In a spirited effort, Rowan men’s soccer came up short against the top-ranked New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) team, Montclair State University, 2-1 in Glassboro on Saturday night.
Among the teams that Rowan has played this year, Montclair State has been their toughest competition. Undefeated in the NJAC, the Redhawks also ranked fifth in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches Association.
Despite the success surrounding their opponent, Rowan kept it fairly even with their competition, not allowing a goal in the first half.
However, forward Gil Ferreira, freshman, would commit two yellow card penalties within the first 22 minutes. This resulted in a red card and his ejection, leaving the Profs a man down for most of the match. The team had to make some adjustments to stay competitive in the game.
“We dropped one of our forwards back, and we knew we had to defend first and attack second,” James Weinberg, a senior goalkeeper, said. ”Just dig down and grind. We were down a man for 75 minutes and by the end, we didn’t even realize we were down a man.”
At the 55-minute mark, Montclair State scored the first goal of the match and then, eight minutes later, extended their lead to 2-0. Forward Janbi Kaghado, a junior, was responsible for both goals for the Red Hawks.
On the brink of being shut out, Rowan kept giving their max effort on every opportunity with the ball. After multiple solid looks on the goal, forward Chad Yates, a sophomore, set up forward Matias Carrion, a freshman, perfectly for their first goal of the match, putting Rowan within one of Montclair.
Matias’ second goal of the season came at a critical moment in the game, as it gave life to a team who were on the ropes. The last ten minutes of this contest presented multiple chances for Rowan to tie the game, but just couldn’t quite get the ball between the posts.
It was a valiant effort by a Rowan team that needed something positive to go their way after losing to Kean University on Wednesday 2-0.
“We played great,” Head Coach Scott Baker said. ”Montclair is one of the best teams in the nation and probably the best in the conference right now. We played a man short most of the game. We played with heart. I’m proud of the guys disappointed in the result.”
Rowan is now 9-3-1 and looks to finish up the regular season at Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday with the NJAC tournament quickly approaching.
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