Let’s go, Profs!

Let’s go, Profs!

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A look at the fall sports season at Rowan
Sophomore forward Bridget Boyle led the Profs field hockey squad in scoring last season.

Rowan University’s fall student athletes have been on campus since mid-August as they prepare for both the opening of the semester and the new athletics season.

Here’s a look at each of the teams this autumn. For the full schedules and complete coverage, visit the athletics web site

Additionally, follow the Profs on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube , and Instagram.

Football 

Coach Jay Accorsi’s squad looks to return to the top of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) after a 6-4 record in 2016. The Profs have brought back nine starters, but still have many new faces on both sides of the ball. Sophomore quarterback Naldy Tavarez is one of those taking on a starting role.

“I have a great feeling about the team,” says Tavarez. “We are getting better every day and working hard to prepare for the season. It’s a privilege to be in the position that I’m in. I worked a lot over the offseason to stay in shape. Last year, I understood my role as the backup and was patient and learned. This season, I have confidence in my abilities and it’s great to have the team supporting me.”

Rowan’s top returners include senior defensive back Shaquille Lee. Lee was named to the NJAC All-Conference second team a year ago. He tied for first on the team in interceptions (3) and ranked fourth in tackles (47) and tackles for a loss (6). The football team opened the season at home against Widener University on Sept. 2 with a 6-0 victory over the Pride.

Women’s Soccer 

The women’s soccer team, under Coach Scott Leacott, is coming off its 11th appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in the last 12 years. The Profs won their second consecutive NJAC title and finished with a 16-2-2 mark.

They are ranked 17th in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll.

Rowan returns eight starters, including the 2016 NJAC Goalkeeper of the Year in Shelby Money.

“We’re very excited to get started,” says Money. “We only lost five seniors, so most of the team is still here and we have a great class coming in. We’re all pushing each other and trying to make each other better. Personally, I’ve been working on the mental part of the game. I would get less confident in myself if I made a mistake. Now that I’m a junior, I know that I am a good goalkeeper and now I am just working on communicating with my team on the field and making sure they are in the right spots.”

The Profs began the season at the Johns Hopkins University Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2-3.

Men’s Soccer

Led by Coach Scott Baker, the men’s soccer team is poised for a big year after advancing to the second round of the NCAA postseason in 2016.

After posting a record of 17-3-1, Rowan was selected to win the conference in the 2017 NJAC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Profs are 17th in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll.

The team returns nine of its 11 starters from a year ago and 20 players overall, including All-Americans Shane Doherty and Will Sjaastad. Rowan started the campaign at home at the Gilmore Alumni Classic.

Field Hockey 

The field hockey team looks to take the next step after a 12-7 record last year. The Profs were a young team, fielding mostly freshmen and sophomores.

Now, Coach Michelle Andre has 12 upperclassmen on the roster, including seven returning starters. Forward Bridget Boyle is the top returner. She led the team with 17 goals and 39 points. Boyle was named the NJAC Rookie of the Year and to the All-Conference first team. The field hockey team opened the season with a loss to Ursinus College on Sept. 1.

Cross Country

The goal for Coach Dustin Dimit’s men’s cross country team is to run its way to the top of the NJAC, where it finished second a year ago.

Rowan returns All-Conference runners Kevin Veltre and Jose Figueroa. Figueroa was also the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile, the women’s cross country team, led by Derick “Ringo” Adamson, seeks progress after a third-place in 2016. The Profs have a pair of All-Conference runners back in Emily Acton and Dianne Ferraro. The cross country teams started the season with victories in a dual meet at Stockton University on Sept. 1.

Women’s Volleyball 

The women’s volleyball squad will hope for continued improvement from its young roster under Coach Deana Jespersen. The Profs have 10 underclassmen, including sophomore outside hitter Megan Jacobi.

Jacobi received NJAC All-Conference honorable mention in 2016. Rowan will play one of the nation’s toughest schedules, facing seven teams that participated in the NCAA postseason a year ago. The campaign began at the Haverford College Invitational on Sept. 2 and 3.