Coming off a couple of tough losses to the top two teams in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, the Rowan lacrosse team responded with a crucial win in difficult conditions against Stockton.
The Profs scored the first seven goals of the game and never looked back, cruising to an easy 16-5 victory on April 15.
With the win, Rowan jumped past both the Ospreys and Ramapo. The Profs now sit in third place in the NJAC with an 8-4 overall record, and 2-2 in the conference.
This was Stockton’s first year with a lacrosse program, so Rowan went into the game not knowing what to expect.
“We had to come back, be refocused, regenerate,” head coach Lindsay Delaney said. “We don’t know anything about Stockton, we never played them before so it was just about taking care of our own personal business and sometimes that’s nice when you go into a game and you don’t know what to expect so you can’t even worry about that — you just focus on each other.”
Midfielder Jamie Blondina shined in the frigid weather, scoring six goals, three of which came in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“I was just moving my feet, trying to draw defenders, getting through and not stopping and when that started working I did that,” Blondina said. “I had to keep focusing on that and changing the levels of my shot. So instead of shooting high all the time I had to kind of shoot low, fake low, and shoot high.”
Attack Becca Wood was shut out in the Profs’ previous two losses, a rare occurrence for the team’s leading scorer of the past two years. Wood bounced back in a big way with a four-goal game.
“It was more of a mental thing for me. I think I was in my head and overshooting when I didn’t really need to be,” Wood said. “I just went into this game thinking, ‘I know what I need to do,’ and I kind of just went out there and did that.”
It was a win that Rowan needed after losing the second NJAC game of the season to Montclair State 14-11 on Saturday. Despite striking first, Rowan fell behind 9-4 in the first half.
The second half was much better, with the Profs outscoring the Red Hawks 7-5, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit.
“We went up 1-0 and we were playing well the first five minutes. We had great shots, but we went 0-9 on free positions and we shot less than 30 percent,” Delaney said. “It was an overall effort. We just weren’t finishing, that’s all.”
At this point in the season, the Profs are looking at every game as a must win. Rowan will play its next three games at home against Cabrini College on Thursday, Ramapo on Saturday and Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday.
“Now we know we need to win out for the rest of the games so we’re just taking it one game at a time,” Blondina said. “We’re over the losses that we had and we’re just going to look at the good things that we have been doing and keep going from there.”