Rowan men’s rugby are preparing to take on Temple University in their home and season opener on Saturday, Sept. 24.
The Profs are eager to take on a 1-0 Owls team, as Temple defeated Rutgers University last week. Assistant head coach, Bill Stom, explained what practice has been like this week.
“This week is going to be key,” Coach Stom said. “We got to take each week as we go. So last week, it’s kind of tying up some loose ends around some basics behind what we’re trying to do in our attack structure and our defensive structure. Now it’s a much more specified plan to what Temple has and what they present. We don’t know a whole lot this year about what they present because it’s early in the season, so we don’t know where their strengths might be. So we just gotta make some basic plans.”
With a rival coming to Glassboro, the Profs look for both their young and experienced players to step up. Their preseason matchup with Villanova University showed the Profs what they can improve upon, but this season opener feels different for senior Landon Dixon.
“It’s kind of surreal, but at the same time, I am excited, we have a whole year ahead of us,” Dixon said. “I think this team can do good things… I think this was the best preseason that I’ve been a part of. A lot of the young guys are getting accustomed to the system here and getting along with each other.”
One of those new players is freshman Matt Moliver, who has experience playing rugby. He played for the South Jersey Sharks and is eager to make his mark on Rowan rugby.
“I feel great. Ready to attack the day and get a win,” Moliver said. “In the future, I see myself as a team captain. I’m saying it now.”
The excitement and readiness for Saturday is contagious on the field and among the coaching staff. The young players are ready to hit the ground running, and the experienced players are wanting to make their mark on Rowan rugby, Dickson being one of those players.
“The legacy that I want to leave, I would say is to teach the younger guys under me to learn something from me or want to be like me when they’re older,” Dixon said. “Teach the young guys what Rowan rugby is.”
Rowan rugby is looking to prove themselves on Saturday as they believe it will set the tone for the rest of the season. Coach Stom explained the importance of the home opener.
“There’s nothing better right, we get home field advantage to start off,” Coach Stom said. “We always want to start out with a win. We want to win every match. Opportunity. Home crowd… we love playing at home and it’s a great opportunity.”
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