Melissa Kelly talks about soccer at a young age as Profs win seventh in a row

Senior captain Melissa Kelly celebrates with her team on Saturday against William Paterson. The Profs won that game, 6-0. Photo courtesy of Sports Information/Joseph Martin

The amount of wins in a row for the Rowan women’s soccer team can now be counted on two hands, as they hit seven games in a row with two New Jersey Athletic Conference wins this week.

On Saturday, the Profs were able to take down a middle-of-the-pack William Paterson squad, 6-0, in their first home showing of the year. Five goals were scored in the first half, three of which came before the 20-minute mark. Sophomore back Casey Lubonski and senior captains Melissa Kelly and Shannon Reardigan provided the three scores. Freshman midfielder Lauren Wood and senior midfielder Shannon Walsh gave Rowan their other two scores within five minutes of each other before the half ended. Reardigan scored her second in the beginning of the second stanza to cap off a Rowan route. 

“William Paterson went really, really well,” Kelly said. “We played some of the best soccer that we’ve played yet so far, just as a team in general. I think that being at home on our field really just changed the game. Everybody was just so pumped even before stepping onto the field, just because we hadn’t played on it yet and it’s like our home. We have all our fans here. Everybody worked super hard as a team and didn’t stop working that whole game, so it was some of the best soccer that we’ve played yet.”

Soccer has always been a part of Kelly’s life, as she comes from a soccer-oriented family, so it was easy for the love and passion for the game to arise.

“I started when I was five years old,” Kelly said. “When I started playing, I was always playing with my older sister, so playing with someone that was two years older than me… I was getting more than I would with people just my age, because she had more experience. I also played on my brother’s team for about a year. So, playing with guys just helped me get different exposure and everything, it just helped me become better as well.

Kelly started off on a club team in her local town area of Parsippany, N. J., but had continued her training elsewhere as she grew into her teens and prior to her collegiate years.

“I started off in my town, so I played for Parsippany Soccer Club for a while and then I left there and played for PDA, which was one of the best travel programs,” Kelly said. “Then, from there, I played on MatchFit, which was another very good one – probably the same level as PDA. Then that’s when I started to get a bunch of college looks and all that. Basically the year before I came here, I just went to a club that was closer to home called “TSF,” and I just finished up there before I came to college on their summer league.” 

Kelly spoke about her excitement towards facing-off with Stockton University on Wednesday.

“They’re usually one of our main rivals,” Kelly said. “It’s always a good, hard and tough game against them, but I think coming off the game we just had; I think we just gotta keep everything high and work hard and not drop down anywhere. Just keep moving forward. And, everyone is going to be definitely excited and motivated to play them because it’s just always a very good game.”

Rowan would win 2-0 to push that streak to seven. Their next game is Saturday at home against Kean University at 1 p.m.

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