The third-ranked (D1) Iowa Central rugby team looks to get back on track this Saturday when they travel to Minnesota.
Match times are set for 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at St. Paul Fields next to the Bell Museum in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
This past Sunday, the Tritons (3-1 overall) made a long trip to West Point to face No. 5 (D1A) Army, coming up short for the first time this season. And while the loss was a tough one to take, Iowa Central head coach Brent Nelson feels it was a tremendous learning experience.
"Army really held a mirror up to us and exploited some weaknesses," Nelson said. "But we've done a good job of correcting them in practice this week and we are ready to get back out there. Despite the high-profile loss, we've had great energy in practice within our team, which is a really good sign."
Minnesota is led by Sean Lindersmith, who has spent much of the past decade working to build rugby in the U.S. after a career spent in the U.S. Coast Guard.
"'Snacks' is an amazing teacher of the game and very involved in the highest levels of USA Rugby," Nelson said. "He is giving back to the sport and will have Minnesota well prepared."
Prior to the setback, Iowa Central had posted wins over 18th-ranked (D1AA) Iowa State, Marian and Northern Iowa in convincing fashion.
The next few weeks will see the Tritons become road warriors, as they will also play at Des Moines RFC, Nebraska, No. 32 (D1) Iowa and Wayne State before returning home to Crimmins Field to meet 15th-ranked (D1A) Davenport University on October 9.
"If anybody is in the area or wants to come, seating is similar to our home pitch so bring chairs and be comfortable," Nelson said. "It is going to be an exciting match."
-By Dana Becker