Sidney Nicholas scored her first goal in her first career start. (Photo courtesy of Fordham)

The Fordham University women gave the University of Dayton all it could handle but the Rams could not hold onto a second-half 2-1 lead and suffered a 3-2 loss at Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx, N.Y. on Thursday night.

Dayton scored in the 54th and 81st minutes.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute, as Natalie Hegg launched a long ball to Itala Gemelli. Gemelli, Dayton’s leading goal-scorer, worked around two defenders and scored her 10th goal of the season.

Fordham struck for the equalizer in the 41st minute, as Abby Doyle intercepted a Dayton clearance in the midfield. Her pass found Caitlin Kennedy, who drilled a shot into the top left corner from 25 yards out for her second goal of the year.

The Rams took a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute. Tristan McFarlane hit a cross from the right side to the penalty spot. Sidney Nicholas was there to put the ball into the left side of the net for her first career goal.

The lead did not last long, as Gemelli netted her second goal of the game and 11th of the season in the 54th minute. She took a cross from the left side from Laney Huber in the center of the box and finished high from 12 yards.

The Flyers scored the go. -ahead tally in the 81st minute as Alicia Donley headed in Hegg’s corner kick for her second goal of the season.

Goalkeeper Batoul Reda made four saves for Dayton, while Kyla King registered three saves for Fordham.

Fordham will wrap up the regular season at UMass at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Rams remain tied for the final Atlantic 10 playoff spot with La Salle College and Loyola Chicago with 10 points. The University of Rhode Island and Richmond each have nine points.