionally because everyone wants to have everyone on the field ready to go. Tonight we saw a few guys return back from injury which gives us a little more rotation and allowed us to keep the energy high and as long as the energy is high, we can compete with anybody.”

The first half of the match was more of a feeling out process with a lot of sloppy play and no serious chances presenting themselves. The only play that stood out was when Fordham looked to take the lead off of a header from a cross, but the goal was waved for offsides.

The second half became more of a grueling battle between the two rivals, with multiple fouls being called both ways. The action was back and forth for the most part until later on in the half when Manhattan started to apply pressure and looked bound to put one in the back of the net. The Jaspers had multiple opportunities but it seemed to be that there was a brick wall in front of the Fordham net.

Manhattan had a huge opportunity to take the lead when junior forward, Ajani Phillips played a beautiful pass right to junior forward, Troy Carrington, that led Carrington on a break. However, Carrington’s shot went just off the crossbar.

This has been the story all year for the Jaspers, who just cannot simply buy a goal. The drought is now up to five games with the Jaspers record now 0-4-1.

“You got to be strong and work hard everyday,” Scott said. “Credit these guys, the last two days of practice have been fantastic and tonight, the energy and the effort they put in. We had little moments there where we probably should have scored and that wins us games. We’re getting there.”

Manhattan had to fight off the pressure from Fordham in the final seconds of regulation, which led to an uneventful overtime. Neither team gave each other an opportunity to capture a victory and both will have to wait until next year to see who takes the bragging rights.

Manhattan returns to action this Sunday at LIU Brooklyn hoping to earn its first victory of the season.