The Rowan men’s soccer team may not be used to playing on the big stage, but the team played like a group of experienced veterans in their 4-2 victory over No. 11 Messiah College on Saturday. It was the team’s fifth straight win.
Sophomore forward Travis Ward got things started for the Profs when his shot from 18 yards out found its way into the back of the net at the 7:32 mark.
It is the third consecutive game that Rowan has scored in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“It’s unbelievable, my coaches and teammates have all the support in me,” Ward said. “They just let me go out there every game, tell me to play my hardest, and tonight I had a good night.”
Only two minutes into the second half, Ward struck again, this time with a firecracker of a shot that tucked right under the crossbar.
Freshman forward Shane Doherty also put in two goals, one being a break away in the 55th minute and the other follow a deflection of a Vinny Ignatowicz shot at the 63:40 mark.
“This was great for the team,” Doherty said. “It feels great getting those two goals for the team.”
It was the second multi-goal game for both players.
The Falcons of Messiah made things interesting late in the game when freshman midfielder Nick West put in two goals, one at 69:26 and the other 7 minutes later.
“I think the intensity did drop off and I think Messiah, they’ve been the best program in the country for the last 15 years,” Baker said. “No matter how good we play I don’t totally think it was our letdown. They’re still one of the best teams in the country and they’re not going anywhere. We beat a good team today.”
However the late push wasn’t enough, and the Profs earned the first win over Messiah College in team history.
“We obviously lost it there a little bit in the second half and we have stuff to learn,” head coach Scott Baker said. “We can’t lose 15 minutes of the game, 20 minutes of the game like we did, but we did enough in the first half to get the win.”
The Profs, now at 6-1, are set to play Berkeley College (NJ), who is 1-5 and have lost three straight.