New Jersey Athletic Conference play opened up on Saturday as Rowan faced off against Rutgers – Newark. Although conference play has started, nothing has changed for the Profs.
“We didn’t prepare any differently,” head coach Scott Baker said. “We do our thing and we’re looking for them to stop us and what we have first.”
Rutgers-Newark struck first when Anthony DeRisi snuck the ball past Rowan goalkeeper Kyle Dennis on a breakaway at the 4:42 mark.
After that it was all Rowan.
Sophomore forward Jake Conners evened things up for the Profs when he scored in the 7th minute. Junior defender Shane Patterson put Rowan on top at the 20:42 mark, and the team took that 2-1 into the half.
“Shane Patterson has just had absolutely amazing runs out of the back,” Baker said. “He had the run of the game today. He’s just playing incredible and he’s making a tremendous difference on both sides of the ball.”
Sophomore forward Travis Ward extended the lead when he headed the ball into the back of the net in the 48th minute.
Freshman forward Shane Doherty found the back of the net two minutes later when he finished off a ball from Ward. Doherty leads the team with seven goals.
Junior midfielder and captain Vinny Ignatowicz followed up on a rebound and added to lead at the 62:12 mark.
Freshman midfielder Blake Cjazkowski tacked on two more goals when we scored in the 80th and 83rd minute.
“That’s a really important win,” Baker said. “They’re one of the top teams in the conference and they really took it to us last year. It’s a great win at home.”
The win marks the seventh in a row for the men’s soccer team and the first in NJAC play. So far this season the team is outscoring their opponents 35 to 10, but they have yet to crack the Top 25 rankings.
“I wouldn’t even say we’re close to peaking right now. I think our dominance is showing but we’re missing opportunities, we’re missing touches, and we’re not clicking at our best right now,” Ignatowicz said. “I think our preparation is far ahead that this will carry us through December.”
Now standing at 8-1, Rowan will face Rutgers-Camden, 7-1-1, on the road Wednesday night, trying to improve to 2-0 in NJAC play.