UMass beats Fordham, reaches A-10 men’s soccer final

  • Conrad Gorich, left, of UMass, scored the game-winning overtime goal as the Minutemen beat Fordham, 1-0, in the Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinal, Friday at Dayton. Gorich is shown above playing against Fordham in the teams’ regular-season finale last week. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

For the Gazette
Friday, November 10, 2017

Konrad Gorich scored four minutes into overtime as the UMass men’s soccer team beat Fordham, 1-0, in a defensive battle during the Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinals, Friday in Dayton, Ohio.

Gorich netted the goal off a set piece after goalkeeper Bardia Asefnia sent a ball from midfield into the box. After a redirection from freshman forward and conference rookie of the year Davis Smith, the junior defender tracked the ball down and scored in the bottom-left corner.

Top-seeded UMass (14-3-3) will play either No. 2 VCU (11-5) or No. 6 Rhode Island (10-5-3) for the title.

The No. 5 Rams (12-5-2) beat UMass, 3-2, last week in both teams regular-season finales.

“I think our focus was different today,” Minutemen coach Fran O’Leary said. “We did a good job defending the box, which limited their shots and opportunities.”

The Minutemen allowed only two shots on goal throughout the whole game.

“They gave us some trouble, but we were able to put together a collective effort,” O’Leary said. “We won a lot of first balls, which gave us more possession in their zone and allowed us to put some pressure on them, which resulted in us getting through their defense at the end.”

The championship is at noon, Sunday, at Dayton. UMass is looking for the program’s third conference championship (2002, 2007).

“Tonight we celebrate,” O’Leary said. “Lots of water and some healthy food so we can get back on the field and get ready for Sunday.”