The Rowan women’s soccer team entered the 2016 season as defending New Jersey Athletic Conference champions and are looking to repeat. Despite the success last year, the NJAC preseason poll picked the Profs to finish second.
With one more “out of league game” left to play, the players’ sights are starting to set on the important stretch of the season.
“You just have to concentrate game by game,” head coach Scott Leacott said. “You can’t look forward to anything and that has been our mantra over the years. It’s important to get a good start into the NJAC season, but you can’t just scoreboard watch either. Things are going to play out by the end of the year and you can see what happens then, but we are looking forward to it.”
Needless to say, with a 6-0 record, the team has had a strong start into the season. The players feel confident in their teammates and rely on each other to come back as champions.
“I don’t think there is more pressure [on the team,]” sophomore forward Cathryn McCarry said. “We just need to come out and do the same thing we did last year, if not better. The chemistry [of the team] is very strong, stronger than last year.”
With even more scoring added to the roster by the addition of freshmen and transfers, Leacott has created a deep pool of players. The team is looking strong, but is still not at its best, according to the head coach.
“I don’t think there is added pressure for us, but there is a target on our backs,” Leacott said. “We just have to come out and play our hardest. We know that we will be getting every team’s best battles. I still don’t think we have played our best soccer yet. We are still trying to figure out things and I think if we get to where we want to be we are going to be a very scary team moving forward.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Money was a key component in Rowan’s run last year by only allowing six goals in 12 starts. This season she thinks things could be even better with the help of a more experienced defense.
“I trust my back line,” Money said. “Some of them were freshmen and some were sophomores and we were all starting to learn to play with each other. This year they gained more confidence in each other and with me and I gained confidence with them and myself.”
That back line showed its strength Wednesday night against Moravian College. The Profs shut out their opponent 2-0 for the sixth straight game. This season the brown and gold are outscoring their opponents 32-0.
Although the strong defense has been helping the team by allowing no goals and only one corner kick through five games is helping the team, the offense is also contributing by scoring at least four goals in four different games.
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