After defeating The City College of New York Beavers last Saturday, Sept. 16 by a final score of 10-0, Rowan men’s soccer went into their road game against the Washington College Shoremen on Tuesday, Sept. 19 with their spirits high. The outcome didn’t turn out as they planned, with the Profs getting shutout 1-0.
Rowan came into the game as the No. 21 ranked team in all of Division III and hadn’t lost a game so far in the 2023 season, albeit with draws being the outcome in four out of their first six games.
This loss gives the Profs an overall record of 2-1-4 on the season. For the first time this season, Rowan was held scoreless as Washington College recorded a shutout. Head Coach Scott Baker gave insight about the team’s matchup with the Shoremen.
“Washington College is a great team and we have to have our best stuff or it won’t be what we want,” said Baker. “They have a similar start to the season as we did with two wins and five ties, so we know our opponent tonight has shown grit and determination. We just need to capitalize on chances and we walk away with our third win of the season.”
For a large majority of the first half, both the Profs and Shoremen were stagnant offensively until Washington College midfielder Ben Strine squeezed a goal past Rowan goalkeeper Dylan Aportela in the 36th minute, which sent the Profs into the halftime locker room trailing 1-0. Coach Baker and company had clear adjustments they were looking to make, specifically offensively.
Out of halftime, the Profs were on the attack and had chances to score on the Shoremen’s goalkeeper Anthony Pinto but just couldn’t convert. Rowan had 11 shots at the end of the game, with four being on goal. The last and closest shot of the game came off the leg of Greg Ferreira within the 90th minute and the freshman shot it wide right, securing the win for the Shoremen.
The Profs and sophomore midfielder Jason Barragan received their first red card of the season in the 84th minute of the game. The Profs also received three yellow cards, one going to Barragan, one to sophomore Johnny Troiano, and one to sophomore Aidan McGuigan. Barragan shared his thoughts on the penalty calls throughout the game.
“Yeah, it wasn’t ideal to start off the second half with Aidan and I getting a yellow card each,” said Barragan. “And in the final minutes of the game, I was penalized on a call that could have gone either way. It’s upsetting, as is the loss because again, it was a game that went right through fingertips. Ties are one thing but that loss last night will sting for a good bit.”
On the other hand, Washington College outshot the Profs 15-11 and had five shots on goal compared to four for Rowan. Forward Sergio Sola Garcia talked about the Profs’ shot quality against the Shoremen.
“We had some great looks, but they just didn’t fall and that goes for any game we haven’t won,” said Garcia. “There are opportunities on the break sometimes that look to be so open but a split second of hesitation can be the difference between a lead change or a loss. After Saturday, our team morale was at a high for this season, but now we have to dial back in and get ready for the next game.”
In their three road games this season, the Profs are 0-1-2 and have seemed to be a different type of team compared to when they play on their home turf. Coach Baker touched on the things that could and should happen for the team when they are not playing in Glassboro.
“We have to get on the board early and set the pace,” said Baker. “And it’s something that so far this season has been a rare sighting. To think we have double the amount of ties then we have wins is completely ridiculous and it starts with practice most of the time. Our opponents have gotten the best of us and I know this team can get it together and make a good run.”
The loss for the Profs keeps them in seventh place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) this season. Rowan will look to improve their standing when they face off against Kean University on Saturday, Sept. 23 on the road in Union, New Jersey.