Before Rowan’s field hockey team faced off against Wesley College on Wednesday night, senior midfielder Courtney Aquino said that the team was trying to finish the ball more often and “pound teams into the ground.”
The team was able to do just that, winning by a score of 5-0. The win moves the Profs to 8-2 on the year after starting 0-2.
The win was also the Profs’ fourth shutout of the season and the sixth time that the team has scored three goals or more.
“I always thought it, but now I think the underclassmen can see that we can beat any team,” Aquino said. “In the beginning we started out slow as we have in the past, but they know we can beat any team in front of us. That will give them more confidence going into the hard games of the season.”
Facing the Wolverines acted as a bit of a tune-up game for the Profs. They were one of the last non-conference opponents on the schedule and the last one before the brown and gold open New Jersey Athletic Conference play at Kean University on Saturday. The Cougars are 9-0 heading into Saturday’s matchup, but have not played since Sept. 25.
Despite the undefeated record, senior defender Erica Faraone does not think that the game against the team from Union, New Jersey, is any more important than the others.
“They’ve been getting a lot stronger recently, but I think every NJAC team needs to be taken seriously,” Faraone said. “The NJAC’s very competitive and any team could come out with a win.”
Faraone’s statement may prove to be more true than ever this year.
The College of New Jersey has been a perennial contender, finishing atop the NJAC seven times in the past 10 years. In the three off years, the team still took second. However, this year the team is 5-3.
That does not mean that the Profs are overlooking them, however.
“In the past [TCNJ has] always been a big opponent, but now I think people really believe we can beat them,” Aquino said. “On the field this year I believe we’re not going to leave until we beat them.”
The brown and gold have been riding a hot offense and a shut-down defense through the past eight games, outscoring their opponents 28-4. As a result, junior goalkeeper Carly DeMarco was selected NJAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
The effort and output by the Profs are some of the things that head coach Michelle Andre believes will continue throughout the season.
“I think the fact that our forwards are really flexible, the fact that we can move them, it makes it harder for teams to mark them,” Andre said. “You don’t know where they’re going to be. For example, Nikki [Kotelnicki] could be playing all three spots. They play different spots on the field and they interchange. I think it’s very hard for teams to guard us.”