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.