Here You Go: A Little Soccer TLR

September 2, 2005

Today, the road to the NCAA soccer tournament runs straight through the Big East but for those who hanker for traditional local rivalries (TLR), it doesn't get any better than the action this weekend on North Kehoe. From the soccer program's inception over fifty years ago, former national powerhouses Howard and American have provided tough annual competition for the Hoyas.

HOYA SOCCER HERITAGE

In the early 1950's, Georgetown was an international University, well known for its School of Foreign Service as well as the pre-eminent Catholic university in the United States. Not surprisingly, the school was attracting large numbers of Latin American and European students, drawn by the University's growing reputation. Fortunately, many of the young men who came from abroad to study on the Hilltop were more than familiar with the international game of football, known in the U.S. as soccer.

Intercollegiate athletic competition at Georgetown had all but disappeared during the autumn months with the discontinuation of intercollegiate football in 1951 -- but not for long. With the help of the Director of Intramurals, Rev. Frederick Brew, SJ, freshman Michael Dunne C'56 undertook an effort in the fall of 1952 to formally organize an intercollegiate soccer team from among the ranks of international students and interested U.S. students. The Athletic Department supported the team as one of its "minor sports" and provided resources, though meager, for equipment, fields, and travel.

1956 Georgetown Soccer Team




Enthusiasm was high during this first decade as the team played a competitive schedule including teams from Maryland, Howard, American, Catholic and Loyola. International students were generally more experienced than their U.S. counterparts and played leading roles on the team. Highlighting this era was a record-setting 23-goal season by Edgar Toral in 1956. Head coaches Dan Mulcahy and Steve Benedek guided the program on a part-time basis throughout the remainder of its first decade. The program recorded its first winning season in 1960 with a mark of 5-3-0 under the tutelage of Coach Benedek.

During its second and third decades, still relying upon part-time coaches, the Hoyas usually found themselves outmatched by better-funded programs. A .500 or better season was considered very respectable, considering the competition always included local national powers Howard, Maryland and American. Head coaches Bill Lauritzen and Ricardo Mendoza gave their best to lift the fortunes of this young program in the 1960's. Still looking to international students for their experience and skill, the team worked hard to compete in the rapidly expanding world of intercollegiate soccer.



GU soccer alumnus Paul Kennedy '66, Bill Smith and alumnus Tim Cooney '75 headed the program through the rather financially lean years of the 1970's. As facilities and resources stagnated, so too did the fortunes of the Hoya soccer program. As more talented young north American soccer players were coming of age in this era, the look of the team became less international. Without scholarships, however, and still limited to part-time coaching, Georgetown was unable to attract the better U.S. players to the Hilltop.

The program began its fourth decade with a small base of annual support through the Goals Unlimited support club that slowly grew along with University support throughout the 1980's. Brief stints by head coaches Scott Strasburg and Mike Dillon continued the frustrating pattern of the prior decade. Two changes, however, were about to change all that. In 1982, the Big East Conference began intra-league competition with the creation of a conference championship. In addition, Georgetown Soccer took a decided upturn in 1984, with the hiring on a full-time basis of a young ambitious coach in Keith Tabatznik. Thus began a new era in soccer on the Hilltop that continues to this day.

Expectations began to rise even as the level of competition increased. In 1985, Georgetown made a commitment to improve the program through grant-in-aids. It wasn't long before Coach Tabatznik's charges were competing with the best. In 1988, the team posted a then-school record of 12 victories and made its first-ever Big East tournament appearance.

The fifth decade of Georgetown soccer was the most successful era in its history. It was marked by one Big East regular season title, two NCAA tournament appearances, 11 consecutive Big East tournament appearances, and numerous top twenty-five national rankings. The 1994 team set an all-time Georgetown mark for most wins and fewest losses in a season with a record of 18-4-0.



Fifty years following its first season, the men's soccer team is now led by one of the winningest soccer coaches in the country, as the team now seeks to compete for the conference championship title every year. From humble beginnings and through ups and downs in its first three decades and a steady rise throughout its fourth and fifth decades, the program has established an enduring presence on the regional stage among the elite programs in the nation.


RETURN to VFTH Home


More Headlines
Men’s and Women’s Tennis Releases 2017-18... The Georgetown University men’s and women's tennis squads released... Simon Mathews Signs Free Agent Contract with Los Angeles ... Recent Georgetown University graduate and baseball alum Simon Mathews (C'17) ... Howard Announces Women's Basketball Assistant Coaches Georgetown University Head Women's Basketball Coach James Howard announced... Fitzpatrick Named CSCAA Scholar All-American; Hoyas Earn ... Rising senior Molly Fitzpatrick has been named a College Swimming & Diving...
Shop Now
Auctions

Schedules

August 9
4:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
August 12
7:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
August 15
7:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
August 18
4:00 PM
West Virginia
Shaw Field
August 19
1:00 PM
Virginia
Shaw Field
August 19
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
August 20
1:00 PM
George Washington
Shaw Field
August 24
7:00 PM
Delaware
Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
Davidson
Cooper Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Appalachian State
Cooper Field
August 28
1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
2:00 PM
Rider
Cooper Field
September 3
4:00 PM
San Jose State
San Jose, Calif.
September 3
1:00 PM
Lock Haven
Cooper Field
September 4
12:00 PM
UCLA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
Saint Francis PA
Shaw Field
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 9
TBA
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 13
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 15
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 15
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 16
TBA
Marist
Cooper Field
September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 16
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 16
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 17
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 17
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 18
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 19
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
Shaw Field
September 20
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 22
6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
September 22
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 23
TBA
Columbia
New York, N.Y.
September 23
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
September 23
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 24
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Shaw Field
September 24
1:00 PM
Longwood
Farmville, Va.
September 24
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.