Playing (and Computing) with a Full Deck

Chris Deck has seen a lot of changes throughout his four year tenure with the team. From the team’s slow beginnings to the eventual shift in focus, the senior computer science major from Robbinsville, New Jersey, has watched his team transform into the formidable force it has become. Deck has in-turn, watched himself growing alongside it. Whether it was on the field or in the classroom, Deck developed over those four years and has matured into a young-man with a little over a month left until graduation. Deck sat down to chat about his experiences as a computer science major, his plans for the future, and of course, his journey with the team.

How do you like the weather lately?

CD: “It’s been pretty crazy. Mother Nature wants to fit all four seasons into one month.”

RP: “Yeah, we’re going from, I think, 63 degrees to 43 degrees.”

CD: “It’s going to be snowing tomorrow.”

RP: “Yeah? How do you feel about that? Is that kind of crazy for you?”

CD: “Yeah, I mean, you know a lot of people get sick from this kind of weather. I know I got sick for a couple of days. I had to miss practice because the changing of the weather always gets me messed up. From 70 degrees to 20 degrees.”

What sports team are you typically rooting for around this time of year?

CD: “So, football season’s done. So, I’m a New York sports fan, so right now I’m with the Rangers. I really don’t follow basketball as much. The Knicks kind of….they’re not the team I want to root for but they’re a New York guy, so that’s who I have to, and then, spring training for baseball’s coming up. I’m actually going to try to go see a spring training Yankees game in Florida when I go away for a couple of days.”

How is the second semester of your last year of college treating you?

CD: “It’s going pretty well. It’s bittersweet. It’s almost done so I can be out in the real world and making some real money and work at the job I’ve been dreaming of, but, at the same time, college is good. People are always around. You have some more flexibility and free time. There’s all the clubs and intramurals going on and it’s going to be tough to leave but it’s time.”

RP: “Well, I’m not sure if you know this yet, but we have I think, two months and two days of this semester.”

CD: “Yeah, you’re right.”

RP: “So, how do you feel when people count down the days for you like that?”

CD: “I don’t like the countdown. It’ll just sneak up on me and then the last week I’ll go “wow, it’s over.” I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not but it usually hits you by surprise at the end.

RP: It usually does, right? It’s like wow, I feel like I just came into college.”

Are you happy with where you are with your life is right now?

CD: “Yeah, I’m pretty happy, I’ve got a job lined up for me when I get out of school. I played lacrosse all four years here at Rowan. I studied, and got a good GPA and made some friends and memories that I won’t forget.”

RP: “What do you have lined up for after school?”

CD: “I’m going to be a….technically it’s called a “business systems analyst three” at TD Bank. I’m going to be doing like cyber-security work.”

RP: “That’s going to be some pretty intense stuff then, huh?”

CD: “Yeah.”

RP: “So, how did you get into that?”

CD: “So, obviously, I’m a computer science major and I took a specialization in cyber-security. Took about three classes, Data Communications Networking, Ethical Hacking and Pen Testing, and now I’m taking Security Applications and those three classes helped me with my internship at TD Bank last year to land that job. I got the internship actually at the job fair here last year.”

RP: “That’s good. Yeah, a lot of people some good links from the career fair here.”

CD: “I didn’t go for TD Bank. I had a list of companies that I wanted to talk to and they just happened to be there and so, I didn’t know that that could be an option and then I went down there and that’s where I ended up and that’s why I love it.”

How has your identity as a computer science major been developing for the past four years?

CD: “So, I’m not the typical computer science major one might think of. They think drinks energy drinks, always up late on Reddit, and maybe socially awkward but I know what I’m doing and I love it and I never thought twice about my path as a computer science major. It’s why I came into college knowing I wanted to do something with computers and that’s why I made it happen.”

What excites you about computer science?

CD: “The fact that you can literally make anything. That the possibilities are endless right now. I’m working on an app that I’m going to release and my friends are going to be able to use it. That’s really cool, like the ability to make something that other people around you can actually use and for their benefit and not just to make you happy, and then cyber-security really it’s interesting because of all of the exploits and hacks that you don’t think that should be possible but you find out every day that there’s a new thing that people can do and it’s really cool to see how people can get into your network and then obviously, I’ll be working to make them not. It’s the competitive edge in me. I want to be the better person.”

What was it like growing up? What kind of kid were you?

CD: “I was sporty and straight-edge. Most kids in high school, you know, they probably drank alcohol underage and high school partied. What I was doing was I would go to school, I’d come home and I’d do my homework then I’d go to hockey or lacrosse practice and when I came home I would watch my favorite show on T.V., grab a snack, go to sleep, and then hang out with my friends on the weekends or if I had time after all my stuff was done during the week I’d hang out with them. Didn’t party much, didn’t drink at all. Nothing like that until I got into college. So, I liked my childhood, it was good.”

What excites you about lacrosse?

CD: “I never knew about lacrosse until 5th grade. My next-door neighbor got me into it. He was playing since he was in like 2nd grade and they originally stuck me on defense. I had a 5ft pole because I wasn’t tall enough to handle a real pole and I don’t know, I just fell in love it with it. It was just really fun and adrenaline always pumping and I liked it. I ended up being good enough to play in college club here at Rowan. I don’t know, it’s just unlike any other sport to me.

RP: So, what excites you about the team here?”

CD: “Well, we have a great group of guys here. They’re all motivated, they all want to be here. No one’s just thinking of the party afterward or no one’s thinking “oh, I’m just here to get girls” or anything like that. We’re here to play lacrosse and that’s first and we all become kind of brothers and it’s a good family we got here.”

RP: “Oh, absolutely.”

What kind of role do you feel you play on the team?

CD: “See, in the beginning, we didn’t have a lot of people, so my role was kind of elevated. I think we had like two subs so everyone had to do everything. Now, I’m more of a role-player, trying to facilitate the offense, you know, maybe take a dodge, pass the ball to the open guy, and hustle because I’m a middie, so I have to go back-and-forth to be able to play defense and offense. So, I’m not the super-star on the team. I’m just here to do my job and help us win.”

Do you have any funny memories from being on the team?

CD: “Funny memories…You know a lot of crazy stuff happens, like Gorzynski brought a flag that said “Saturday Are For the Boys.” Didn’t know that was going to happen.”

RP: “That was awesome.”

CD: “I’d say, if I could, could I change the question to “best memory?””

RP: “Sure.”

CD: “When we beat West Chester for the first time in a double-header against West Chester and Cabrini, I think it was two years ago, my sophomore year. We played Cabrini and West Chester, beat West Chester four to two, for the first time in our school history, and everyone got together and we all just celebrated afterwards and it was the first best day of Rowan lacrosse when we made history and beat them. That was really good for us, because last time I think, we played them before that, we lost 17 to 1.”

RP: “Wow.”

CD: “So, it was really good to come back and actually win.”

What was the toughest game for you to play so far?

CD: “Toughest game I’ve played so far was when we played West Chester in the playoffs last year. So, they were a really good team. I was dealing with injuries, trying to power through them, not doing so well. I think we were only down one at halftime but it kind of fell apart after that and that was a big and game and I want to be able to go back to playoffs and be able to rewrite history and get through it and go to the national championship this year.”

RP: “That’d be really great.”

How do you think the team has changed since you first got onto it?

CD: “So, when I first got onto it, it was more of a beer-team. Everyone was just wanting to party, everyone was just there to goof around, no one was really serious. I think my freshman year we had three games. Granted we had seven scheduled maybe and a lot of it got rained out but we only played like three games and when Rob Zybrick took over, he really made the team something else. He got the games scheduled, the refs were always there, he got the team motivated and actually ready to play, and it was really crazy to see the turnaround from my freshman year until now when we went from kind of a joke to we’re on the map, our school respects us, and we’re doing well.”

RP: “You really are.”

How would you describe your playing style?

CD: “My playing style is odd. So, I am not fundamentally-sound in any sense of the word. My friends in high school always told me that what I did never seemed right but it usually works. So, I always kind of seem like my dodges, the way I see things, they always seemed odd and not fundamental. So, that’s how I’d describe that.”

Do you think other teams are surprised by your size as a middie?

CD: “I think so. Most middies aren’t pretty big. I mean, I wasn’t always this big. I gained a lot of weight in college from weightlifting and eating and drinking but I never was always this big and I imagine that teams are surprised when they see a middie like that.”

RP: “I’m sure they were surprised when they saw Alex Muholland for the first time.”

CD: “Muholland was a tank. He’s a tank.”

 If you could, what professional lacrosse player would you want to meet?

CD: “That’s a tough question, I never really thought about that. I would want to meet Gary Gait because I just want to know how he even thought to pull that move off. How he even did it because it’s just a miraculous set of athleticism and skill. To be able to do that takes the balls and confidence to know you can do that.”

 

 How do you hope to look back at Rowan when you’re all done?

CD: “I hope to look back at it as a great four-year experience to set me up for success for the rest of my life. Cherish cool memories with lacrosse and education and ultimately a good decision and not something I regret.”

Profs Take Loss to UDel at Home

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The Profs kicked off their opening weekend with two days straight with games against high-profile teams. The Profs left Princeton with their first two victories over Princeton and TCNJ on Saturday, but on Sunday afternoon, the Profs ran into a 2-7 loss at home against the University of Delaware.

This hard loss seemed to be a slow smothering of the tired flames left over from the night before. Obviously, the weather in Princeton and the two games back-to-back gave a ingredients for a hard game. The Profs remained strong as they got through the stalemate that was the first quarter. Neither side scored until about 15 minutes into the game, when a goal was placed by UDel.

Although the Profs exerted the energy necessary to compete with the Blue Hens, the game was unusually low-energy on the sidelines. Team morale was notably conservative. Brian Mahoney touts that morale as a key part of the team’s success.

“Hype is what drives us. I know when I make a save, and I hear the sideline go nuts, it gives me a huge boost. I play much better when we’re all fired up. When we score, we get hype. When we get hype, we score more. A problem our team has had is not keeping our heads up when we are losing. Some players check out before the game is over. This can’t happen. We are guaranteed to lose if players check out,” Mahoney said.

During the second half, junior, Ryan Gallagher raised spirits when he scored a nice goal. Another goal would later come from junior, Matt Gorzynski. By this time, UDel was already up to a 2-5 lead over the Profs. The Blue Hen’s offense continually wore down Rowan’s defense after multiple mistakes on offense lead to multiple fast breaks that UDel capitalized off of.

“Our offense had a few blown opportunities. Missing point-blank shots hurt a lot. I believe if those shots were made, it could’ve boosted the morale and therefore could have turned the game around and won it,” Mahoney said.

During the course of the game, the Profs ran up a total of eight penalties. Mahoney blames this on “laziness, lack of discipline, and frustration.”

“UDel had a couple of scrappy players with loud mouths. This got under the skin of some of our players and they were swinging axes out there. Simply not acceptable,” Mahoney said.

The game had plenty of action despite the low-energy motif. Junior, Billy Van Dyke was a soldier at midfield, with many situations that showed Van Dyke’s resourcefulness. These include a scuffle in which Van Dyke had to maintain hold on the ball while on the ground. Van Dyke swiftly tossed the ball over his shoulder in a last-ditch effort for possession. Keep Derek Hofmann decided to get spunky, as he ventured out of the goal and used his quick feet to dance around a couple of UDel offensive-players.

Alumni showed up for the game as well. Former-president, Rob Zybrick, and former-attack-men, Christian Gretz stopped by to see the unfortunate course of the game. Zybrick switched into coaching-mode and gave whatever he could while back with his former team. Even with that behind them, Rowan couldn’t help but cringe at a 2-7 final score. The last whistle blew and Mahoney knew exactly what to say.

“Alumni came out, and they didn’t get to see lacrosse,” Mahoney said to his team.

For Mahoney, the key concerns to address in upcoming practices will be particularly mental.

“Staying positive, not stooping down to the level of our opponents, defending against fast breaks, player conduct, man-down defense, moving off-ball on offense, and how to play against a defense that pressures out,” Mahoney said.

 

 

 

Profs Charge In with Victories Over Princeton and TCNJ

The Prof’s got right to business on March 4, when a long trip to Princeton University meant a trip to frigid, 31 degree temperatures and the team’s first two games of the season. Even with their bodies shivering, the boys came out with a 5-4 victory over Princeton and a whopping 7-1 win over TCNJ.

The sun was shining at the Class of 1952 Stadium, where the university’s D1 team also plays, but it just couldn’t seem to beat the below-freezing temperatures. Luckily, the team got a boost when Matt Gorzynski walked into the stadium with a flag reading “SATURDAYS ARE FOR THE BOYS.” This gave the team the pump it needed to get started with a slow game that gave everybody on the team a glimpse of what to expect this season.

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The game began with a face-off with Billy Van Dyke, taking the helm. From here, the game would bounce between Van Dyke and freshman, John Stover. This game immediately showed the improvements that the team has made, as well as the improvements of Princeton since the team faced them last year at the Beltway Bash in Maryland. Back then, the team won 9-3 over the Tigers in the game which also put midfielder, T.J. Murdering, out with an ACL injury. The Prof’s still managed to break through, even when the first five minutes of the first half only carried one goal against the Prof’s. Spirits were unbalanced until junior, Alex Chalef scored the first goal of the game. This is a poignant game considering that Chalet was out for the end-half of the fall season due to an elbow injury. Billy Van Dyke scored within the first half and caused a few faces to light up on the sideline.

Princeton would continue to tie up with the Profs. Brian Mahoney felt the team’s attitude changing with the thermometer.

“I think the temperature was a huge factor on Saturday. In the future, we need to come out hot despite the temperature or weather. This was our first game since the fall, and despite practicing the past month, there was bound to be a few rusty passes and shots,” Mahoney said.”The mentality going in was good, but when we realized it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, our attitude shifted a bit. I thought we came out of the game with a sense of relief and a great feeling of winning the first game of the season.”

Defensively, the team saw strong work from sophomores, Ian Rattigan, George Sayre, and freshman, Corey Spatz, well as constant energy from senior, Ryan Francisco. Offensively, the team saw what it would expect from juniors Ryan Gallagher, and Matt Gorzynski at attack along with freshman, Mike Soravilla. The Profs eventually carried away a close 5-4 victory over the Tigers.

TCNJ was found to be a relief of a gam for the Profs after getting hot-blooded against Princeton. Some of that hype stayed tuned and turned into pure sideline energy. It wouldn’t be have been the style of the team, especially Ryan Francisco, to watch another team like TCNJ get fired up before a game. It didn’t take long before it took affect.

The fire stirring from Francisco worked its way around, helping the team to put up goals thanks to Gorzynski, Van Dyke, Gallagher, and junior, Donovan Moyer. Van Dyke, Spreen, and John Slover took helm for face-offs. For both games, keeps Mahoney and Derek Hofmann took turns in the first and second halves respectively. Freshman, Dom Carlucci saw time in-goal during the last minutes of the game. Middle freshman, Pat Hall, lent his speed to the midfield, as did senior long-stick middie, Mike Conroy.

“Offense moved their feet off-ball which moved TCNJ’s defense out of position. Our offense also passed the ball with confidence and authority. Our dodges were better and our plays worked nicely,” Mahoney said.

The team carried away an impressive 7-1 win over TCNJ that night and happily sprinted straight for the safety of their warm cars. It was already about 7pm and the boys just wanted to get back home.

Get back home with a flag in one car and a sigh of relief in all of them.

 

 

 

Straight-Shooter: The Story of Pat Hall’s Life as a Marine

“I, *insert name,* do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Pat Hall had a good idea of what he was getting himself into when in April of 2015, he took this oath for the United States Marines.

A mechanical engineering major, Hall knew that he wanted to serve in some way, shape, or form. The 20-year old freshman from Mullica Hill, NJ, now runs shifts as a defensive-middie with the team, but two years ago, Hall looked to the Marines as just the challenge that he needed.

“I knew that they were the toughest. I knew that they were more select. I guess, growing up, always being an athlete, you know, I was always trying to be the best at whatever I do. I saw that as a good opportunity to really push me and give me opportunities to set myself up for the rest of my life,” Hall said.

Hall said he’s always wanted to serve. He certainly had the right environment for it, beings that Hall’s family has a rich history of serving with the Armed Forces. This lineage traces as far back as a distant ancestor who served with President Teddy Roosevelt as a Rough Rider during the Spanish-American War. Hall’s grandfather on his father’s side served with the Navy, while his grandfather on his mother’s side served with the Army. Hall’s father himself served with the Navy. So, it may be safe to guess where the influence for Hall’s decision came from. After all, it was his father’s advice that influenced his decision to take the oath with the Marines.

“My dad kind of guided me and said, “Do you want just something that you can do with the Marine Corps, or do you want to think about today, tomorrow and the future,” and do a job that would really help me out, outside of the Marine Corps regardless of how long you’re in for, and really just growing up with that kind of lifestyle really helped me get into it,” Hall said.

Hall said he was a “straight-shooter” during his four years at Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill. He said he was the captain of his lacrosse team during his senior year and had a “pretty good reputation.” Hall was still a high school senior when he took the oath with the Marines, he missed practice in order to go. From there on, Hall knew about the demands that the Marines would require.

“Unlike a lot of people, I knew what I was getting into. I was very fortunate where I got to talk to a lot of Marines who had already gone through, that were either friends with my dad or that I knew.  I think the biggest thing that really helped me was just going in with the right mindset because I knew that it was just going to suck.  So, you just had to embrace this up pretty much. You just kind of keep your head down and you just got to get through it. So, it wasn’t awful for me, but that’s because I guess I went in knowing what to expect,” Hall said.

That’s when Hall took off to Parris Island, SC, for boot-camp. From October 13 of that year to January 8, 2016, the day he graduated, Hall would come to realize a couple of things. One, that he hates sand fleas (nearly-invisible gnats with a nasty bite), and two, that training is more mental than physical.

“Everything there really had a purpose and they tell you that early on, everybody tells you before you go in and everything. Everything really does have a purpose. I guess the hardest part is trying to understand that purpose right away. Toward the end of that three-month training cycle, it really starts to make sense,” Hall said.

Hall said that he had fun when he got into shooting targets. Here, Hall got to learn the tricks to aiming a gun just right to hit a target from 200yds, 300yds, and 500yds away.

“I really liked the MCT (Marine Combat Training), which is like the step after boot-camp, that’s like a lot more combat training that you get to go to. It was a just a blast all the way through,” Hall said. “MC2 was probably the most fun because you got to do basic first-aid, taking care of wounded people on the field, fire different types of weapon systems, experiencing digging your own fox-hole for the battle-buggy, hikes, they weren’t too hard, but staying awake was probably the hardest part, probably.”

Hall said his relationship with his comrades, though there was head-butting here and there, was a family-style, close-knit group.

Hall came to Rowan just this past fall semester, and since then, he has got into some different ranks: the ranks within the team. Hall said he’s having fun with it so far. Compared to his time playing in high school, Hall said his new team is “more stress-free.”

“I remember there was a lot of responsibility on me to perform every single game. Like, yes, there is still is that responsibility and everything for playing at Rowan here, but I feel more able to just play and have fun and I always feel like I’m going to do better here because I’m going to be able to have fun with it and not worry so much,” Hall said.

Hall said that work ethic along with the attitude, and the lesson of “going until the job gets done” are all components to the mentality that carries over to lacrosse at Rowan.

Even with lacrosse on his mind, Hall said his long-term goal is to receive his degree and ultimately receive his commission as an officer in the Marines. He doesn’t put an everyday job on a shelf, but the Marines play a huge role in deciding where he’ll be spending time after college.

“My end goal at this point is just to get that commission and then from there, I pretty much open up doors and avenues to whatever I choose to do at that point,” Hall said.

For Hall, the Marines are both in his past and future.

Which is understandable. As it’s been said, the oath doesn’t have an expiration date.

 

 

*Armed Forces oath retrieved from military.com

 

Profs Embark Once Again

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President Brian Mahoney minding the goal during a drill

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Sophomore Derek Hofmann watching from goal

 

    It’s a common fact, that whether we’re prepared for it or not, life moves on. It always has and it always will. We all manage to wake up and decide that we can take on the day, even if we know that good times are not guaranteed. We get up anyways.

   We understand that nothing is given to us. Yet, it is that thought that causes many of us to get going and move forward. When people try to take on the day and earn their peace, they gradually take their character to a new level. It’s the thrill of not knowing what the day is going to bring. It’s the challenge and the thirst for competition that brings guys like the fighters of Rowan Club Men’s Lacrosse onto their feet in the morning. The camaraderie, the thrill, the thirst, and the new waters to be traveled, these are what call good men to go to battle.

   Well, this past Tuesday night, the Profs soldiered up. A team of 28; composed of older veterans who’ve grabbed the reins and emerging players who will likely be a vital component to the team this spring season. The team returned to Total Turf Experience in Pitman, NJ, where the facility’s indoor field will be the team’s home during the cold weeks. Boxed within a strong Plexiglas wall and carpeted with artificial turf, this is the perfect incubator for the Profs’ spring season hopes.

   The team has good reason to. The fall season was a good litmus test for where the team stands as far as strengths, as well as all of the parts to improve upon. There will always be ways to spruce up the chemistry and fundamentals of a team. Those are the things that are truly going to make this season one for the books. So, it’ll be a journey for them as they move through to the meat of their spring season.

  That’s for sure. The big thing to wonder about is how the team will continue with the progress it made last semester. The seniors and the rest of the team officers will be aiming to bring the team through every practice, every game and try to improve every single time they’re on a field.

  We can’t predict the future and nobody knows what to the future holds.

  That may be true, but the Profs got moving anyway.

Profs’ Fall Season Ends with Loss to Temple

There will always be some kinks to work out.

Rowan Club Men’s Lacrosse knows this fairly well. The team has been through a number of notable circumstances this fall. From starting out strong with over 60 players coming out to try out, to claiming the long-desired Fall Brawl Championship, then to facing two big-name teams, St. Joseph’s University and Temple University.

That’s where the bittersweet feeling comes in, due to Rowan’s loss to Temple this past Saturday. With a harsh, 10-1 end score, the team knows that there is a lot of room for improvement. They know that if they really want to compete in the spring, they need to use any momentum they can get. Regardless, the team was with good spirits as it drove back into Philadelphia. It was ironic, considering that they had faced St. Joe’s the Sunday prior. They set their sights on Temple University and crossed their fingers.

Right next to a fenced-in construction zone,  the AstroTurf field was a bit of a surprise for the team. The feel was literally like walking on a carpet. The weather was beautiful; a nice, clear, fall day was the perfect weather for this kind of finisher. Returnees from last year were happy to find former president, Rob Zybrick, and former defenseman, Dwight Tucci attending to watch this game.

This was certainly a battle the team wanted to win. The Profs’ starting fogo, Billy Van Dyke, managed to keep his cool during this game. The junior had a fun time against Temple’s fogo, who Van Dyke describes as being “very consistent.”

“What made him hard to beat was the use of there wing play to pick up the ground ball. He did a very good job of keeping the ball on the ground and had great support from his wings. Ground balls are huge with face offs and I think Astro turf made it difficult for us to adapt to with groundballs.” Van Dyke said.

During the first quarter, Van Dyke found a break. As soon as he won the face-off, Van Dyke utilized the help of Brian Mahoney and Andrew Burr to get plays started on offense. Through this, Van Dyke scored the one point that kept this game from being a shutout.

“To score on a team like Temple, we have to be crisp with our stick skills and hit the corners of the net. They had terrific goalies who shut down any slow or off target shots. The use of screens is big on goalies at this level and it’s important to make the goalie move before he sees the shot coming. The ball cannot sit in one spot for more than a moment; it needs to be pass,  pass,  pass, shot, with no hesitation.” Van Dyke said.

It would be a huge challenge for the Profs to get any sort of footing against Temple from there on. Temple scored quickly and tired defense significantly with many aggressive plays. Temple was able to score five goals before halftime. The Profs on the other hand continued to struggle with playing slow and smart offense. A noticeable amount of shots were pushed from odd angles and offense as a whole seemed to be moving too fast.

At around the second half, the team’s fatigue showed in their fights for groundballs. The team seemed to be getting tired and less motivated. A lot of movement in the beginning turned into slouched momentum in the late minutes of the game. Temple continued to score.

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It didn’t look good. There were moments of organization and good execution, but Temple kept the Profs in a tired and defensive state. Temple capped-off the game with a 10-1 score over the Profs. Even so, the sideline was still alive with morale. Leave it to a team like this to smile anyway. The path to getting this far in the fall season was hard, but the team wouldn’t let itself be deterred by this loss. All it needs is to come back stronger and faster than what they showed on the field. Van Dyke is optimistic when asked what he would do if he and the team faced Temple again.

“I would love to play them again because I think we learn a lot as a team from playing them. They exploit our weaknesses and they pointed out our defensive flaws which we have not seen yet this year. I think if we played them again we would be very competitive and if we keep our composure, have a chance to win.” Van Dyke said.

Thus, all eyes look to January once again.

Rowan Loses 4-3 Tug-o-War Against St. Joe’s

   The Profs walked away from a sore, 4-3 loss to St. Joseph’s University this weekend. Yet, the team is holding onto a small victory found during this game, played in the City of Brotherly Love.

Through the course of this intense, defensively-heavy game, the Profs chased this opportunity for closure. Nobody returning this year could forget the loss that was sustained last year to SJU. This, along with the team’s recent Fall Brawl Championship victory, gave many a reason to believe in a victory over the Hawks. Although the game itself didn’t exactly work out that way, players like T.J. Mulderig cared more about the bigger picture. After all, it was impressive enough that the team could pull-out such a low-scoring game against one of the Profs’ toughest opponents for the fall season.

This game would be interesting, considering the fact that Mulderig and fellow middie, Alex Chalef, would be sitting this game out due to injuries. In the meantime, Mulderig found something to do with his time, coach from the sidelines.

Once the game began and night settled in, the field saw a slow start for both teams. Clocking in at face-off, Will Spreen and Billy Van Dyke took the team into some good situations to score off of.  This doesn’t mean that the Hawks wouldn’t bring the ball to defense. Luckily, the Profs know how to put up its dukes at defense. Huge efforts from poles like Eric Johnson, Ian Rattigan, as well as LSM’s Mike Conroy and Ryan Francisco, kept sneaky shots to a tight minimum. Brian Mahoney shut down a number of shots, displaying the quicker movements, characteristic of a senior goalie. One thing was for certain, this is not the same team as last year.

“St. Joes relied on their transition/ fast breaks and running their offense from behind the net looking for a cutter in front of the net. I think we did a great job shutting down their offense whenever they held the ball behind the net.” Mahoney said. “They had to adjust so they began to set picks on the crease and move off-ball. This game was a defensive battle for both teams; a game that tallied only 7 goals combined.”

The Profs kept SJU detained for the first four minutes, until the Hawks scored off of a roll-dodge. The balance would be regained when Mike Soravilla scored less than a minute later. The freshman attackman made a game of cat-and-mouse with his defender, and broke free to tally the game at 1-1. After that point, the game would become a back-and-forth of possession. During the last moments of the first half, the Hawks had two goals, whereas the Profs wouldn’t return to a tie until Matt Gorzynski scored one the next half off of a groundball.

“When our shots were there and we were taking them, the ball was going into the back of the net. Our difficulty last game lied with not taking as many shots as we needed and thus not scoring enough  goals.” Mulderig said. “You’re going to put some off the pipes, so we need a high volume to account for that.”

Though this game took a slow pace throughout, a noticeable problem for Rowan seemed to be ball movement.

“The reason we lost the game was turnovers: We missed too many ground ball opportunities, we made sloppy passes, and we tried to force the ball through their solid defense. Through those turnovers, gave St. Joe’s the fast break opportunities.” Mahoney said.

It was apparent that both team’s had an ordeal toward the end of this rigorous second-half. Both team’s returned to an equilibrium of 3-3 after Mike Soravilla scored a energy-boosting goal off of an assist by Chris Deck.The clock moved faster than the game itself though, as SJU scored once again, moments after that. This would be the icing on the cake when the last whistle blew. The team, especially Mahoney, knew that there was work to be done from that point on.

“Moving forward we must reduce the amount of turnovers, be more aggressive for groundballs, settle the ball, and make the right passes.” Mahoney said.

Yet, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Facing one of the Prof’s top rivals and keeping the goals-against count to only four, was a feet that players like Muldrig can take positives away from.

“We were competitors against a team that we haven’t had the best record against. The new guys on the team got a taste of what it was like to go against a team that can compete and that’s always a positive to show them that club lacrosse can be highly competitive. But, most importantly, our guys didn’t give up and that’s really all you can ask for at the end of the day. No matter the outcome, if you have guys going out there hustling and selling out for the ball any game is a great game in my perspective.” Mulderig said.

This attitude will be important as the Profs face-off against Temple University this Saturday.

 

 

 

Profs Raise Awareness and Meet Survivors at Breast Cancer Walk

According to Breastcancer.org, 1 in 8 women living in the United States alone will develop breast cancer over the course of their lives. That amounts to about 12 percent of women in the U.S. It states that currently, more than 2.8 million women in the U.S. have a history of breast cancer. A staggering 85 percent of breast cancers develop in women without any family history of breast cancer.

Now, it’s no secret that breast cancer has a way of wrecking lives. Cancer itself does not discriminate. That is why the importance of awareness is so invaluable.

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“You know someone who’s had it. Your friend knows someone. So, it kind of hits a cord with you.”-Ryan Francisco (bottom-row, fourth from the left).

 

Now, the Profs understand this very well. Especially Ryan Francisco, who went to Pennsauken, NJ with the team this past Sunday for their annual trip to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. A staple event for the team, this walk is something that this team cherishes. For Francisco, this would be a special event for him as a senior. This is made even better by the amount of new guys who showed up for the walk.

The walk itself was a four-mile walk through Cooper River Park, which eventually tired out some of the guys on the team. Regardless, the event itself overall was humbling for people like Francisco. To drive it home, the walk’s mission is written on the official site for the walk, which reads “we walk to make sure that anyone touched by this disease has a hand to hold.”

Out of the 2.8 million women in the U.S. who have experienced breast cancer, the team got to meet a few at the walk.

“It was really nice to see some survivors and their families. They came out and they were supporting their family member who survived breast cancer and there were a lot of people there who were supporting those that unfortunately passed away. It was nice to see the families and they recognized them before the actual walk, they did a survivor lap and we were just cheering on with them and dancing with them. It was just a really special moment and I’m really humbled to be a part of it.” Francisco said.

Francisco knows the impact that walks like this have on the fight against breast cancer.

“Every year I know Making Strides at Pennsauken definitely raises more money and donations and they have different aspects that help that particular cause for breast cancer.” Francisco said.

Throughout the day, there were 410 teams and a total of 2,643 participants in the Pennsauken walk. Altogether, the event raised a grand total of $194,291.

Francisco certainly appreciated his team’s willingness to join the movement.

“You know someone who’s had it. There’s someone that your friend knows. So, it kind of hits a cord in your heart, but just in general with charitable events, everybody on the team’s always looking to give back. This is a great group of guys and they’ll do anything to support any cause that we help out and when we’re there, we always give 100 percent. We like to represent Rowan in a very positive and meaningful way.” Francisco said.

Profs Crowned NCLL Fall Brawl 2016 Champions

The Profs knew exactly what they wanted when they drove down to Severn Park, MD and it that was nothing less than a championship win. On that dreadful and rainy Saturday, the Profs broke through to become NCLL Fall Brawl 2016 Champions; racking up 40 goals and only letting up six in all four games combined.

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The Profs celebrating after their championship victory over Virginia Commonwealth University (Photo Credit: TJ Mulderig)

Returning players, especially president, Brian Mahoney, had a chip on their shoulders after losing in the championship game last year, 7-6, to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. That was just the right amount of fuel to keep them burning for a victory this year.

Now, if the loss last year was fuel for the fire, then adding this year’s strong line-up of new players was certainly like pouring gasoline into that fire. When the team showed up at Severn School’s doorsteps with many new faces on the team, it was almost impossible to predict the winning streak they’d experience. This is driven even further home when one realizes that their round-one game against Washington College, would be their very first game of the year.

The Profs aren’t a team to underestimate their opponents before heading in. So, early at 10:30 a.m., they opened their tournament with engines revving. That was a good thing, considering that this first game began literally seconds into entering the field. Morale was at an air-filling high, with plenty of cheers and shouting to go around. This game would debut new face-off man, Will Spreen, who along with freshman, Pat Hall, and junior, Billy Van Dyke, has to fill-in the shoes of graduate, Alex Muholland. Spreen started for the Profs and helped give a good impression for the Profs’ face-off staff. Junior, Matt Gorzynski, took to crease to score the first goal, approximately 11 minutes into the first half, off of an assist from sophomore, Bruce Barrett. The next goal occurred two minutes later when freshman, Mike Soravilla, gracefully scored his first goal of the day while coming from X. The Profs would soon find an unexpected inconvenience when junior, Alex Chalef, was cross-checked by a Washington College defenseman. The resulting fall would injure Chalef’s elbow enough to bench the midfielder for the duration of the tournament. Despite this setback, the Profs still came out on top with a 13-1 win over the Geese. Other goals came from Van Dyke, as well as junior, Ryan Gallagher, sophomore, Tim Gleason and Hall.

Next, the team found themselves facing Virginia Commonwealth University, where an uneasy first half in the rain proposed new questions to the team’s formations. The Profs came out with a boost from their first game, but the team was still working some kinks out on defense. Luckily, with a solid defense of f sophomores, Ian Rattigan and Bruce Barrett, and freshman, Andrew Burr, defense regained its composure as the Rams scored 3 goals by the end of the first half. As for defensive-middies, Ryan Francisco and Hall tailored an intimidating performance up top. Sophomore, Derek Hofmann, kept himself vigilant at goal and showed the marks of a more capable goalie. Long-stick middie, junior Mike Conroy kept his cool alongside the team’s staff of middies. Also at LSM, freshman, Corey Spatz, and junior transfer, Steven Cupo displayed adaptability and grit in their transition games, making for entertaining six-on-sixes. Even without Chalef lending his help at midfield, middies like senior, Chris Deck, had no real trouble barreling through and giving many opportunities to score. Count on the Profs to take advantage of those opportunities. One-by-one, the scoreboard tallied-up for Rowan. The Profs kept pushing and came out with a 7-3 victory over the Rams. Goals came out of Van Dyke, junior, Donovan Moyer, Pat Burns, Gallagher, Spreen, as well as a goal off of a loose ball by Gorzynski. Soravilla would once again impress those watching with a couple of well-placed goals and an assist to Van Dyke.

After Washington College left the tournament, the Profs received a bye and an hour-and-a-half to kill before their next game against Stevenson University. By this time, they were the number one seed in the tournament. This news gave the team some time to get out of the rain and rest.

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After break-time was over though, the team got back at it with game three. Now, in this game, it appeared that the Profs were enjoying themselves, and this is proven through the Prof’s 12-2 win. This was a game where newcomers like Soravilla, Spreen, Hall, and Burr, as well as others such as freshman middie, Brian Zales really showed the potential that this new team has. Their addition in this tournament showed to be invaluable. The Prof’s clear-game was impressive and it seemed to be easier as time went on to get possession back. As this game drew to a close, the team looked over to the far-side field to watch as VCU won its own semifinal game against Kutztown. The Profs finished up with Stevenson and prepared themselves for a rematch: the championship game!

Everything culminated into this. A championship game at 6pm on a fall night meant that visibility would be a factor. Around this time, the rain had just stopped and the clouds let a glow of sunlight through, which made this last game aesthetically pleasing. It was even better when the first whistle blew for Spreen’s first face-off of the game. This began the tug-o-war between Rowan and VCU. Both teams found themselves in a slow start for the first 10 minutes of the game, with many shots on goal from both sides, but no goals. Mahoney gave a fight in goal, with a couple of good moves that kept Rowan’s clearing game as polished as ever. With plenty of muscle still left on defense, Rowan only let in a single goal. As the Profs grew weary of the shooting gallery, a goal from Soravilla broke the silence. This was the turning point where the Profs would find their stand against VCU. Subsequent goals rained in from Gorzynski, Van Dyke, and Gallagher. Freshman middie, Mike Squicciarini, also tapped in a goal, which, along with a couple more from Soravilla, tallied the Profs at 7 goals by the end of the game. The clinching of each goal only lead to more hype, with the sideline cheering louder and louder.

As 7pm started rolling around, the whistle blew and the Profs finished this game, and this tournament, with a 7-1 score over VCU: The Profs were Fall Brawl 2016 champions. The team let the excitement overtake them as they got their goalie and shook hands with VCU. Mahoney at last got to hold the Fall Brawl trophy, a stamp for his last time at the tournament. For those returning from last year’s season, this moment couldn’t have come soon enough. Yet, for those who got to take in that moment, it was well worth the wait.