The scoring drought is finally over.
Kelyn Rowe scored the New England Revolution’s first goal of 2015 when his deflected shot found its way into the back of the San Jose Earthquakes’ net in the 21st minute of Saturday’s game. The fortunate tally halted the Revs’ scoreless run at 291 minutes.
The opportunity presented itself when Daigo Kobayashi intercepted a Shaun Francis pass before moving the ball forward to Lee Nguyen. The US international found Rowe, who teed up a long-range shot that bounced off Francis’ back and past goalkeeper David Bingham.
It was a fortunate bounce that proved the importance of taking shots.
"I’m on top of the 18 on the right side, (so I’m thinking I need to) put that ball on target," Rowe reflected. "You got Charlie (Davies), you got Juan (Agudelo), you got Lee, and other guys just really pouncing on the ball so it’s one of those where if it goes in it goes in, but if not we’re going to get a good rebound on it, and it could have a chance there."
With the scoring drought over, the Revolution’s confidence began to grow. Rowe looked particularly motivated as he ended the game with a career-high five shots on target.
After having his first two attempts blocked in quick succession, Rowe scored on his third. The Washington native was just as successful with his sixth shot of the match, third on target, as he gave the home side a two-goal lead by redirecting Darrius Barnes’ header off a Chris Tierney free kick.
"I think we created so many chances after (scoring our first goal)," Rowe said. "You’ve got guys like Chris putting in balls that were absolutely dangerous, Lee really creating space for everyone else and we were pressing really and high winning balls in their half and that just put us in the counter where we were really good."
After three weeks of missing by what coach Jay Heaps aptly called "inches not feet," it was satisfying for Revolution players to grab two goals in one game. That said, the team remains focused on getting better on the attacking front. The squad is still gelling, an indication that the best could be yet to come.
"Tonight, we had more chances," Heaps said, comparing Saturday's game to previous weeks. "I think we could have easily scored more goals but we didn’t, so we got to continue to work at that final, the actual shot."