In a midweek battle this past Tuesday, April 12, Rowan lacrosse had their first meeting of the season with a rivaling New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) school, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). It was the first of six-straight conference matchups that the Profs will have over the next few weeks before their regular season comes to a close.
Coming into the game, Head Coach Lindsay Delaney emphasized how important these NJAC matchups are for their season aspirations.
“Every game on our schedule, we look as equally important,” Coach Delaney said. “But these conference games give us our best chance at getting into the NJAC playoffs. If we can get into the NJAC, then we have a shot to get into the NCAA tournament, which is our goal.”
It was not an ideal start to that stretch for Rowan, as they fell to the TCNJ Lions by a score of 21-9.
The first quarter of the game was a competitive one that featured seven goals. However, TCNJ ended the first quarter up 4-3. Rowan allowed a quick goal early on, but senior attack Ashley Lechliter put up two of her own to keep her team within striking distance.
It was the second frame, though, that saw the game come unglued. A 6-2 offensive explosion by the Lions caught Rowan off guard. The Profs’ starting goalie, senior Reilly Shaup, was pummeled by 11 shots on goal. Despite her five saves in the quarter, her team was down 10-5 at halftime.
The third quarter mirrored that of the first, as it was tightly contested and featured two goals from a Rowan senior. This time, it was attack Chloe Shea that stuck the ball in the back of the net twice.
Despite her efforts, it was not enough for Rowan to gain any ground. TCNJ matched the Profs’ three goals to keep their five-score lead safe.
By the fourth quarter, Rowan seemed to be out of gas. TCNJ put up eight goals in the final 15 minutes, while the Profs could only put up one lone score. This led to a disheartening 21-9 final score.
While the result was not what the Profs were hoping for, they still have five NJAC matchups remaining to redeem themselves and work toward a playoff berth.
“Each game has its own challenges, and each team in the conference is incredibly different, so we will just take it one game at a time,” Coach Delaney said.
Rowan will have five more opportunities against NJAC opponents to solidify themselves as viable contenders in the conference. With that said, they are going to need to improve key areas of their game that they did not perform well in against TCNJ.
One major thing that will need to be addressed is the draw control battle; TCNJ dominated Rowan by winning 20 more draw controls than them. This led to more offensive opportunities and they had nearly double Rowan’s shots on goal, 31-16.
Will Rowan lacrosse be able to improve their collective performance down the stretch, or will they continue to struggle against other NJAC opponents? That will begin to be answered this Saturday, April 16, as the team travels to Ramapo College to take on the Roadrunners.
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