Rowan men’s soccer season came to an end on Sunday, Nov. 14, in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Championship Tournament against Christopher Newport University 1-0.
Rowan came into the NCAA tournament this weekend looking to replicate the playoff run they had in 2019, a year in which they made the Sweet-Sixteen.
With home-field advantage, Rowan took down College of Mount Saint Vincent 2-0 in the first round Saturday afternoon. The game was scoreless into the second half until Mount Saint Vincent’s Alejandro Rodriquez committed two consecutive yellow cards disqualifying himself from the match.
The Profs took advantage, being a man up to score second-half goals by sophomore forward Jay Vandermark and freshman back Turlough Gartlan that led Rowan to victory.
“We took over the game. They [Mount Saint Vincent] had no chances,” Head Coach Scott Baker said. ”We had the ball most of the game and completely dominated.”
After a dominating effort against the Dolphins, the Profs would have less than 24 hours to get ready for their next opponent on Sunday, the Captains of Christopher Newport.
Both squads played with intensity, knowing that a loss meant the end of their season. Due to the gravity of the situation, many players were playing with a reckless abandon that led to five yellow cards and one red card, which played a huge part in deciding the winner of this match.
Freshman midfielder Leo Montesinos picked up his second yellow card at the 67 minute, leaving Rowan a man down for the rest of the match. This ejection opened the door for the captains who, up to that point, had yet to get a shot on goal.
With 12 minutes of the game remaining, Tanner Dail of Christopher Newport headed in the only goal of the afternoon, subsequently ending Rowan’s season.
The Profs finished the 2021 campaign 13-4-2.
The last game of the year for Rowan was a loss, but when asked what he thought about his players Coach Baker would still call them victorious.
“Winners. Winners in general. Obviously, the Christopher Newport game we lost, so it doesn’t sound so accurate but there were just so many times that we either had an injury, playing short a man, or we were behind one or two goals,” Coach Baker said. “Just finding ways to win and overcome so many different obstacles all year. I’ll look back at this group as a whole as winners.”
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