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10-Man Golden Lions fall to Rowan College

North Branch, NJ --  Raritan Valley fell to Rowan College at Gloucester by a final of 4-3.  Reduced to 10 men midway through the first half, two second half rallies came up just short after Rowan scored the game winner in the 88th minute to clinch their first conference victory of the season.

      After notching their first conference victory in more than a year earlier in the week against Middlesex, RVCC's quest to win their first away match since 2012 got off to an ideal start through an Anthony Hernandez goal in the 5th minute.  Hernandez fired a low shot past the keeper inside the back post to give the visitors the early lead.  Using the gusting winds to their advantage, Rowan was able to keep possession and pinned RVCC in their half until a high speed counterattack by Jhaliyl Stewart forced a very good 1v1 save from Rowan's goalkeeper, the rebound falling to a wide open Jason Zuloeta who dragged his shot wide of the left post with the goal unguarded.  That miss proved to be a pivotal moment.  Rowan served a long ball down the right flank catching RVCC's back line out of position, Tristan Gadson-Rigby raced back to defend, a questionable foul resulted in him being shown a straight red card reducing the Lions to 10 men.  On the resulting free kick, Rowan hammered a free kick through the wall, Ryan Hamblin just unable to keep it out of the net tying the score at 1-1.  Just 5 minutes later, Rowan took their first of several leads on the afternoon.  Ryan Hamblin overran an in-swinging corner kick, the strong wind helping bend it just inside the back post to put the Roadrunners ahead 2-1.  A good Sebastian Laskowski cross was wasted when a green shirt wasn't able to get on the end of it just before half.

      With the wind behind them in the 2nd half, RVCC fought their way back into the game.  Facundo Galante blasted a long range effort that Rowan's goalkeeper got just enough of to tip it off the crossbar.  The Golden Lions tied the game in the 59th minute.  Jason Zuloeta powered through a scrum of players to force the ball across the line from a corner kick to tie the game at 2-2.  Rowan retook the lead in the 65th minute after an ill-advised Geovanny Barboza pass was easily intercepted, two passes later, Rowan had a simple tap in at the back post to go ahead 3-2.  The Golden Lions again battled back, Andrew Williams scoring his 4th of the year to tie the score at 3-3.  RVCC was unable to connect with several good balls served into the box, a Dave Werner shot was denied by the post and Andrew Williams shot wide of an open goal which would have given Raritan Valley the lead. 

      Inside the final 2 minutes, Rowan found the game winner.  Forced to play almost an hour with 10 men, a tired RVCC back line was beaten by a long, diagonal ball to the right flank, the resulting shot looped over the Lion's goalkeeper but a sprawling Ryan Hamblin scooped the ball off the line but into the path of a totally unmarked Rowan Roadrunner who easily tucked the ball past Hamblin to clinch the win.  The win marked the 300th in the history of Gloucester County College / Rowan College men's soccer.  The Golden Lions overall record falls to 2-5-2, Rowan improved to 3-8 on the season.

      The Golden Lions travel to Ocean Country College on Tuesday, October 7th, kickoff is 4pm.