Amanda Miller scored Fordham’s lone goal in the 89th minute. (Photo courtesy of the Fordham SID)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Fordham University women knew they were in for a tough battle in their season opener Thursday night, taking on the 10th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers at Regal Soccer Stadium.

The Rams also had an unexpected foe in Mother Nature, causing a two-hour thunderstorm delay in fifth minute in what turned into a 3-1 season-opening defeat.

Only 4:14 after kickoff, the game was halted due to lightning around Regal Soccer Stadium. The delay turned into a full-blown thunderstorm, causing a two-hour break in action.

The game resumed at 9:10 p.m., with Tennessee netting the first goal in the 19th minute off a corner kick by Katie Cousins. MA Vignola received the corner and took a shot from 25 yards, which deflected off a Fordham defender in front and into the left side of the net.

Tennessee scored twice in the span of seven minutes in the second half to grab a 3-0 lead, extending the lead by the 55th minute.

Erin Gilroy tallied in the 48th minute, Salera Jordan seven minutes later.

The Rams broke up the shutout in the 89th minute. Claudia Cuicani took a free kick, putting the ball in the air near the penalty spot. The ball went off the head of a Tennessee player and hit the crossbar. Amanda Miller fought off a defender to get to the loose ball and knocked it home.

Tennessee enjoyed a 14-8 shot advantage. Goalkeeper Kelly LaMorte made six saves, which included a 1 v 1 left leg save on Michelle Alozie in the 84th minute.

The Rams visit Rutgers University Sunday for a 2 p.m. match.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at