The Rowan men’s rugby team notched their first victory of the season with a hard fought 34-31 win over Temple in Ambler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.
The Profs got off to a great start putting the Temple Owls under pressure from the opening kickoff and soon crossed the whitewash for a try two minutes into the game. Hunter Musson made a line break and fed the ball to Shea McDowell, running an excellent support line, for an easy seven pointer.
From the ensuing kickoff, however, the tide turned against Rowan as ill discipline crept into the Profs’ play. For the next seventy-eight minutes, the referee’s whistle blow regularly, and invariably, for a penalty against Rowan. The resulting territory and possession enjoyed by Temple created enormous pressure on the Profs and resulted in two unanswered Owls tries.
Rowan temporarily stemmed the Temple tide with a slick try off a scrum. A well run line by captain Armani Mendez led to a try in the corner for A-side debutante, Conner Weatherby. Unfortunately, continued penalties and poor decision making led to another Temple try on the stroke of half-time.
The second half saw continued issues with discipline as the Profs were on their way to a total of thirty one penalties. Despite the exorbitant penalty count, the Profs were able to capitalize on the few opportunities came their way. Clinical finishing resulted in three second half tries to Shea McDowell, Hunter Musson, and Joe Goodberlet.
With less than fifteen minutes left, the game seemed safe with the Profs holding a comfortable 31-17 lead. However, ill discipline would come to haunt Rowan yet again as two Profs were handed yellow cards which resulted in two quick Temple tries. The score was level at 31-31 as the teams entered injury time.
Two minutes into extra time, the Profs were awarded a penalty thirty-five meters in front of Temple’s posts. Hunter Musson stepped up and coolly slotted the winning three pointer to seal a hard fought win. The clutch penalty kick completed the Houdini escape.
Next up is arch-rival, West Chester University, this Saturday at home. The team looks forward to a big supporting home crowd!