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.