Havers and Gretz net four goals each in lacrosse’s season-opening win

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Being down 2-0 just three minutes into the home and season opener might not be an ideal position.

Realizing this isn’t an ideal position to be in, the Rowan lacrosse team scored 10 goals to go into halftime with a 10-5 lead against Ursinus College last Wednesday.

“Even [though] we were down 2-0, I think we came out a little bit flat,” said junior redshirt attack Jess Havers. “I think we just needed to pull ourselves together, clean up the sloppiness and then once we started connecting, we just took off from there.”

Havers, along with senior defender Taylor Gretz, scored four goals each for the Profs, who put the game away in the second half with a 6-0 run to cap off a 17-7 win. Three of those goals were by the Gretz and Havers.

For Havers, the season opener was much more than just that. After seeing improvement in her sophomore season in 2017, she tore her ACL before being able to play a minute on the field last season.

“I tore my ACL last year, so this was a big game for me, being a year and half out,” Havers said. “I came off really strong and Taylor; me and her work well together. I assisted on one of her goals. Her being dominant in the midfield and me having the ability to stay low. We’re both very different players but we can produce differently so I thought that was cool.”

Havers finished with four goals on five shots and had a lone assist to Gretz.

Making her first full-time start, senior goalie Emma Frost had a solid performance. She faced 19 shots, making seven saves and allowed seven goals in a full 60 minutes of playing time.

“It felt good,” Frost said. “Definitely worked out a little bit of nerves. But by the end it was a lot of fun.”

Having some breathing room with Rowan’s offensive showing didn’t hurt, either.

“It was a huge help [Havers and Gretz’s four goals],” Frost said. “Obviously I can’t really see the goals, but when I see someone score I get really excited and they gave us the momentum we needed to keep moving forward. It’s definitely nice to know that if the defense makes a mistake or anything, that the attack is gonna rally behind us and we trust that when they have the ball, they’re gonna put it in the back of the net.”

Rowan’s 10-3 run in the first period and the 6-0 run in the second isn’t something new. The Profs were the New Jersey Athletic Conference’s (NJAC) second-highest scoring team last season in-conference and outscoring opponents 277-192 and by exactly 50 goals in the first period during the whole season of play.

To head coach Lindsay Delaney, the beginning of the game was just a case of the team having to shake some rust off.

“We kind of took the game over somewhere towards the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half,” Delaney said. “It was just us over-pressing in the beginning. First game jitters, you know?”

Even with the win, the team did give up 25 turnovers throughout the game and, according to Delaney, it’s something they must work on immediately. She cited that the team needs to learn that their style of offense has changed due to putting more emphasis on passing the ball inside which could result in a high turnover rate as opposed to driving from behind or the top.

“We can score goals for sure,” Delaney said. “It’s just making sure we take care of the defensive end as well.”

The win marks the first time Rowan has won its season opener by 10 or more goals since 2014, starting when they defeated Goucher College 17-5. The team takes on Salisbury University on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the stadium.

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