Rowan men’s soccer took down Stockton University 4-0 to conclude the regular season 9-5-4, earning themselves the three-seed in the upcoming New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship tournament.
The Profs are scorching hot heading into conference playoffs as in their last five games they’ve outscored opponents 15-0.
“We had a couple rough results throughout the season and we went back to the drawing board as a team. Looked at some film so we could get better as back line,” Mason Martelloni said. “The past two weeks in training all we’ve been working on is defending as a team. Shifting from side to side, when to press and when not to and its been really showing in our past five results. Five shutouts is huge and I can’t remember being on a team that did that.”
Turlough Gartlan started off the scoring for Rowan, ripping a beautiful strike from 20 yards out that hit the back of the net in the top left corner.
Gartlan is known for his defensive prowess but won’t pass up the opportunity to put one in the back of the net from time to time.
“Mainly I’m a defensive player, I came from center back to play midfield. So I don’t ever shoot, I’m gonna be completely honest. I’m more focused on defense,” Gartlan said. “So when I was in the spot I just said ‘screw it I’m gonna shoot.’ I take it every time I’m out there. If I’m open in space, I’m shooting.”
The goal came at the 16:22 mark of the first half and there wouldn’t be another goal scored until Chad Yates headed one in seven minutes into the second half for his team-leading 11th goal on the season.
Then in the closing minutes, Alex Ferrara and Gil Ferreira got in on the fun both netting goals to put the exclamation mark on a regular season concluding 4-0 win over the Osprey.
“I waited for that goal for four years,” Ferrara said. “I’m not a consistent goal scorer, I don’t score too many goals, but in training, we’ve been shooting and I’ve been working on it. It’s all about confidence, and in that situation I was confident. And I said, ‘you know this could be my last game so why not have a go.’ And I cracked it which was one of the best feelings to help my team get that goal differential and lock up third place.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Dylan Aportela has yet to allow a goal since taking over in the net leading the team to five straight shutouts.
With the win, Rowan has earned the three seed in the upcoming NJAC playoff tournament, which is quite remarkable when you consider where this team was positioned a few weeks ago.
“We’re battled tested,” Head Coach Scott Baker said. “We’ve played great teams and we’ve fought our way through tough situations. This is who we are if it clicks together it’s going to look like tonight. But we haven’t seen our best and we gotta keep pushing to that.”
The NJAC Playoff Tournament bracket will be released later on this week determining where and when Rowan will compete next as the Profs head into postseason play.
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