Rowan needed a huge start in New Jersey Athletic Conference play in order to prepare for long-time rival The College of New Jersey on Tuesday.
So they’ve done just that.
The Profs began NJAC play with a perfect 3-0 after beating Ramapo College 21-6 on Sunday.
The upperclassmen had a big day, as Maddie Bray and Jess Havers combined for nine goals, while Liz Kramer tallied nine points on three goals and six assists.
The team as a whole attempted 47 shots, nearly quadrupling Ramapo’s 13. The Brown and Gold matched their offensive output with stellar defense, causing nine of Ramapo’s 13 turnovers.
“Maddie, Taylor and Liz, they’re like a three-headed monster,” said head coach Lindsay Delaney. “They’re really hard to control offensively, they’ve got really good speed transitionally, they make good decisions with the ball on the attacking end and their ride is pretty dynamic.”
“[It] definitely [helps morale] when we come off a big win, like when we annihilate a team,” midfielder Taylor Gretz, who had a goal in the game, said. “We needed a good team win going into TCNJ.”
TCNJ has won eight consecutive NJAC championships, while Rowan was the last school to win it before them in 2010. It’s safe to say that even Rowan—who has been consistent since 2010 with four second-place finishes—is a supreme underdog in the game.
“I’m not nervous,” Delaney said prior to the game. “Every game is the same. Anyone can win at any given day, it doesn’t matter. [TCNJ is a] different program than they were in the past and we’re a different program than we were a week ago. I think every game is the same struggle, the same feeling of anxiousness, the same wanting. Whether it’s Ramapo where we won 21-6, they’ll tell you it’s the same level of intensity, the same conversations we’re having against them that we wanna have against TCNJ.”
Gretz almost mimicked the same mindset that Delaney brought to preview the game.
“Coach always tells us to head into every game the same as [we’re] always heading in,” Gretz said. “So we’re gonna head into TCNJ like we headed into Ramapo. We’re just as anxious as we are for every other game. Our big thing this year is next step. We’re not worried about the past anymore, we’re just focusing on what we can change to make the next play better.”
The Brown and Gold fell to TCNJ 17-11 on Tuesday. The standings still have the rivals neck-and-neck with the Profs one game back, this one loss being the tie breaker.
The season is far from over, with two more vital NJAC games which are must-wins. TCNJ will also have to lose at least one of their three remaining conference games.
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