What do “Stranger Things,” “Open for a surprise” dog pictures on Twitter and the Rowan men’s soccer team all have in common? They are all must-see entertainment.
Heads have been on full-tilt thus far for the club, as they’ve continued their winning ways — for the most part.
This past Friday, the team suffered a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to a tough Messiah College team. After falling behind 1-0 at half, junior forward Shane Doherty netted his fourth goal of the season 10 minutes into the second stanza. Senior forward Travis Ward gave the brown and gold some insurance with a goal at the 64-minute mark, but the Falcons swooped back. An 85th-minute goal brought the game to a standstill, with the game-winner coming in the first two minutes of double-OT. The loss gives the Profs a pair of losses to go along with six victories.
One thing is true for Rowan, though. When they win, it seems to be without breaking a sweat. With three shutout victories, all of which have been accomplished with five-plus scores.
Saturday just added to this feature.
The Profs defeated New Jersey City University. How? With yet another blanking of an opponent, this time 6-0. Make it four shutouts. Forwards Burak Ozdemir and Blake Czajkowski notched their first goals of the season, as well as sophomore midfielder Modou Sowe. This would begin New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play for the brown and gold.
On the flip-side, when the team loses, it’s been a tough pill to swallow. Earlier in the year, the Profs’ first loss came against Lycoming College in the last 10 minutes of the contest. But, just like their fans did on Saturday’s Scarf Night, Rowan is just getting warmed up.
“I really like how the team is performing so far this season,” said head coach Scott Baker. “But, I don’t think we are anywhere near where we are going to be by the end of the season.”
A portion of Rowan’s offensive success is due to the play of Doherty, who has four goals and two assists already this season. He was also named one of the team’s captains in the off-season.
“It is was one the greatest honors I’ve ever had,” Doherty said. “I’m going to continue to be a good teammate on my team.”
Although a good majority of goals reside next to his name, Doherty said that this means nothing, as the team goes out with one thing in mind: winning.
“It’s not a selfish thing where somebody wants to score more than the other teammate,” Doherty said. “We just try to score at least three goals per game and if not we take full responsibility for our actions.”
As every successful team does, the hard work and consistency that is shown on the field is processed through practices.
“During the games, we have to get more into a rhythm,” Baker said. “This all starts at practice, defining our main players and our starters.”
Practice certainly made perfect, as Rowan defeated Franklin and Marshall College to conclude their four-game home stand.
Doherty continued his stellar play by placing the first goal in the stat sheet by the sixth-minute of the contest. Junior forward Ryan Campbell added a pair of his own goals, giving him his seventh and eighth of the year.
The Profs head to William Paterson University for an NJAC showdown at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
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