Expectations are high for the Rowan field hockey team. And rightly so, after rattling off six straight wins.
Prior to the season, the team was picked to finish second in the New Jersey Athletic Conference by the league head coaches. The only team picked to finish better than the Profs was The College of New Jersey, a group that made it to the 2015 Division III Championship semifinal.
Those expectations could’ve been curbed when Rowan started out 0-2 following games against Ursinus College and Franklin and Marshall College. However, head coach Michelle Andre was not phased.
“We played two top-five teams,” Andre said. “We lost five starters from last year and had some people in different spots on the field than we normally do. We have made adjustments to be better. The good thing about playing the best of the best is that we got to learn those lessons early.”
Those lessons that the Bears and Diplomats taught the brown and gold must have been substantial because they have not lost since Sept. 3. The Profs are outscoring their opponents 20-4 during the streak.
Despite the string of success and impressive play, Andre is still stoic.
“I haven’t even thought about it to be honest with you,” Andre said. “I’m just taking it all one day at a time.”
Even though the coach has not paid much mind to the streak, the players have taken notice.
“Everyone is so pumped. All of the time,” sophomore midfielder Jacqui Rosati said. “There’s always music blasting, we’re all so hyped up all the time.”
The Profs are no strangers to streaks like this, however. Last season the team put together a seven-game streak when their record was 3-4. The year before that, they strung together 10 straight wins.
Before their game against Stevenson University on Tuesday, Sept. 20, Rosati said that she hoped the team could work on things like giving consistent effort, something she thought the team did not display in a 4-1 win against Eastern University days before.
That consistency was shown in the 2-1 victory against the Stevenson Mustangs.
The Profs outshot their opponent, 9-1, in the first half, but could not muster a goal. That changed in the second half when sophomore midfielder Nikki Kotelnicki and freshman forward Bridget Boyle found the back of the net. It was Kotelnicki’s fourth goal of the season and for Boyle her 10th.
“[The win] means a lot. Especially because we feel we’re overlooked every season,” Rosati said. “Something like this should really help the program out and give us the attention that we deserve.”
If the team didn’t have the attention of their opponents before, they definitely should now.
Earlier Tuesday, the brown and gold were slotted at No. 16 in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III Coaches Poll. They are also off to their best start through eight games since 2011.
The Profs will put their winning streak on the line against Haverford College on Saturday, Sept. 24.
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