The Profs opened up a three game home stand in winning fashion on Wednesday night with a 4-0 victory over the visiting College of Staten Island Dolphins.
“To build confidence with such a young team we need to have a couple wins and now we have them” head coach Scott Baker said.
Rowan came out of the gate hot, winning three corner kicks in the first couple of minutes, but they were unable to capitalize.
Despite taking twice as many shots as Staten Island in the first 45 minutes, the game went into halftime knotted up at zero.
“In the first half I thought we played very well, we just weren’t able to put the ball in the back of that net and we went into halftime knowing that we were definitely the better team,” sophomore forward Travis Ward said. “We just had to get composure in the final third of the field.”
In the second half, Rowan came out firing.
Ward got that composure he talked about and opened up the scoring in minute 53 with a shot to the lower right corner. Ward beat his defender before firing the ball into the back of the net for the unassisted goal.
Ward would score again in the 79 minute, squeezing the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs before flashing the crowd the number 11 on his jersey.
“It felt good getting that first one off of my back,” Ward said. “It’s a big thing for anybody, and I was lucky enough to get two tonight.”
Rowan would go another 13 minutes before finishing the ball again, this time by sophomore forward Jake Conners.
Freshman Shane Doherty took the ball to the end line and dribbled Staten Island keeper Daniel Raffo before sending the ball across to Conners for the goal.
Center backs usually don’t get mentioned in the box score, but freshman Will Sjaastad got up on one of the 11 Rowan corner kicks, and headed the ball into the net.
“Stay with our game plan and eventually it’ll pay off. We don’t have to panic if it’s nothing to nothing for a while, if it’s one to nothing,” Baker said. “It doesn’t need to be four nothing the entire game.”
Despite the 4-0 lead, the Profs still had ten minutes to play, plenty of time to have a mental lapse or defensive breakdown. However, that mistake never came and freshmen goalkeepers Kyle Dennis and Grant Kelly kept Staten Island off the board.
“Our focus for today was to keep possession of the ball. When you keep possession of the ball eventually we were hoping to tire the other team out,” Baker said. “It’s not that we did anything different in the second half. It’s just that teams get tired of chasing the ball.”
Rowan continues its stretch of home games this weekend with the Gilmore Alumni Classic playing games against Moravian College and Wesley College.