There is a good and bad feeling that comes with something ending.
Finishing a final exam is a good ending to a grueling semester. Walking on your graduation and getting your diploma is a good ending to the stressful four years of college.
But the end of college means saying goodbye to the friendships and memories made during those four years. Saying goodbye to the professors that have impacted you tremendously as you embark on the next chapter of your life.
In sports, the regular season ending comes with a good or bad feeling. The good feeling is when the season is over and you have made the playoffs, you have a chance to win a championship. If the season is over and you don’t make the playoffs, you’re left wondering what happened the previous season and to look forward to next season.
For Rowan men’s soccer, they do not want to be on the bad side of the regular season ending. Their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament fate will be decided when they play The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Wednesday to conclude their regular season.
A tough 2-1 loss on the road to Ramapo College saw the team outplay Ramapo but not being able to come away with the win. Coach Scott Baker knows that another loss can send the Profs home.
“Our level of play [against Ramapo] was okay, but we have to figure out a way to win, no matter what,” Baker said. “Whether it’s unlucky bounces, whether it’s bad calls by the officials, we have to overcome it all. We gotta find a way to get a win and coming into this part of the season, obviously, if you don’t win, you’re going home.”
Reflecting on the loss to Ramapo, freshman Michael Ferrara felt that the game came down to which team had the bigger heart and as he put it, the Profs didn’t have enough heart.
“Ramapo’s a pretty good [team] but I think that we were better talent-wise and as an overall team,” Ferrara said. “But when we went into the game, we didn’t [have] enough heart on the field and that’s why we lost.”
The game against TCNJ will decide the Profs fate into whether they’ll qualify for the NJAC tournament. TCNJ is also in the same position as Rowan, as they need to win to get into the NJAC tournament. Ferrara feels the game won’t come down to who plays the best soccer but, like the game against Ramapo, who wants the win more.
“I definitely think it’s going to be a battle,” Ferrara said. “Tomorrow, I definitely think we get the win. TCNJ’s a good team but I think we’re better, we’re more talented, and I think we just need to work harder for 90 minutes than they do.”
Baker echoed the sentiment that the game on Wednesday will come down to which team wants the win more and a date to the NJAC tournament. The talent is there but the heart to win the game is going to gain a victory.
“The team that wants it more tomorrow is going to be the team that wins,” Baker said. “I feel like we’re more talented but the talent is close enough [and] as we’ve proved in all of our games that if another team wants it more, they’re gonna beat you.”
The loss to Ramapo can have a small affect in their approach into their game against TCNJ, but Baker feels that mentality of letting a previous loss have an affect on the next game isn’t going to get them far if the team looks at it that way.
“To be successful, tomorrow and the remainder of the season, the level that we need [to succeed], we’re going to have to put a lot more heart into it,” Baker said.
Rowan will conclude their regular season at home as they host The College of New Jersey on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
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