The lights were shining bright on Wednesday night as the Rowan women’s soccer team once again secured a win against Rutgers-Camden. Rowan now has a 20-0-3 record against the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival Scarlet Raptors since the year 2000.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Profs have had 13 shutouts in a row against Rutgers-Camden, a streak that dates back to Oct. 29, 2001. Despite this level of dominance by the Profs in recent years, one might think they overlook this opponent. But they fought hard for a 3-0 shutout to extend their streak to 14.
Head coach Scott Leacott thinks that despite what the numbers say, Rutgers-Camden can cause problems for the Profs, crediting the Scarlet Raptors’ work ethic.
“They are a tough team,” Leacott said. “They always play us really tough. We knew that they work hard. There were times when it looked really good, and other times we were like, ‘alright, let’s get it together.’ After every time we scored a goal, it felt like we lost momentum a bit. I just think it is important to know that when we score a goal, we’ve got to keep it up. When they are down a bit, that is the time to capitalize.”
One of the stars of the game was forward Mackenzie Clement, who scored two of the three goals. The pair of goals gave her the team lead, surpassing forward Olivia Giordano, with ten on the season.
Her first goal was scored in the first half off an assist from Lianna SanFelice, who also scored a goal in this matchup.
“We worked a lot in practice on connecting and checking the ball, then turning,” Clement said. “Then connecting with Lianna just came really naturally to me.”
Her second goal came off a corner kick in the second half, after a defender attempted to clear it but was intercepted by Clement’s right foot for one touch, and then scored off the next.
“The second goal, I just wanted to get on the end of it,” Clement said. “It was a bit of a scrap in the box, but I was able to put it through.”
Goalie Calista Burke also had a good game, with four saves and no goals given up, playing all 90 minutes. She came into the game with a lot of confidence.
“I was looking forward to this game,” Burke said. “I wanted to get a shutout, and we did.”
Burke credits the offense for allowing her and the backline to maintain the shutout.
“Yeah, getting the early goal gave us confidence,” Burke said. “It allowed us to keep the shutout and made us work as hard as we could.”
While the team did have a good defensive game, there were a few things that Coach Leacott thinks they can clean up a bit before their next match.
“They were strong for most of the game,” Leacott said. “There was a 5-minute stretch where they pinned us in. They were not extremely dangerous in the second half. The only time they had opportunities was when we had a foul or a turnover. What we have been preaching is no fouls or stupid turnovers; we do that, and we do not give opportunities to score goals for the other team.”
Rowan has another game on Friday, Oct. 13, when Ramapo, who has a record of 2-7-1 overall, comes into Glassboro.
“We have a day off, then a game on Friday,” Leacott said. “It is a quick turnaround, but I am expecting us to play well.”