Rowan’s men’s soccer team was on the road for their first taste of action in 2015, facing three teams in six days.
The Profs emerged from a demanding week with a record of 2-1 with wins coming against Rochester Institute of Technology and Clarkson University and the lone loss coming against 13 ranked St. Lawrence University.
Against RIT, Rowan fell behind early, but goals by freshman Will Sjaastad and senior Shane Kohler to end both halves put the Profs ahead. Kohler’s came with one second left on the clock.
“It was surreal. You don’t see too many buzzer beater type goals, especially in soccer, so for the team it’s unbelievable to start that way,” Kohler said. “Individually it was crazy just because it was my first game back from injury.”
Kohler had missed the previous season after ankle surgery and said that scoring the goal was special for him and that things got emotional afterwards.
“The most impressive thing was that we kept focused and competing until the end,” head coach Scott Baker said.
That wasn’t the case in a 4-0 loss against St Lawrence.
“We played a good team in St. Lawrence and it was a good first half, it was 0-0,” Kohler said. “The score indicates we got killed. In the second half they took it to us, but it was closer than the score indicated.”
Even in a loss, Coach Baker was able to find a silver lining.
“We need to come out and be focused and we didn’t do that,” Baker said. “The most positive thing is we are confident we can compete with the best teams when we’re focused.”
“Our game revolves on 1-2 touch passing and we got away from that. We had a lot of uncharacteristic, sloppy turnovers,” Kohler said. “We like to keep the ball, but we just wanted to go to net.”
Following the loss, the team had to regroup for their game against Clarkson.
“Against Clarkson we played closer to our style, fast pace and keep possession,” Baker said. It was a close score, but we were comfortable the whole game and dominated.”
Kohler echoed his coach’s opinion.
“Clarkson’s a good team in a good conference. We were down 1-0 in first two minutes, but we had a good answer,” the captain said. “We got into the box and scored scrappy goals. It could’ve easily turned into a laugher. We could’ve scored more.”
Freshman Shane Doherty scored twice for the Profs, showing everyone that he’s making the adjustment to the collegiate level.
“My team has been pushing me and the freshman have been pushing each other. We all feel confident,” he said. “It was great to get the win, especially coming off defeat.”
“The St. Lawrence game was a wake-up call,” Baker said. “The biggest adjustment came from inside, a different focus, a different energy.”
After the first week, Rowan is looking to build.
“Every game is as important as the next, but we’re more confident moving forward and going through to the next game,” Doherty said. “They’re in the past and were focusing on the next game.”