No. 15 ranked Rowan men’s soccer team is continuing their strong start to the 2021 season, as they are now 5-0 after defeating Haverford College 4-3 and Washington College 3-2 in the Jimmy Mills Tournament. Both these victories were not easy for the Profs, as they mounted comebacks in both games to just squeak by.
On Saturday against Haverford, Rowan trailed 3-1 before Wilby Alfred exploded for two goals in 27 seconds to tie it up 3-3. Then in overtime, Aaron Robertson scored the game winning goal.
Fast forward to Sunday, the Prof’s found themselves trailing again in the second half, this time down 2-1 against Washington College. It was midway through the second half when Alfred took over and scored the next two goals again to put Rowan over the top.
So far this season, the men’s soccer team’s greatest strength has been their grit. Against tough competition, the Prof’s have figured out different ways to come out on top despite playing close games that could go either way. Coach Scott Baker stressed how proud he was of his unit’s play over the weekend.
“We were down four goals in different spots over the weekend, against two very good teams,” Baker said. “And to win both of those games– the credit goes to the whole team.”
Alfred received the New Jersey Athletic Conference [NJAC] weekly honors for his performance this past weekend, in which he totaled four goals and one assist. What stands out about Alfred’s effort this weekend was the game-tying goals in both games, and the game winner against Washington 7 minutes into overtime.
“This past weekend he was playing like one of the best attackers in the country,” said Baker, “Anytime you have a guy performing like Wilby, credit goes to him as well as the team. I think his performance this weekend was as good as anyone in the country.”
The Prof’s game last Wednesday night against SUNY Westbury was cancelled and won’t be rescheduled. This means their next game will kickoff NJAC play for Rowan, as they head to North Jersey to take on Ramapo at noon on Saturday.
Ramapo was picked just ahead of Rowan to finish second in the 2021 NJAC Preseason Coaches Poll. Baker is eager to see his team take on Ramapo, but also noted they won’t be the only tough team Rowan will face in NJAC action this year.
“The teams in our conference have the ability to beat you on any given day,” Baker said. “And if you don’t come out and play a great game you’re gonna be in big trouble.”
Being in a tough conference makes getting off to a ground running a bit challenging. Rowan has passed the test so far this year when it comes to out of conference play, but Rowan’s biggest obstacles are still ahead of them starting at noon on Saturday at Ramapo.
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