The Rowan field hockey team picked up a much-needed win against Cabrini University on Tuesday by the score of 3-1.
Goals have seemed to be hard to come by of recently, with the Profs going to overtime twice in their first four games prior to their match-up with the Cavaliers. They are 1-1 in games that extend regulation, falling to Franklin and Marshall College 2-1 in double-overtime and defeating Eastern University 2-1 in overtime.
Junior forward Nikki Kotelnicki gave the brown and gold the lead with her first goal of the season coming with a shot off the far post after beating the Cavaliers goalie to the punch. Rowan would then add two more goals in the second period from sophomore forward Bridget Boyle and junior forward and team captain Rachel Galante.
This is the second consecutive season that the team has started 1-2. Last year, though, the winning didn’t seem to end after the first victory of the season was captured. The Profs would go on an absolute tear, coming out on top eight weeks in a row. Fortunately, the team is taking this all as a learning process and not as a déjà vu moment.
“We aren’t in a panic mode or anything like that,” said junior midfielder/forward Julie Johnson. “I’d say we are building on our mistakes. We have a good idea of where we are having our flaws and breakdowns, so we are excited moving forward. Offensively, it all comes down to transitions and being able to get our shots off.”
Johnson, maybe more known for her passing abilities, has contributed to hitting the scoreboard as well. Last season, she had just one lone goal and seven assists. Through five games this year, Johnson has a pair each of goals and assists.
Rowan brings a healthy mix of experienced players and those who are new to playing at the college level. Fortunately for them, it’s been easy to adjust and work as a team early in the season due to the want to be an example to those after them.
“Biggest difference is definitely leadership,” Johnson said. “Everyone is talking and feels a lot more comfortable. Our passes are working better because we are communicating. We have leaders on the field and off it. Everyone is doing their part this year.”
Head coach Michelle Andre is in her third season here at Rowan after competing in the New Jersey Athletic Conference with Stockton for six years. She brings a winning culture back to Glassboro after being an assistant coach from 1998-2001 and 2007-2008. Andrea won two NJAC titles as an assistant for Rowan in 1998 and 2000.
Despite the slow start, Andre knows she has a very talented team this year that is going to be fun to watch develop.
“The goals are always the same but the team personality always changes, so therefore my mindset has to adjust to them,” Andre said. “I do think this is the most skillful team we’ve had in a very very long time. Once we get it all together, we’ve had moments where it’s been brilliant. I believe it’s going to be something very special to watch.”
When asked to define her team in just one word, Andre suggested all the good words that begin with the letter “h.”
“They have the heart. It’s always in the right place. They are hardworking. They have all the good “h’s.” But, it’s all going to be put together because they have the thing that matters the most.”
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