By, Pete Janny, Sports Editor
The Battle of the Bronx did not end the way the Manhattan women’s soccer team wanted it to as they suffered a 2-1 loss in extra time. Nonetheless, the fans in attendance got to see 100 minutes of action between the rival squads.
It all started with 10 minutes left in the second half when the game shifted in favor of the Rams. Having led for the majority of the game, the Jaspers couldn’t make it to the final buzzer soon enough when Fordham tied the score at one off a cross into the box that found the outstretched foot of a Fordham player.
The Rams, who were the better side from the second half on, sealed the win with a minute left in extra time off a mistake by the Manhattan defense. Fordham’s Caitlin Kennedy took possession of a drop ball, zipped by the defense and unleashed a shot from just outside the box that clinched the victory.
Manhattan senior goalkeeper Kim Mains got a hand on
the final shot but couldn’t keep it out to salvage the Jaspers’ chances. The final play drew the ire of several Manhattan players, including Mains, but the referees saw no issue in the way Kennedy beat out Manhattan defender Sydney Harwood for the drop ball.
Overall, Mains had a strong performance in net, notching a career-high nine saves in the loss. She made good reads all night, continually coming up with a big save after the other.
With 30 minutes left in the second half, Mains made a diving stop to her left and made contact with the goal post. After staying down for a few moments, she shook off the minor ailment and remained in the game for the Jaspers.
On the strength of 62 percent possession throughout the game, the Rams were able to outshoot the Jaspers 32-7, including 11-3 on net. Fordham’s left winger Kristen Cocozza and midfielder Alexandra Taylor tallied five and 10 shots respectively.
Eve Montgomery was the lone goal scorer for Manhattan on the night. The scoring sequence came in the eleventh minute when Montgomery pounced on a loose ball around midfield, dribbled past the final defender and trickled a shot with her left foot past the diving Fordham goalkeeper. The shot also grazed the post before sneaking in to put the home team on top.
The Manhattan lineup featured a mixture of old and new faces. Harwood and Gemma Perez are back for a fifth year to anchor the defensive line, and have a talented supporting cast in the back consisting of Ianah Mackey, Kaitlyn Cooke and Olivia Maldonado.
Of the 11 freshmen on the roster, Nicolette Caneda, Corrine Jackson, Maddie Feller, Brooke Zimmer and Amrit Arora all made good first impressions playing a large chunk of minutes.
Manhattan’s next game at Gaelic Park is slated for Sept. 10 when they host Merrimack at 4 PM. Before then, they hit the road to play at Wagner on Aug. 29 and Long Island University on Sept. 5.