Profs gearing up for memorable fall sports campaigns

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Besides incoming members of the new freshman class, the Rowan University students most excited for the start of the new school year might just be members of the Profs fall sports teams.

“It’s exciting coming back to campus,” says T.J. Morgan, a senior back on the men’s soccer team. “You get to step back out on to the field and do what you have been doing your whole life and what you love. You definitely look forward to returning after working hard all summer to get to this point and get your season going.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to be able to compete,” adds senior Gabby Kulikowski, a defensive specialist on the women’s volleyball team. “I like working hard and we are all working hard as a team and dedicating our time to something that we really love.”

Rowan student-athletes began practice in mid-August in preparation for their respective upcoming fall seasons. All Profs squads are looking forward to another standout year after memorable 2013 campaigns.

On the gridiron
The football team won a share of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title and the campus witnessed its first playoff game since 2006. The Profs pleased the home crowd with a 24-0 victory over Endicott College and reached the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

The team, which looks to be in good shape to defend its conference crown as it returns 18 starters, opens its schedule against Widener University under the lights at home on Friday, Sept.  5, at 7 p.m. Rowan’s annual Homecoming game is set for Saturday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. against Morrisville State College.

Soccer outlook
The women’s soccer team posted an impressive 17-4 record last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament for the sixth consecutive year. The Profs should field a strong group again, losing just two players to graduation. Rowan’s first match in Glassboro is Saturday, Sept. 13, at 5 p.m. versus Swarthmore College.

Meanwhile, the men’s soccer team looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 in which it just missed competing in the NJAC Tournament. With a good mix of young and veteran players, Rowan is poised to continue improving. The schedule is full of challenges, including games against defending national champion Messiah College and national runner-up Rutgers-Camden.

The men’s soccer opens the season by hosting the Rowan Invitational on Friday, August 29, and Saturday, August 30. The Profs face Elizabethtown College on Friday and Messiah College on Saturday. Both games are at 7 p.m.

Field hockey
After missing the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament last year, the field hockey team returns a determined group of veteran players, having lost just three to graduation. Rowan looks to pack Coach Richard Wackar Stadium when it hosts last season’s national runner-up Salisbury University on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. The home opener is Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. versus Cabrini College.

Women’s volleyball
The women’s volleyball team has a new head coach in Deana Jespersen. Jespersen brings an impressive resume from Neumann University, where she was a five-time Colonial States Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. She takes over a program that reached the final of the 2013 NJAC Championship Tournament. Jespersen inherits a squad that lost numerous starters to graduation but has a wealth of returning young talent.

The team’s first home match is Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. against Baptist Bible College.

Cross country
The men’s cross country team also welcomes a new head coach this season in Dustin Dimit. Dimit and women’s cross country head coach Derick “Ringo” Adamson look to bring Rowan back to the top of the NJAC. Both the men and women finished second at the conference championships last year.

For the full schedules and complete coverage, visit RowanAthletics.com.

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