The last time Rowan men’s soccer played Kean University was Oct. 5 on the road.
The end result was a 2-1 loss for the Profs, but it was not just any loss as it was their first in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play this season. There were obstacles leading up to the game but the team refused to let those obstacles play a factor in the loss.
On Saturday, fourth seeded Rowan and fifth seeded Kean University met again in the first round of the NJAC Championship tournament in Glassboro, New Jersey.
There were obstacles again as Rowan were short a couple of players due to injuries, and red cards were issued to Ryan Logar and Jake Logar but the Profs got their revenge by winning the game 2-1 in double-overtime.
The game-winning goal was scored by fifth-year senior and captain Kevin Primich.
The goal was Primich’s first goal of the season and it came at a great time for the Profs who advance to the semi-finals.
After junior Matt Hendrickson scored on the penalty kick to even the game at 1-1, Primich had one thing in mind and that was to score.
The night was “super” memorable for Primich and one he will never forget.
“I just wanted to put [the ball] in the back of the net and end their careers,” Primich said. “When I saw it go in the back of the net, I kind of, I guess blacked out with adrenaline and exhilaration and ran to the crowd. While I was at the base of the crowd with the whole team, I kind of realized, ‘Wow, we just won,’ and it was such a good feeling just to have ended that game right then and there.”
Head Coach Scott Baker has a lot of high praise for his senior captain and isn’t surprised that he was the one to end the game.
“He can score goals but he’s in a different position for us because he’s locking down our defense and he’s a leader on the team and he’s done so much in so many different ways for our program,” Baker said. “As far as him scoring, he was pushing up a lot [in] that game and had a couple other chances and, like I said, he was a goal scorer before he got here and he could still score goals. It was great, it definitely wasn’t surprising. He’s a terrific player all around and we expect a lot of things coming from him.”
Primich’s journey leading up to that moment was even sweeter as he had to go through a lot to play this year.
He had to pay out of pocket to play, and adjust to a new squad of players because his closest friends whom he’d played with previously graduated.
“Scoring that goal, it was emotional,” Primich said. “It meant more to me than a lot of people probably think. It wasn’t just like, ‘I scored a goal and yeah, we won,’ it was a very emotional time for myself, I have nothing but gratitude [for the program]. When I scored, it wasn’t like this cocky-like confidence at all, I felt humbled and grateful to now see another game with this team.”
Baker knows the journey that Primich had to go through and was very happy to be able to witness the goal and see Primich have a moment like the one he had Saturday.
“He’s a fifth-year senior, he’s had to give up a lot to play this year,” Baker said. “I was so happy to have him get to experience that with how much he had to go through just to get back for this fifth year.”
The Profs will play Wednesday as they travel to Mahwah, New Jersey to battle first-seeded Ramapo College in the semi-finals of the NJAC Championship tournament.
This will be the second time in two weeks the teams will see each other. The Brown and Gold are also looking to win their first NJAC game on the road this year.
The team outshot and outplayed Ramapo the last time the two competed against each other but did not get the win.
The plan, as Baker put it, is to do the same thing but finish those chances.
But there will be a different look as Hendrickson, Modou Sowe and Corey Haines, all of whom did not play in the game two weeks ago, will be playing tomorrow.
“Those are three guys we didn’t have last game that are consistent starters for us,” Baker said. “We feel like they’ll make a difference. I think between them, our focus now, us coming together after a big win, getting revenge at Ramapo, it puts us in a great position to have a good showing.”
Primich felt that the Profs should have won the regular-season game against Ramapo as they felt they were the better team. The momentum from the win against Kean should be added motivation to exact revenge against Ramapo.
“Going into the game against Ramapo, I feel really strong just because of the momentum that’s gonna carry us from this last game, the energy after the game,” Primich said. “Celebrating like that and having such a big win within our squad, I just think we’re going to carry that into the next game and just go into their house and take it to them all game.”
There will be a little added motivation as they will be without senior captain Ryan Logar, who will miss a few games because of a red card. Baker felt the call against Logar was wrong and unfortunate but the goal is to win a few games for Logar to be back.
“We need to win a few games to make sure that Ryan Logar is back on the field,” Baker said. “We have the same focus that we do for every game [and] it is to be at our best, but I do think there’s a little added motivation to win some games to make sure that Ryan Logar gets back on the field.”
Fourth seeded Rowan will travel to Mahwah, New Jersey to play first seeded Ramapo College in the semi-finals of the NJAC Championship tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.
Update: The Profs beat Ramapo 1-0 and advance to the NJAC final.
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