For the eighth season in a row, the Rowan women’s soccer team played their last game of the regular season against long-time rival and fellow New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) heavyweight, The College of New Jersey.
It’s not just the last game of the regular season that both the Lions and Profs have seen much of each other. The last two years, the brown and gold have defeated TCNJ in the NJAC Championship Tournament final to win gold in back-to-back seasons.
Again, history repeated itself in this year’s matchup, as both teams battled for the top seed in the tournament.
“There’s a ton on the line,” said head coach Scott Leacott. “The number one seed is on the line being able to stay at home during the entire NJAC tournament is a big thing for us.”
A new year means a new outlook and approach for Rowan. Talent has returned and has been gained.
“I think this is a whole new year and a whole new team. We prepare for the next opponent, and they’re our next opponent,” Leacott said.
Both teams are competitive on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. TCNJ has only allowed two goals the entire year to the Profs’ three. Rowan has netted 43 goals on the year while TCNJ has put up an impressive 56, leading the NJAC in scoring. The NJAC preseason poll had the Lions finishing first in the conference with the Profs following right behind in second.
“I think the way I see it is that they’re just a team and they’re good but they’re not unbeatable,” said junior goalkeeper Shelby Money. “I think that last year is a good example because even though we lost [in the season finale] we have the team to beat them…This year we just have to prove it again because we were ranked 2nd in the preseason poll. That is also motivation to show what this team is capable of.”
Unfortunately, the brown and gold lost Wednesday night, 2-1 in overtime. They will be the second seed in the NJAC Championship Tournament. TCNJ is now 4-3-1 against Rowan in their last eight season finale games.
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Wow, sounds like this was a huge matchup and a very important game. I wish I had details about the game or reactions to it instead of quotes from before the game happened.