Not all wins come without any obstacles, and that held true for the Rowan women’s soccer team in their 1-0 win at home against Eastern University Wednesday evening.
In the victory over the Eagles, not only was the rain coming down steadily throughout the whole game, but a huge red card left the Profs down a player for a majority of the game.
Only six minutes into the first half, on an Eastern break near the goal, Rowan’s starting goalie sophomore Bristol Pizzuto got handed a crucial red card during a collision with the Eastern offensive player. The red card caused Pizzuto to automatically be removed from the game.
Since she was the goalie, the Profs were able to replace her position, but lost a player on the field.
Freshman Alessia LaRosa came in and replaced Pizzuto. Before this game, LaRosa had only played in one game for 23 minutes this season.
Her lack of experience did not show one bit during the game. In her 84 minutes in the game, LaRosa recorded six saves and did not let up a goal.
Despite the red card violation causing the Profs to lose a player for the rest of the game, it didn’t stop the team from playing a pretty even first half compared to Eastern on both sides of the ball.
But this would change in favor of the Profs after halftime.
From the very beginning of the second half, the Profs came out strong and ready to score, which happened pretty fast. Fifty-one minutes into the game, senior Daria Jones scored the first and only goal of the game off an assist from junior Kelsi Stangl.
After that, the Profs kept a consistent pace on both sides of the ball, holding off all of Eastern’s offensive efforts and securing the victory, which brings the team’s record to 5-5-1.
When asked about the win and the big turn around from the first half to the second, head coach Scott Leacott explained what he told the team during the half to get them to go out and get a goal on the board.
“I said we have to play normal,” Leacott said, “and we have to try to get a goal here. We were kinda panicking when we went down a man and we were just kinda getting the ball forward but once we settled down and found our footing, we did what we are capable of doing.”
Leacott also accredited LaRosa on her ability to step up and play a big role in the game.
“It was a tough situation for her to step into, I mean Bristol has basically been starting every single game, got the red card and Alessia stepped in and did a phenomenal job,” Leacott said. “She made some great saves and kept us in the game. It is tough to play a man down for 84 minutes but she made the necessary saves when she had to.”
LaRosa admitted that it was a little nerve-wracking going into this role, but that didn’t stop her from playing a great game.
“At first I was a little nervous because it was my first real college game,” LaRosa said. “But after a few minutes, the nerves stopped and I knew what I had to do, so I just played my game and I did what I had to.”
This victory over Eastern adds momentum to a team who needed it after not picking a win in their last three games.
The Profs look to keep this momentum rolling when they go back into conference play on Saturday at New Jersey City University.
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