The Rowan Profs Falls to the Third Ranked Salisbury Sea Gulls 3 – 2 on Two Fourth Quarter Goals
GLASSBORO, NJ 10/19/2022 –
The Profs of Rowan earned the number one ranking by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association for the first time since 2002. Right in front of them loomed a game with the third-ranked Salisbury Sea Gulls. No time to bask in the reward as the game saw the only two undefeated teams in Division III play one another at Rowan. The expectation was for an intense defensive battle as neither both teams wanted to stay unbeaten.
The game lived up to those expectations. Rowan held a 2 – 1 lead after three quarters, but in the fourth Salisbury got two goals from McKenna Horner to win 3 – 2. The deciding goal came with less than a minute to play.
The Profs and the Sea Gulls proved worthy of their ranking, and may meet again on a bigger stage.
“That was a high level, top four game,” said Rowan Coach Michelle Andre. “We’ll probably see them again.”
The first half was a defensive game where neither team would generate consistent offensive pressure. Salisbury scored first on a goal by Horner who had a hat trick. Rowan leading scorer forward Julia Patrone answered with a shot to the low left corner less than a minute later. The game was knotted at one at halftime.
In the third quarter Rowan began to exert offensive pressure outshooting the opponent 5 – 1 and four shots were on goal. Finally the Profs broke through at the 36:40 mark on a goal by midfielder Kristiina Castagnola. The score came off a restart where Castagnola got the ball in the center then made move to get off a shot inside the circle to the lower right side. The graduate midfielder, who assisted on the Patrone goal, seemed to be ahead of the play physically and mentally, and Rowan had the momentum and a 2 – 1 lead.
But the game would turn to the Sea Gulls as the Profs did not take advantage of their opportunities. It proved to be the difference in the contest.
“It definitely was the difference,” Andre said. “We were getting transition in the third quarter that we didn’t get in the first half. We had opportunities. You can’t leave those things on the field on a team like that.”
The Profs had a last chance getting two penalty corners in the last few seconds with a final shot going just wide.
“We turned it around and gave them our best effort in the last five seconds,” said Andre. “We were in their circle. They won that battle.”
The task in front of Rowan is to bounce back from the disappointment. They take the field again on Saturday at Montclair State. Andre is confident the team will positively respond, and use the setback as a teaching point.
“We did some things we don’t traditionally do, so I look at it as a learning opportunity,” Andre observed. “A loss like that you can learn from. You have to have failure to have great success.”
The conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament is very much within reach. And that is what they will play for.
“That’s our goal, to win the conference championship and ride that and have the ability to host the regionals,” Andre said.
Written By: Glenn Papazian