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.


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November 24
8:30 PM
Auburn
Nashville, Tenn.
November 25
6:00 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.

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November 25
8:30 PM
Chattanooga
Nashville, Tenn.
November 26
3:00 PM
Northwestern
Nashville, Tenn.
November 28
8:30 PM
Maine
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
November 29
7:00 PM
Florida International
McDonough Arena
December 3
6:30 PM
Coppin State
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 7
8:30 PM
Howard
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 7
7:00 PM
Minnesota
McDonough Arena
December 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina A&T
Capital One Arena

FS2
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 10
2:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C.
December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
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December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
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January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
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January 19
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 20
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
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February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Arlington, Va.
February 16
8:00 PM
Depaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
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February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
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February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio