The Rowan men’s soccer team hadn’t faced much adversity this season.
However, coming off of their first loss since Sept. 5, the Profs traveled to Ramapo to take on the Roadrunners in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup.
Led by senior captain Shane Kohler, junior captain Vinny Ignatowicz, and freshman forward Shane Doherty, the team got back to their winning ways, pulling out a 3-0 victory.
“We didn’t play at the level we have been we obviously got the result and got decent individual play but as a team we got away from our system, discipline and standards we like to hold,” head coach Scott Baker said. “It was a lot of chippy play and some more calls than we’ve seen and we let that get to us.”
A total of 11 yellow cards were given out during the game, three of which went to Rowan players Jake Conners, Vincent Guzzo, and Kohler.
“It’s always a battle [in conference]. Every year teams are good and I think they could be better this year. They’re always emotional and physical,” Kohler said. “So far we’ve played three good teams and came out with a 2-1 record. We know it’ll get more intense and emotional.
It was Kohler who opened the scoring for the Profs on a penalty kick, the first one of the season for Rowan, at the 16:25 mark.
“I’ve taken penalties all my life, it’s all about taking a deep breath gathering your thoughts and taking it,” Kohler said. “Everyone on this team could do it, but in this case I had earned it.”
At halftime Rowan led 1-0, but had outshot Ramapo 8-5.
Like many of the earlier games in the season, the team turned it on in the second half.
Ignatowicz scored his fifth goal of the season in the 54th minute and Doherty scored his team leading eighth goal of the season in the 79th.
Doherty scoring has become routine for the Profs, but he’s not the only underclassman contributing in a big way.
In fact, 11 underclassmen have played over 200 minutes for the team this year, with freshman goalkeeper Kyle Dennis and freshmen center backs Will Sjaastad and Kevin Primich leading the way. Seven underclassman have scored a combined 27 goals for the Profs, who have scored 38 on the season.
“I think the young players are doing great. We had a shut-out and two of our central defenders and goalkeepers are freshman,” Baker said. “Shane Doherty is our leading goal scorer and he’s a freshman as well. Our freshman starters are doing well, but so are the freshman coming off of the bench.”
Despite the success of the young players, Baker thinks that the best is yet to come.
“We’ve been very, very happy and we know the potential that they have and they aren’t there yet,” Baker said. “We’re very excited they’re in a Rowan jersey.”
Young teams usually falter at some point due to the inexperience, but Kohler thinks that the young players on the roster could help make a postseason run.
“Last year’s class and this year’s class have been the strongest since I’ve been here,” Kohler said. “We only have a couple older guys starting and we’ve had success so I think these last two classes have been very significant. As an older guy I preach what I’ve seen here and this team is special. I think as long as we keep our heads we can do something special here and leave our mark.”
Sophomore captain Tyler Logar, one of the many underclassmen on the team, isn’t surprised by it.
“I believe it’s expected. We all have the same goal, we wanna work hard and be the hardest working team in the country,” Logar said. “It goes from all ages, senior, junior, sophomore, and freshman. It’s a great thing that were doing well as a team, but were all working with the same effort and discipline.”