Not many athletes within the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) have gotten off to as hot of a start as freshman soccer star, Jay Vandermark.
The Delran native has racked up seven goals in six games, including a crucial overtime game winner against Carthage College. He has also been named NJAC rookie of the week three weeks in a row and is currently ranked second in the NJAC in points, toting 14 total, and tied for first in the NJAC for goals.
Even Vandermark himself admitted that he wasn’t expecting this start.
“Absolutely not, coming into college soccer was one of the biggest steps I have ever taken,” Vandermark said.
Alongside his individual success is that of the team.
The men’s soccer team has started off the season 4-1-1. Amongst those wins are victories over number 11 ranked, SUNY Cortland, when, not surprisingly, he had the one and only goal of the game and a victory over number 10 ranked, North Park University, when he had two of the three Rowan goals.
Vandermark credits the hard work he and his team have put in and the bond the team has formed for their successful start.
“It was actually kind of weird how quickly we came together as one,” Vandermark said. “Working hard through the offseason and summer, along with continuing to put the work in during the season has brought me to this position.”
His hometown, Delran, is a huge soccer town and a tight knit community.
Many people back home have displayed their support for his hot start. As a Delran native myself, I have witnessed this support firsthand. Vandermark goes on to comment about the ways Delran has helped him get here.
“I definitely had the experience of playing at a high level, with our high school team having such high success,” Vandermark said. “Having their support behind me and seeing everything on social media makes me want to push harder.”
Vandermark has his goals set both individually and for the team.
“I have my eyes set on rookie of the year and double digit goals,” Vandermark said. “I just want to score a lot of goals, that’s my job. I think I’m off to a pretty good start to get there.”
When it comes to the team, he has large expectations.
“I want to win the NJAC title and make some noise in the tournament,” Vandermark said.
Rowan will look to build on their success as they take on Haverford College on Wednesday and William Paterson University this Saturday. Following that they will take a week off and come back to action against Montclair State University at home. It should be exciting to see where this team heads and how Vandermark’s elite season will pan out.
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