After defeating St. Mary’s University on Saturday, Sept. 2 by a final score of 5-1, Rowan men’s soccer’s game against No. 7 Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday, Sept. 16 resulted in a 1-1 tie, the team’s second draw of the season.
The tie now gives the Profs a record of 1-0-2 in the young season. Perhaps the most notable takeaway from this game is the Profs’ defense, who responded in quick fashion after allowing the first goal of the game and kept John Hopkins off the scoreboard after that.
Junior goalie Dylan Aportela shared his thoughts on the team’s second draw of the season.
“A draw isn’t a win,” Aportela said. “As you can see, a lot of us aren’t happy with a draw but it’s a step in the right direction, as we lost to this team last year to start out the season.”
Even though the Profs’ matchup with the No. 7 ranked team in Division III ended in a draw, Aportela still feels good about the team’s chances as the season progresses.
“We haven’t completely lost to a team yet,” Aportela said. “And with this group of guys, we can make the same noise in the NJAC like we did last year.”
When evaluating the game, one of the negatives for the Profs is that although they did score a goal in the first half, the offense looked stagnant the rest of the contest even though they had a number of quality chances to get back on the scoreboard. Sophomore and starting forward Johnny Troiano scored the only goal of the night for the Profs and shared his thoughts after the game.
“I got the goal in the first half, but we need to work together and score some more,” Troiano said. “Because it’s not only about me getting chances, it’s the entire team.”
Rowan had just seven shots on goal over the course of the game, with three coming from Troiano.
“We played a little slow to start off but for some of these teams we have to push our foot on the gas and try to do as much as we can, especially against a team like Johns Hopkins,” Troiano said. “This year we responded with a goal unlike last season against them, but we just need to not dwindle on this draw and go try to win the next game against Haverford.”
Both teams didn’t have too much offense going on Wednesday until Will Sangpachatanaruk got his shot to go through the net at the 15-minute mark in the first half. The Profs after a slow start, responded right back with a goal of their own when Troiano netted his first goal of the year at the 17:40 mark with a shot from 25 yards out, assisted by first-year starter Jason Barragan.
Head Coach Scott Baker believes that there could have been more opportunities but that the focus is now set on Haverford, the Profs’ next opponent on Sunday, Sept. 10.
“We gotta score more goals,” Coach Baker said. “I mean, we scored five goals on Saturday and this game we did score early in the first half, but it wasn’t the result we were looking for. A win is better than a draw because a draw means we didn’t win the game. It’s our second draw in our first three games and we have to get things going before we play some of our conference opponents later down the line.”
Coach Baker also talked about what needs to happen in order for his team to make a run similar to last season in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and reach the second round or beyond of the NCAA playoffs.
“Last season, we had reasons to doubt ourselves, but we just have to focus on ourselves and consistent improvement and that’s what we are going to do this year,” Coach Baker said. “The results matter, but we know if we do what we are supposed to do we can do our best by the end of the year.”
With Wednesday’s tie, Rowan now sits in seventh place in the NJAC so far this season. The Profs will look to improve their standing when facing off against Haverford College on Sunday, Sept. 10.
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