After their showdown against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), which they won 1-0, the Rowan women’s soccer team secured another 1-0 victory against William Paterson in their next game, maintaining their first-place position in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) with a 7-0-1 conference record.
William Paterson entered the game needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, but they were shut out, ultimately extinguishing any hope of making the postseason. This dropped them to a 1-4-3 conference record, and a 3-6-7 overall record.
In a game that the Profs should have dominated, they struggled offensively throughout the first half, failing to convert opportunities into goals. They hit the crossbar twice and even struck one of their own players with a shot. One of the players who hit the crossbar was starting forward Olivia Giordano.
“We were not playing to our full potential in that first half,” Giordano said. “Hitting the crossbar felt like a setback, but I know I should maintain a positive mindset. I should think that I hit the crossbar this time, and next time I am going to score a goal. I know I should keep my head up for the team; I have confidence in my team and what we can achieve.”
Part of the problem with the offense was that they had played a physical game against TCNJ and were also hyper-focused on that matchup. This nearly caused them to take William Paterson lightly.
“TCNJ was a really significant game for us,” Giordano said. “We were a little sore coming into today’s game. We cannot afford to overlook any opponent. This game should have been 8-0, but we couldn’t finish the ball.”
Despite her dissatisfaction with her own performance and that of her team, Giordano managed to score the only goal of the game, providing the team with some much-needed momentum and confidence.
“I don’t think our team performed at its best,” Giordano said. “Scoring that goal allowed us to lift our heads and showed us that we can win this game if we play our style of play.”
Assisting Giordano’s goal was Lauren SanFelice, who came in for the injured Gabby Dean. This was SanFelice’s first game since Rutgers-Camden on Oct. 11, due to a concussion that she had been dealing with until a day before this game.
“She came out a little rusty,” head coach Scott Leacott said. “She was really excited to play, and I think the adrenaline really helped us. Gabby Dean’s injury was a setback because she had a strong first half and now has a hamstring injury. Lauren definitely provided us with a spark.”
“It felt great to come back after my concussion,” SanFelice said. “It was really hard not playing in those last couple of games. I was thrilled to help the girls in the middle. It wasn’t our best game, but I’m happy I got that assist.”
Rowan will control their own destiny when they face Stockton on Wednesday, Oct. 25. If they win, they will secure the regular-season NJAC championship and have home-field advantage throughout the postseason.