Filippo Ricupati celebrates his 87th-minute goal. (Photo courtesy of Fordham SID)
ST. LOUIS – One moment, one chance.
It was all the Fordham University men were looking for Saturday afternoon in their Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinal match.
The Rams (7-10-2) ended up getting that moment when Filippo Ricupati scored the lone goal in the 87th minute to send Fordham to the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals with a 1-0 win over Saint Louis University at Hermann Stadium.
Fordham capitalized on a Saint Louis turnover. Mujeeb Murana attempted a play back to his keeper, but ended up playing the ball right to Ricupati, who touched it past the goalkeeper inside the right post for his team-leading sixth goal.
The Rams secured a spot in the semifinals Friday at 1 p.m. They will player the winner of the Rhode Island/Davidson quarterfinal match.
The first half featured a couple of highlight reel saves from the goalkeepers. In the fourth minute, Saint Louis’ John Klein made a run that goalkeeper Konstantin Weis came out to challenge and made the stop to the left side.
In the eighth minute, Fordham had a golden chance, as Sameer Fathazada made a run into the box and was fouled, awarding a penalty kick to the Rams. Joergen Oland stepped the spot, but his attempt was saved by keeper Patrick Schulte toward the right post.
Schulte came up with another big stop in the 16th minute, as a Fathazada cross found Pieles for a header that Schulte punched over the bar.
Pieles had another chance to get Fordham’s first goal in the 32nd minute, noticing the goalkeeper out of his goal. Pieles wound up a shot from distance, just outside the center circle and hit the crossbar.
At the other end, Weis added three more saves to his total for the 0-0 score at the half with his best in the 36th minute. A free kick was put into the box for a header by Murana to the top left corner, which Weis parried over the bar.
The second half began with a penalty kick attempt. Saint Louis was the beneficiary, getting the chance in the 46th minute. Devin Boyce stepped to the spot and shot left, which Weis stopped with the rebound coming back into play. The second chance went wide of goal.
The next prime chance for came in the 77th minute on a Saint Louis free kick that Weis was again up to the task, making a diving save to the right side, his sixth.