Rowan men’s soccer (7-5-4) defeated The College of New Jersey (6-9-1) 5-0 Wednesday night, Oct. 19, thanks in large part to the effort from Gil Ferreira and Dylan Aportela.
The win also moves their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) season record to 2-3-3, and with two NJAC games remaining they are still contentious for the conference playoffs.
“For us a must-win is just another game that we have to come out and play our game. We’re a really good team, we are better than our record looks right now and if we come out and play as good as we can we’re going to win,” Head Coach Scott Baker said. “But we don’t need to take games like a must-win game. We just gotta do our jobs. Do what we’re supposed to do, focus on our system and we feel confident that things will go our way.”
This comes after a frustrating 0-0 tie last Saturday, Oct. 15, in Glassboro against Ramapo College despite outshooting their opponent once again. However, if you look at their last three games, the boys in brown and gold have had their shooting boots on scoring nine goals.
Wednesday night against the Lions, Ferreira got the Profs on the scoreboard by hitting the back of the night at 1:26 of the first half.
Then Ferreira set up his teammate Aiden McGuigan, whose first goal of the season put Rowan up 2-0 less than six minutes into the game.
“From the beginning we were just really fired up,” Ferreira said. “I think I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It just worked out really well for me. I’m just happy to be a part of but I really just feel I was in the right place at the right time.”
Ferreira and company were constantly pressuring TCNJ’s defense, getting 13 shots on goal compared to the Lions’ one.
While being held scoreless for the remainder of the first half, Rowan opened the floodgates in the second half starting with Johnny Troiano’s third goal of the season.
Then in the last 16 minutes, Armando Santana, who had a pair of assists against Rutgers-Camden a week ago, scored a pair of goals this time including his first career goal.
The Profs wouldn’t have been able to get the attack going without goalie Dylan Aportela’s third consecutive shutout.
The once fourth-string goalkeeper kept his head down and went into each practice motivated to get better each day. Coach Baker doesn’t just give out opportunities, Aportela earned it.
“We’re finally putting everything together,” Aportela said. “We’re finally focusing at the end of the season, having that focus really matter throughout the entire season but it’s really coming down to the last stretch here. We all really want to fight and make it to the playoffs, and hopefully the NCAA’s as well.”
The last two games of the regular season are on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. in Glassboro on Senior Day, when the Profs will take on William Paterson University (4-8-2, 1-5-1) and next Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. against Stockton University.
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