Rowan Men’s Soccer’s Strong First Half of the Season has put Them in NJAC Championship Contention

Rowan men's soccer team celebrating after their win over Stockton earlier this month. Rowan currently sits at 9-1-1 on the season. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. - Multimedia Editor / Nick Feldman

The Rowan Men’s Soccer team is sporting a 9-1-1 record the Prof’s have positioned themselves for one of the top seeds in the The New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs that will start Oct. 30. 

This year their success formula has been staying focused and disciplined during games. Coach Scott Baker said that would be the major key in determining Rowan’s success this year. 

“We needed to be disciplined and focused to win those big games in the national tournament,” Coach Baker said. “These are the two things that prevented us from going further in 2019.”

All except one game this year has been decided by one goal and that was their 2-0 win against NJCU on Oct. 2. Rowan has relied heavily on their defense this year anchored by senior goalkeeper James Weinberg who’s only allowed 12 goals this season, third best in the NJAC. 

Early in the season sophomore forward Wilby Alfred became the first Prof to win National Division 3 Player of the Week honors after leading Rowan to a 5-0 start and totaling four goals and three assists.

“It’s an honor,” Alfred said in an interview on Sept. 21. “I’m glad it happened because the team and I have been working all summer, pushing each other to get better. Big thanks to my team for pushing me to get that goal.”

Rowan has been getting contributions from a number of players this year. Alfred leads the team with 16 points (six goals and four assists). Behind him, sophomore forwards Chad Yates with 11 points (five goals and one assist) and Jay Vandermark with seven points (three goals and one assist). Twelve Prof’s have recorded at least two points this year with different players stepping up in big moments. 

The last game the Prof’s played on Oct. 13 may have been their biggest of the season so far. Rival Stockton University came to town and won in overtime with a goal by Chad Yates, which gave them the 2-1 win. The fact that it was in front of the home crowd made it extra sweet. 

Wednesday night the boys will travel north to take on Kean University. Rowan needs to win their last three games to still have a chance at the number one seed for the NJAC playoffs.

Soccer is a game of halves and so is the season. Rowan has passed the first half test so far but now the second half is in full swing and that means NJAC playoffs and the potentially of making the NCAA Tournament.

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