With less than four minutes remaining it appeared that Fordham’s magical trip through the men’s NCAA Championship soccer tournament was coming to an end.
But a bit of good fortune late in the second half and several big saves in penalties kept the Rams alive as the men’s soccer team defeated Duke 8-7 in a shootout to advice to the NCAA quarterfinals. The teams were tied 2-2 following extra time. Up next for Fordham is another Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse, North Carolina, on Saturday, December 2, at 6 p.m.
Trailing 2-1 as the clocked ticked into the 87th minute Fordham’s Bart Dziedzic was in right place at the right time. After taking a long past to the left of Duke goalkeeper Will Pulisic, Dziedzic cut toward the goal. However, Pulisic — whose cousin is Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic — and two Blue Devils defenders could not gather the ball and Dziedzic tapped in the loose ball to tie the match at 2.
The match went into overtime, with both sides having chances, but none found the back of the net. In penalties, Fordham shot first with Duke goalkeeper Pulisic denying Janos Loebe to start.
After Joergen Oland and Matthew Lewis converted their penalty kicks for Fordham, Rams keeper Rashid Nuhu denied Kristofer Gardarsson with a kick save to put the score at 2-2 through three shooters. Nuhu then converted on his own penalty attempt, while Duke answered, making it three-all to the fifth shooter.
Jannik Loebe’s miss off the crossbar gave Duke a chance to win, but Nuhu stopped Carter Manley with a punch save to the left side to push the shootout into extra shooters. Matt Miller, Dziedzic, Vincenzo Zuccala, Connor DeFilippis converted the next four kicks, as did Duke, putting the 10th shooter on the spot.
Fordham backup keeper, senior Jordan Black, calmly converted to put the Rams ahead 8-7. Max Moser had to score for Duke to continue the shootout, but Nuhu made the stop to the right post, putting the Rams into the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in program history.