Rowan women’s soccer looks to take advantage of NCAA Division III Championship Tournament at-large bid, play Cabrini on Saturday

Rowan women's soccer team beats Rutgers-Newark 4-1, in an important NJAC matchup on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 -Multimedia Editor/Jaryd Leady

Late drama hurt the Rowan women’s soccer team as they lost 1-0 in double-overtime to TCNJ on Saturday in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship Final. 

Both had a hard-fought battle on the pitch, as it took two overtime periods for either team to put a ball in the back of the net.

The difference maker in this game was TCNJ midfielder Taylor Nolan, who scored a header with two minutes left in the period to win the game for her side. 

Defense was on display, which is perhaps the best aspect of both teams. TCNJ was able to stop five Rowan shots of their 11 total (five on-goal), while the Profs halted six of the Lions’ 16 total shots (seven on-goal).

Even after falling in the conference final, the team isn’t calling this season anything close to a failure.

“I’m really proud of our results this season,” said sophomore forward Abagail Daigle. “We came together as a team with a lot of incoming players that had a really big role in the team this year and I think we did really well overall.”

The sophomore, who had taken three or more shots in four games this season, was unable to get one off against TCNJ in eight minutes of playing time. Daigle took this year as one of growth and knows that there’s still much more to learn and adjust to. She’s already tripled her goal count and doubled her assist count from her freshman year, and knows that shooting and being more efficient at her position is one place of work that she’ll hit.

“I need to work on my shots, definitely as a forward,” Daigle said. “I think I also need to learn how to play in sync with the other forwards as well.”

Fortunately for Daigle and the rest of the team, they were rewarded an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament earlier this week, giving their season some extended life.

“I think anytime you get to the NCAA tournament you have to put it down as a successful season,” said head coach Scott Leacott. “Obviously, not winning the NJAC title in the regular season or the conference tournament was a disappointment, but I thought overall between losing the first game and the last game only, you have to chalk it up as a successful one [season]. We were an exciting team to watch.”

Getting that bid gives the seniors on the team one more opportunity to get on the field for the last time and a final chance to create everlasting memories.

“I was trying to cherish every moment that I have left with the team,” said senior goalkeeper Shelby Money. “Not everything is guaranteed anymore because now we’re in [the] postseason, so hopefully we just keep playing up to our potential, and hopefully win and keep going, so that way I don’t have to stop this week and be done with this. I want to keep going as far as possible which is probably December.”

Rowan is set to play Cabrini University on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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