The Rowan University women’s soccer team grabbed a 2-0 win Monday night over The University of Maine-Fort Kent. In doing so, Head Coach Scott Leacott earned his 300th career victory with the brown and gold.
Currently, in his 22nd season, Leacott has become the winningest and longest-tenured coach in program history. He has led Rowan to 21 consecutive winning seasons, three New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) titles and 14 appearances in the NCAA tournament. Leacott recognizes that this is not something he has achieved on his own though.
“I mean obviously if you have 300 wins, and I think it’s 21 seasons, you have to have good teams, and you have to have good players,” Leacott said. “So it’s kind of a tribute to everybody who’s played here, and the longevity of my career it’s obviously rewarding and all that.”
This season, Leacott’s squad got hot at the perfect time, right before the NJAC championship. In this non-conference matchup, the Profs took on a Maine-Fort Kent team who hasn’t won a game since Sept. 22.
The Profs had an early lead when a free-kick just outside the penalty box set up a prime opportunity. Freshman back Emma DeMaise sent a curving shot towards the net and junior midfielder Jessica Logan was able to capitalize, heading the ball into the back of the net for her third goal this season.
Then in the 23rd minute, DeMaise sent a through ball to Aidan Sheehan just outside the box who flicked it over the head of the Bengals goalkeeper Dominique Valadez to expand the lead to 2-0. Sheehan’s goal would be her eighth of the season, as she continues to lead the Profs in scoring.
This victory did not come without a battle though, as the Bengals would take five shots in the first half. In the net for the Profs was freshman goalkeeper Calista Burke who in her first career start, came up with two saves in the first half to keep the game 2-0 heading into halftime.
“I was just really trying to focus on the game, and get my head right,” Burke said. “And honestly I was ready, I’ve been waiting for this all season.”
To start the second half, the Bengals put the Profs defense to the test, but the backline of the defense held strong and didn’t let them connect with the back of the net.
Burke continued to come up big for the Profs in the second half, adding two more saves, bringing her total to four saves for the night. This also meant that in Burke’s first career start and second-game appearance, she shut out Maine-Fort Kent.
“I just played till the last minute,” Burke said. “I was not thinking ahead, I just wanted to make sure no goals went in and I’m really happy.”
Coach Leacott finished out Monday with both a victory and a huge milestone and felt humble yet proud of his accomplishment.
“As a coach, you never look at milestones or anything like that, you’re always trying to look for the next game,” Leacott said. “Obviously the next game is very important, and I’ll enjoy it with my family tonight, and I’m very appreciative of the team, but we’ve got to move on. It’s nice, it’s great, I’m not one to accept these things very well, it’s about them [the team] and all about them, so it’s a reflection of the program and a reflection of how good things have been around here.”
Although Burke is only a freshman, she has valued her time with Leacott and was happy to be a part of the game.
“I love coach Scott, and he’s definitely a role model and he deserves this more than anyone,” Burke said. “I’m so glad I got to be on the field for it.”
The Profs are now 12-3 for the season, 6-1 in NJAC play. They will close out the regular season against two conference opponents, Montclair State and Rutgers-Camden, before heading into the NJAC playoffs.
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