The Rowan women’s soccer team finished out their regular season with a 0-0 tie against their conference rival Stockton Ospreys on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
The game had a playoff-like atmosphere as both teams were fighting for positioning in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs. A tie put the Ospreys into the tournament, while a Profs win would have secured the top seed and crowned them NJAC regular season champions.
“They played for the tie,” Head Coach Scott Leacott said. “They celebrated because they got the 0-0 tie that got them into the NJAC tournament. They did what they needed to do, we didn’t.”
The Ospreys were able to limit the Profs offensively all game, keeping the majority of their defenders back near the box to limit the Profs’ scoring chances.
“They were definitely playing a defensive game,” senior midfielder Natalie Pantalone said. “We felt like, honestly, all 11 of them were in their own half. Definitely made us play a different game honestly.”
“They kept 11 people back, 35 yards and in,” Coach Leacott added. “We didn’t know how to react to that.”
The Profs’ halftime adjustments created more looks for the team, as they fired off all 18 of their shots in the final 45 minutes, but couldn’t get one to touch the back of the net.
“Because they were parking the bus pretty much, we had to play with it in the middle a little bit and then get as many services as possible,” Pantalone said. “Try and get something off of it.”
“We knew that they were gonna sit in, just like they did in the first half,” Coach Leacott added. “We were sending a ton more people forward and we got some really good opportunities. Thought we should have put some away but we didn’t, that’s kind of our sport.”
While the team will still have a bye in the first round of the NJAC tournament, it doesn’t take away from the disappointment that the Profs are feeling right now.
“It’s one of the only times I can say I was really disappointed in the effort as far as 90-minute effort but you know, our season’s not done,” Coach Leacott said. “There’s not the disappointment of our season being done. It’s the disappointment of not clinching the first seed.”
The Profs will look to bounce back next week in the semifinals of the NJAC playoffs, which will be played on their home turf on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
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