Rowan Men’s Soccer Defeats Washington College in Final Non-Conference Matchup

Chad Yates works his way around a defender. Yates currently leads the teams in goals. Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Rowan’s men’s soccer took down Washington College 1-0 in Glassboro thanks to a first-half goal by Chad Yates, his third goal in the last two games and improving their record to 5-3-1 on the season. 

Nine games into the season, Yates’ has already scored five goals this season, which is as many as he did all of last year, but for him, team success always comes first. 

“Foremost I’m a team player,” Yates said. “I just love getting wins in that column. I like to see individual success come but that’s not what’s on my mind. I’ve been getting myself in the right places, my teammates have done an excellent job of getting to their spots and working the stuff they’re good at, I just happen to be there at the right time and right now the shooting boots are working.”

Washington College came into Glassboro on Tuesday with a 1-2-2 record but current season record aside, last season the Shoremen made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament. This made them the fifth non-conference opponent the Profs have faced this young season, who made the 2021 NCAA tournament.    

Yate’s lone goal of the game that came in the first half would have not been possible without the effort of Johnny Troiano.  

Scoreless for the first 29 minutes of action, Troiano beat his defender to the ball on the attack streaking down the sideline, and close to ten yards away from the corner he sent it back into the box to also streaking Yates who finished the job. 

The pass was split by three defenders and could not have been any more of a perfect pass. For Troiano it’s simple; practice makes perfect.  

“We practice that play in practice every single day,” Troiano said. “Got to trust Chad [Yates] because you know he’s gonna be there, play it backwards on the floor. It’s what we practice every day. Going to the line and playing it in and he finished it.”

The duo of Yates and Troiano gave the Profs all they needed on the scoreboard as the defense played with [at times] reckless abandon grounding the Shoremen’s attack to only two shots on goal. 

Chay Kaplan recorded the shutout in goal, his second consecutive since returning from injury as it seems going forward he will be getting most of the starts in goal. 

With non-conference play in the rearview and conference play on the horizon, Head Coach Scott Baker knows the challenges that lay ahead but is confident in this year’s squad to handle that adversity after how they handled themselves against some of Division III’s top competition. 

“The tough part of our schedule, in a lot of ways, is behind us as well. The NJAC is obviously the NJAC but we’ve played really tough teams Trinity, Cortland, Washington, Hopkins,” Coach Baker said. “These are all teams that could be in the final four and I’m happy where we’re at and who we are. We now start this part of the season which is obviously super challenging and I feel really good about this group right now.”

The tough competition doesn’t stop as the Kean University Cougars come to Glassboro on Saturday for a rematch of last year’s heartbreaking defeat for Rowan in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) finals, losing in penalty kicks 4-3.

The loss has left a bad taste in returning players’ mouths, like Yates, who seeks vengeance when the Cougars come to town.

“I would love to get some revenge on these guys. For the guys who have been on the roster for a couple years we know they do to us. Especially last year, they took one at their home field in NJAC play. Then came the tournament final they took it again from us,” Yates said. “For me personally that’s back-to-back seasons that the NJAC title has been stripped from us, so they’re definitely on my bad side and I’m looking forward to getting back at them.”

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