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Men’s soccer final home game against Fordham ends in a 2–2 draw

A player wearing a white kit jogging on a soccer field.
Sophomore forward Daniel Ittycheria Tuesday against Fordham. 
Photo courtesy of @PrincetonMSOC/Twitter.

In the men's soccer team's last home match at Roberts Stadium and final non-conference match, Princeton men’s soccer (4–6–3 overall, 1–2–2 Ivy League) took on the Fordham Rams (6–2–7, 3–2–2 Athletic 10) on Tuesday evening. With four lead changes and late goals from each side, neither team came out on top as the match ended in a 2–2 draw.

The Tigers currently sit at seventh in the Ivy League standings but are just three points behind the tie for first in an extremely competitive conference. The team’s final two upcoming Ivy matches could dramatically swing the balance.


With the exception of a few Princeton corner kicks, the match was quiet until the 10th minute, where a Tigers turnover led to a Fordham free kick at the top of the box. Rams forward Sigfus Arnason smashed a shot over the wall and into the top right of the goal, flying past junior goalkeeper William Watson and opening up the scoring for Fordham. 

Princeton wouldn’t be down for long, as just a minute and a half later, the Tigers attacked on a breakaway. After Fordham keeper Carter Abbott saved his initial shot, sophomore forward Daniel Ittycheria converted on the rebound for his team-leading ninth goal of the season, tying the game at one apiece. 

Princeton would control the ball and pace for most of the remainder of the half but wouldn’t find the net again as their momentum was disrupted by fouls and defensive clears. In this physical game, fouls were often called on contact and Princeton ended up racking up a total of 17 fouls throughout the match. The game also saw multiple injuries for the Tigers, as both senior defender Francis Akomeah and junior forward Nico Nee would exit the game with injuries. 

Both teams continued their attacks out of the break, as Abbott saved multiple Tigers’ shots on goal, and Princeton fended off a series of six Fordham shots in four minutes. The tie would finally be broken in the 73rd minute when sophomore midfielder Jack Jasinski found senior forward Walker Gillespie on a perfectly timed run, and Gillespie scored on a well-placed chip shot to give Princeton a 2–1 lead.

The Tigers seemed to have the match under control until the 88th minute, when a Fordham cross ricocheted through the defense right to Rams forward Grady Kozak, who knocked home an equalizer from just outside the six-yard box. A last-ditch effort from Princeton fell short, and the buzzer sounded on the draw.

“It was a frustrating result because we worked so hard to get the lead and had some very good stretches throughout the match, only to concede with two minutes left,” head coach Jim Barlow told The Daily Princetonian. “Going into the Harvard and Penn games, we know we need to win against two very good teams —  hopefully we can continue to build on some of the good moments from this week and have it add up to a complete 90 minutes on Saturday.”


“We’ll learn from this tie and work hard in practice this week to make sure we don’t make the same mistake next game,” Gillespie told the ‘Prince.’ “Overall, I’m very optimistic about the team’s performance today and everybody is extremely focused on doing what we have to do to get the win at Harvard this weekend.”

These key final matches of Ivy League play will take place this coming Saturday at 1 p.m., when the team travels to Harvard (4–4–6, 2–1–2 Ivy League), and the following Saturday at 5 p.m. against Penn (5–3–5, 2–1–2 Ivy League). Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+.

Tate Hutchins is a contributor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ 

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