Men’s soccer’s time to win is now, host four home games this week

Senior back Garrett Hoagland battling a Kean University attack last season. The Profs have allowed just six goals thus far in the season. - Photo Editor/Amanda Palma

It’s almost a given that if asked what sport features dominant and dynamic scoring, basketball or football are the answers that will be played on repeat.

Rowan men’s soccer might just have some changing their minds.

Only five games deep into the season, the Profs have outscored opponents 21-6, including two 7-0 clean-sheets. This is old news to the team having come off a 2016 campaign outdoing teams 62-21 in total goals scored. The squad is also playing spectacularly defensively, only having allowed 24 shot attempts compared to the offense’s 120.

“It’s just about getting that chemistry going and clicking,” said junior Ryan Campbell. “We know we have a very talented offense with Shane Doherty, Travis Ward, Matt Hendrickson, and other guys that people don’t get to see as often that are just as talented. It’s about getting that ‘nobody-is-bigger-than-the-team mentality.'”

A transfer from Ramapo College, Campbell has hit the ground running thus far. He’s hit the back of the net five times, four of which came against Albright College last week. Also added to the list are two assists.

“The game is night and day compared to Ramapo,” Campbell said. “Being around better players, a better atmosphere and wanting to win, wanting to be the best… we feel like being ourselves is what will have us winning everything.”

This past weekend at the Cialella Soccer Classic in Camden was just another day at the office for Rowan. Hendrickson had two goals versus Christopher Newport University. Junior goalie Kyle Dennis picked up his third win of the season while registering his first shutout of the year in the Profs’ 7-0 victory against Frostburg State.

Expectations have already skyrocketed for the brown and gold. Prior to the start of this season, they were selected to win the New Jersey Athletic Conference in the Preseason Coaches Poll. Head coach Scott Baker is in his fourth year as the frontman at Rowan and wants to not only bring a NJAC title to Glassboro — something that hasn’t been done in 14 years — but also win a national championship; and more.

“An NJAC title is great and we’d definitely be happy to win that, but our expectations are way bigger than that,” Baker said. “We want to win a national championship. Our focus is on that.”

Adding Campbell and Hendrickson to the mix wasn’t the only power-move that Baker had during the offseason. The Profs returned six All-Conference players from last year, all of which are upperclassmen providing some light to shine on the newcomers and returning sophomores.

The foundation has been set in order to win now. There is no rebuilding process to be started. It’s win now, ask questions later for the brown and gold.

“We’ve attracted what we feel is the most talented team in the country,” Baker said. “Now, we have to balance that with hard work and discipline. Right now, we feel like we have all the pieces. We have to get some of the new guys as comfortable as we were at the end of the season last year.”

Four home games stare Rowan down this week, one of which begins NJAC play on Saturday the 16th against New Jersey City University.

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