Added Miosek: “He had to play a lot of defense and he had a great year for us. It was a better year for him. He matured as a player and made everyone around him better. He has a real passion for the game.”
Once Cooperstown’s season ended, Rowley stepped into a significantly higher level of soccer, playing for the Empire United out of Syracuse.
Come August, it’ll get even tougher as Rowley has earned a spot on the Empire Revolution out of Rochester.
Asked the difference between high school soccer and the competition he’ll see in Rochester over the next 10 months, Rowley said: “It’ll be a very big difference. A lot of the players, their goal is to play some sort of pro soccer. They play year-round. Stature-wise, they’re bigger, they know the game better and they’re so much faster.
“It’s pretty much the highest level of youth soccer in the U.S.,” he continued. “That’s where a lot of the best players are.”
Rowley, 17, said he’ll take classes at Monroe Community College while he plays for Rochester. He added that the following season, he’d like to be suiting up for an NCAA Division I program.
“I’d definitely like to play D-I soccer,” said Rowley, a member of the Cooperstown basketball squad that advanced to the Class C state semifinals in 2012. Rowley opted not to play basketball as a senior so he could concentrate on soccer. “The majority of schools I’ve talked to are D-I schools and my goal is to play D-I.”
Miosek said if Rowley adds some muscle to his 6-foot-1 frame, he’ll fit in fine at the D-I level.
“With some weight training, he can be a Division I player,” the longtime Cooperstown coach said. “He could be a defensive back. He has tremendous presence in the back. His love for the game will contribute highly to someone else’s program.”