This article originally appeared in The Fordham Ram in January 2020.
It is often said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and usually, this saying is true. Perhaps, we hear this saying most often in sports when teams rally despite losses or injuries that might seem insurmountable.
However, when several of the sum’s most important parts are missing, it becomes incredibly difficult for the whole to function at all. Fordham Squash learned that lesson this past week.
The Rams dropped four matches over six days last week to fall to 14-9 overall. The trouble started for Fordham in the first match on Tuesday, Jan. 14, when health issues forced senior William Douglass to retire from his opening match against Connecticut College’s M.D. Jawad. Fordham was unable to win an individual match against Connecticut and fell 9-0. However, the injury problems were just getting started for the Rams.
Fordham struggled Friday against Chatham University, falling by a final tally of 8-1. The Rams dropped each of the first six individual matches and handed Chatham two more points when they were unable to field a full nine-man lineup. Sophomore Dylan Panichello, junior Tommy White and sophomore Patrick Rodden were all unavailable for Fordham, leading to two forfeitures.
Throughout the week, it seemed that Fordham could not field a full roster. On Saturday against Hamilton College, Panichello and White returned, but junior Griffin Fitzgerald and sophomore Jack Reed did not compete. Fordham once again fell 9-0. While it is difficult to speculate on what exactly happened in these matches, it is important to note that Fordham’s forfeitures all came at the end of matches when the outcome had already been decided. Fordham limped to the end of a tough week with two more forfeitures and a 7-2 Sunday loss to Hobart in which the team showed fight but ultimately did not have nearly enough to earn the victory without its full complement of weapons.
The Rams will look to put a positively nightmarish week behind them on Saturday when they host Bucknell University at the Lombardi Squash Courts. Fordham and head coach Sahel Anwar is hoping that a week of rest leads to better health for the team and that the Rams can put these struggles in the rearview mirror for the rest of the season.