“The decision was something we were hoping to escape.”
Two days after the AAC made the executive decision to postpone the Fall 202o Men’s & Women’s Soccer season until the following spring, head coach Brian Rowland spoke with the media to reassure that his team will be prepared regardless of when the first whistle blows.
Rowland started by giving the following statement regarding the cancellation of the season:
“Our goals as a program, are to compete not only within our conference but on the national stage.”
The Owls head coach is confident that his squad will not only be ready to play this season but are also ready to compete with for the AAC title, and perhaps even more on the big stage. The men’s team finished last season with a mild .500 record in the 2019 season. While their record on the road leaves much to be desired, (3-6-1) their record in the friendly confines of the Temple Sports Complex is an impressive 5-2-1. Coach Rowland hopes to build off the momentum of a strong home campaign.
“I’m dissapointed for our team, because they have put in alot of work, and are continuing to put in the work. We’ve been building season by season, semester by semester….we will quickly rebound and get our sights focused on what’s ahead.”
With a 3-2-2 record in conference play, Temple finished in 5th in the AAC last season. The Owls secured a 2-1 double-overtime upset vs Memphis in the first round of the conference tournament, the Owls fell in a blowout loss to UCF 5-0, bouncing them out of the tournament and ending their season. The AAC believes they have national champion contenders in the aforementioned UCF and the defending conference champion SMU. Temple has hopes that they can contend with the class of the conference and perhaps attract national eyeballs in the process.
Coach Rowland also spoke what this fall could potentially look like for the team:
“The culture of our team is to push, it’s going to get better everyday.”
“There’s potential legislation coming from the NCAA on what the spring will look like, which will sort of dictate what the fall will look like.”
The Covid-19 situation is still developing each day with uncertainty in the air about what the fall and winter months will bring and how the government & the NCAA will respond to it. But no matter what, the Owls look to stay on top of their game until their inevitable return to the “Pitch on North Broad.”
Mickael Borger (SR) a defender and senior captain for the Owls also gave his thoughts on how he and his team can use the extra time off to improve.
“We have 5 or 6 new guys on the team that joined this fall…we’re going to use this time to connect more and build relationships. We’re going to focus on the spirit of the team. We’re going to teach [them] our culture, our values[and] what we stand for. [We] will also work on our tactics as a team with the coach.. [in order] to be ready face the biggest teams in the conference.”
Borger, a product of Jouef, France, started 17 of the Owl’s 18 games, docking 1581 minutes of playing time. He netted two goals last year with an assist. He also spoke on the team’s response to the postponement:
“We’re all disappointed, we wanted to play, but like coach said….we can only control what we can control. We were disappointed yesterday, we are focused on tomorrow.”
No matter what tomorrow brings, the Owls are confident that they won’t miss a beat come the spring. We will be sure to stay alert and provide updates on the postponed season for the Owls men’s & women’s soccer and volleyball.