Following an upset victory on the road of then-No. 6 ranked Franklin and Marshall College, the men’s soccer team returned home on Saturday night, looking to stay undefeated on the season against New Jersey Athletic Conference for William Patterson.
The Profs, who were ranked No. 8 at the time in the Division III coaches poll, were the favorites coming in. However, that did not stop the Pioneers from giving the brown and gold a scare.
Junior forward Travis Ward got things going early, finding the back of the net to put the Profs up 1-0 less than two minutes in. By halftime, the score had ballooned to 3-0, with goals coming from sophomore forward Shane Doherty and freshman midfielder Pete Hall. Rowan was dominant throughout the first half, displaying their speed and superior ball skills.
“They weren’t very strong in the back,” Hall said. “Physically and mentally, we dominated them all the way through the game.”
In the second half, the Pioneers made a push, converting on two penalty kicks to cut the Prof’s lead to 3-2. However, an own goal and goals by captains Will Sjaastad and Vinny Ignatowicz sealed the deal for the Profs.
“We might have lost a little bit of enthusiasm,” Ward said. “We always bounce back. They had a couple calls and a couple PK’s, but we know we’re good. We know not to panic and we were able to come out with a win.”
“We were the more physical team and the more talented team. I think we proved it all game,” head coach Scott Baker said. “We beat a team 6-2 in the NJAC and that’s us taking care of what we need to do.”
Prior to the matchup, Baker said that the NJAC was “a war and a battle, whether or not the team is worse than or better than us.”
Through the three conference games this year, that has shown.
The brown and gold have allowed four goals in conference so far, the same amount that they have allowed in seven non-conference games.
On Wednesday against Stockton University, Rowan was not able to capitalize, but held the Ospreys for a 0-0 tie in double overtime.
The game comes as a small letdown for the now-No. 5 ranked Profs (9-0-1), who managed 29 shots and 17 corner kicks against a Stockton team that is 2-4-4 overall.
The next time the brown and gold hit the field, they will be taking on the Kean Cougars (9-2) in Glassboro on Saturday, Oct. 1.