Rowan Men’s Soccer rebounded from a 2-1 loss to Haverford College on Wednesday, Sept. 7, by going 2-0 in the Jimmy Mills Tournament in Haverford, Pennsylvania this past weekend. This marked them a season record of (3-2-1) and Head Coach Scott Baker’s 100th career victory.
Starting last Wednesday in their home opener against Haverford, the Profs scored first at the start of the second half on a penalty kick by Chad Yates.
Yates’ second goal of the young season gave them a brief lead, but on an evening where Rowan outshot Haverford 14-8, it was the Fords who made their shots count the most.
In a span of five minutes, starting at the 69th minute, Paul-Andre Coulibaly and Andrew Fritz responded with goals of their own to take the lead from the home team. Haverford goalkeeper Dylan Ioffreda stopped a late second-half penalty kick by Yates, and Rowan found themselves with two losses on their season resume.
Coach Baker had one message for his team about what’s most important after the loss to Haverford.
“How do we respond?” Coach Baker said. ”We can’t change the Haverford game, I think we are a better team than we showed. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we can’t change it, so how do we respond?”
With a clear message rolling into the Jimmy Mills Tournament, they faced Skidmore College and Lycoming College– the squad was eager to respond to their disappointing decision last time on the pitch.
Turlough Gartlan’s 32nd-minute goal was all Rowan needed against Skidmore College on Saturday, Sept. 10, to shut them out 1-0.
Goalkeeper Chay Kaplan, a sophomore transfer from Rutgers-New Brunswick, played nearly the whole game until the last five minutes when Tomas Lazicki came in to finish the contest. Early on this season, the Profs have alternated Kaplan and Lazicki after senior James Weinberg played in goal every game last season prior to graduating.
Kaplan would go on to record two shutouts this weekend, and the team is yet to lose in a game he starts (2-0-1). Having to compete with his teammates day in and day out has helped him early on against these tough teams he’s been facing.
“Competition has been really good. In between the team and between us and other teams,” Kaplan said. “We have, of course, the hard hat during games, and all of us are always trying to win the hard hat by being the hardest worker on the field.”
With the winner of the hard hat on the line, the Prof’s demonstrated another dominant defensive performance, allowing zero shots on goal and besting Lycoming 1-0 to give Coach Baker his 100th career win.
Prof’s freshman Cole Hayman scored his first career goal not even ten minutes into the game, leading the charge over the Warriors. For his effort, Hayman was selected New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Men’s Soccer Freshman of the Week.
“It feels great,” Hayman said. “Especially in my first career start and we played good this weekend so it feels really good to earn it.”
Most notably, this was Coach Baker’s 100th career victory as head coach since taking over in 2014. A 1993 alum and the second-winningest coach (100-42-9) in the soccer program’s history, Coach Baker took over for his former Head Coach, Dan Gilmore, who was the winningest coach (559-184-59) from 1976-2013.
“Just to be the head coach alone is a dream come true,” Coach Baker said. “This program has been amazing. Being a part of it as a player, I was blessed then to be a part of it and same thing today as coach. 100 wins is a cool milestone, but personally, for me, it’s just a cool milestone. It doesn’t come close to the day-to-day feeling. Being a part of this program with all the coaches, families, and players– I’m super lucky.”
Looking for career win 101, Coach Baker and his squad will travel to New York to take on SUNY Cortland at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14. They will host a pair of non-conference home games before a much-anticipated rematch against defending NJAC champion Kean University next Saturday, Sept. 24.
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