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Chapter XI: Soccer

 

 - 1967 -

In the period from 1966-69 two new sports made their appearance on the St. John's campus, soccer football and rugby. First came soccer. A change in the general atmosphere of St. John's, as well as in other colleges, had been building up after the war, one feature of which was the heavy influx of foreign students from various countries-Mexico, Central and South America, the Bahamas, Viet Nam, Hong Kongall countries where soccer was the international sport par excellence. It was in response to their request for soccer equipment that Athletic Director George Durenberger furnished them with the needed material: balls, goal nets and an adequate playing area on the new intramural field. He also arranged a series of scheduled games with colleges where soccer had become one of the fall sports, especially Macalester and Carleton.

It turned out that not only foreigners but also North American students were interested in soccer and wanted to play the game. Although it was a popular international sport, every American boy had at one time or another engaged in a modified form of soccer, kicking the ball only and striving to drive it over a given goal line. The great difference that the Americans had to surmount in order to play the game was that the player could use any part of the body except the arms and hands to maneuver the ball to a point where it could be kicked into the nets. Butting the ball with the head, known as "heading," is a characteristic feature of the game.

A total of 35 candidates signed up for membership in the squad Of the 35 members who eventually remained on the team, seven were foreign students: Abel Laguna, from Peru, who was the coach and principal strategist; Roberto Marchan, captain, from Puerto Rico; Juan Russo, Panama; Jose Ertze, Mexico; James Burrows, Bahamas; Douglas Apel, Guatemala; and Kmwah Ng, Hong Kong. American members of the team were Steve Pavkovich, Dick Oman, Douglas Pels, Richard Tichich, Robert Pinder, James Vivaldelli, Mark Juetten, Mike Molitor. John Ferret, Larry Schmitz, Thomas Hogan, John Cretzmeyer, Larry Kidder, Steve Zwisler and Fred Thielman.

Outcome of the season was a record of 3-2-1-three wins, two losses and one tie. The Jays defeated Macalester 4-2, Hamline 3-1 and 3-1 then won by a forfeit over St. Mary's, and tied Gustavus in the rain 0-0. They lost to the University of Minnesota 7-0 and St. Thomas 3-2.

Prospects for the future looked good to Coach Abel Laguna. What was lacking mainly was experience and coordination of the team in passing the ball by kicks from player to player, and the patterns of play in advancing the ball to the goal, much as in hockey. George Durenberger promised to do his best to get soccer accepted by the conference as a championship, letter-winning sport.

- 1968 -

1968 was the first season of organized soccer in the MIAC, with teams representing five of the colleges: St. John's, St. Thomas, Hamline, Augsburg and Macalester. Concordia, Duluth and Gustavus had not officially joined the league as yet. Gustavus, a particularly tough competitor, joined at the end of the 1968 season.

Once more the St. John's team was coached by Abel Laguna, the Peruvian soccer strategist, with Puerto Rican Bob Marchan as team captain. There was little change in the team personnel, with the exception of Dave Kowalski, Mark Studer and Steve Pollock, all three of whom made valuable contributions to a good season, especially on the offensive. Bahamian Jim Burrows served as the star goalie and made good use of his baseball experience in blocking the entrance to the goal, despite a leaky defense that sometimes left him as the sole guardian of the net. It was a developing team, however, with the greatest weakness being the lack of finesse in scoring goals after the fullbacks and halfbacks had turned the ball over to the forwards.

The conference season opened with a defeat at the hands of St. Olaf, 4-3, but the team continued to advance in skill until finally, in the best game of the season, the Johnnies exploded to defeat Macalester 5-2. It was in this game that the new trio of Dave Kowalski Mark Studer and Steve Pollock came into their own. Kowalski and Captain Roberto Marchan each scored two goals and Mark Studer one. Jim Burrows blanked the Macs in the second half as defender of the net.

The season ended in a three-way tie between St. John's, St. Thomas and Macalester, with identical records of four wins and one loss. The season was noteworthy for being the first year soccer letters were issued-fifteen in number. At the end of the season Coach Laguna proffered the special thanks of the team to George Durenberger for getting the game recognized by the St. John's Monogram Club and the MIAC. "It took George three years," he said, "but he did it!"

- 1969 -

Coach Abel Laguna graduated in the spring of 1969 and was succeeded in office by James "Big Red" Vivaldelli. On the schedule were five conference games: Macalester, Augsburg, Hamline, St. Thomas and Gustavus Adolphus. It was a season in which several new names were added to the team roster, players who were instrumental in promoting the success of the team: freshman Tim Broback was one, scoring the only point in a victory over St. Olaf, 1-0. Then there were rugged and effective Tom Keul, goaltender, who had three shutouts over the season, halfbacks Tim Hogan and Kinwah Ng. The 1969 Johnnies were called the "Five Nation Team" because of its makeup of Douglas Apel, Guatemala; Vinh Dink Nguen, South Viet Nam; Ramsey Shu, Hong Kong; Ning Uyen Chen and Kinwah Ng, both from Hong Kong; finally Paul Gotay, Puerto Rico.

American members of the team were Rick Althoff, Tom Bates, Tim Broback, Rich Bunting, John Cretzmeyer, Weston Cutter, Peter Daudu, Tom Gilligan, Tim Hogan, Steve Pavkovich, Bill Russ, Mark Studer, Jim Vivaldelli, Tom Weber and John Weiss.

The 1969 soccer team finished the year with an overall record of five wins, one tie and two losses. The conference record was 4-1-1 for second place. It was a strong, well-balanced team despite having been defeated by Gustavus 4-0, the Gusties winning the crown with a record of five wins and only one loss.

Soccer had come a long way since its beginning in 1966, three years before. The proportion of games won versus the number lost was approximately the same, but the quality of play had improved significantly. One by one, the conference colleges had taken up soccer until In 1969 the only conference member without a soccer team was Concordia. Players and spectators alike had arrived at the point where a total of 35 candidates signed up for membership in the squad.

Of the 35 members who eventually remained on the team, seven were foreign students: Abel Laguna, from Peru, who was the coach and principal strategist; Roberto Marchan, captain, from Puerto Rico; Juan Russo, Panama; Jose Ertze, Mexico; James Burrows, Bahamas; Douglas Apel, Guatemala; and Kinwah Ng, Hong Kong. American members of the team were Steve Pavkovich, Dick Oman, Douglas Pels, Richard Tichich, Robert Pinder, James Vivaldelli, Mark Juetten, Mike Molitor. John Ferret, Larry Schmitz, Thomas Hogan, John Cretzmeyer, Larry Kidder, Steve Zwisler and Fred Thielman.

Outcome of the season was a record of 3-2-1-three wins, two losses and one tie. The Jays defeated Macalester 4-2, Hamline 3-1 and 3-1, then won by a forfeit over St. Mary's, and tied Gustavus in the rain 0-0. They lost to the University of Minnesota 7-0 and St. Thomas 3-2.

Prospects for the future looked good to Coach Abel Laguna. What was lacking mainly was experience and coordination of the team in passing the ball by kicks from player to player, and the patterns of play in advancing the ball to the goal, much as in hockey. George Durenberger promised to do his best to get soccer accepted by the conference as a championship, letter-winning sport.

- 1968 -

1968 was the first season of organized soccer in the MIAC, with teams representing five of the colleges: St. John's, St. Thomas, Hamline, Augsburg and Macalester. Concordia, Duluth and Gustavus had not officially joined the league as yet. Gustavus, a particularly tough competitor, joined at the end of the 1968 season.

Once more the St. John's team was coached by Abel Laguna, the Peruvian soccer strategist, with Puerto Rican Bob Marchan as team captain. There was little change in the team personnel, with the exception of Dave Kowalski, Mark Studer and Steve Pollock, all three of whom made valuable contributions to a good season, especially on the offensive. Bahamian Jim Burrows served as the star goalie and made good use of his baseball experience in blocking the entrance to the goal, despite a leaky defense that sometimes left him as the sole guardian of the net. It was a developing team, however, with the greatest weakness being the lack of finesse in scoring goals after the fullbacks and halfbacks had turned the ball over to the forwards.

The conference season opened with a defeat at the hands of St. Olaf, 4-3, but the team continued to advance in skill until finally, in the best game of the season, the Johnnies exploded to defeat Macalester 5-2. It was in this game that the new trio of Dave Kowalski, Mark Studer and Steve Pollock came into their own. Kowalski and Captain Roberto Marchan each scored two goals and Mark Studer one. Jim Burrows blanked the Macs in the second half as defender of the net.

The season ended in a three-way tie between St. John's, St. Thomas and Macalester, with identical records of four wins and one loss. The season was noteworthy for being the first year soccer letters were issued-fifteen in number. At the end of the season Coach Laguna proffered the special thanks of the team to George Durenberger for getting the game recognized by the St. John's Monogram Club and the MIAC. "It took George three years," he said, "but he did it!"

- 1969 -

Coach Abel Laguna graduated in the spring of 1969 and was succeeded in office by James "Big Red" Vivaldelli. On the schedule were five conference games: Macalester, Augsburg, Hamline, St. Thomas and Gustavus Adolphus. It was a season in which several new names were added to the team roster, players who were instrumental in promoting the success of the team: freshman Tim Broback was one, scoring the only point in a victory over St. Olaf, 1-0. Then there were rugged and effective Tom Keul, goaltender, who had three shutouts over the season, halfbacks Tim Hogan and Kinwah Ng. The 1969 Johnnies were called the "Five Nation Team" because of its makeup of Douglas Apel, Guatemala; Vinh Dink Nguen, South Viet Nam; Ramsey Shu, Hong Kong; Ning Uyen Chen and Kinwah Ng, both from Hong Kong; finally Paul Gotay, Puerto Rico.

American members of the team were Rick Althoff, Tom Bates, Tim Broback, Rich Bunting, John Cretzmeyer, Weston Cutter, Peter Daudu, Tom Gilligan, Tim Hogan, Steve Pavkovich, Bill Russ, Mark Studer, Jim Vivaldelli, Tom Weber and John Weiss.

The 1969 soccer team finished the year with an overall record of five wins, one tie and two losses. The conference record was 4-1-1 for second place. It was a strong, well-balanced team despite having been defeated by Gustavus 4-0, the Gusties winning the crown with a record of five wins and only one loss.

Soccer had come a long way since its beginning in 1966, three years before. The proportion of games won versus the number lost was approximately the same, but the quality of play had improved significantly. One by one, the conference colleges had taken up soccer until in 1969 the only conference member without a soccer team was Concordia. Players and spectators alike had arrived at the point where they could recognize good soccer and appreciate the fifteen goals the 1969 team had scored versus seven by the opponents.

In a resume of the season, Tim Tuohy of the Record staff quoted Coach Vivaldelli's praise of the work and improvement achieved by the "Kickers." He attributed their improvement to greater finesse around the opponents' goal, more skill and astuteness in passing the ball, and greater aggressiveness of the players. Individuals singled out for commendation were Tom Keul for his work as goalie (three shut-outs), Doug Apel for his six goals, and Tim Broback, Mark Studer and Tom Gilligan for their aggressive play. The player-coach Vivaldelli had become an outstanding defensive fullback.

With only Kinwah Ng and Steve Pavkovich graduating, the coach was looking forward to 1970 for the best soccer team St. John's had. thus far produced (Record, November 7, 1969, p. 4).

- 1970 -

Sometime in the interim between the 1969 and 1970 soccer seasons, Athletic Director George Durenberger appointed Axel Theimer, music instructor and director of the men's chorus, coach of the soccer team.

The appointment of an Austrian who had played soccer in his native country brought a flavor of Europe to the St. John's athletic scene. He was a vigorous young man, not yet twenty-five and greatly in need of exercise. He first became interested in watching the St. John's soccer team practice and in time joined in the training exercises, running and kicking. Now and then he would stop to give the players a tip when it was apparent that a fault was correctable, sometimes suggesting a play that was successful in European soccer-pointers on finesse that the American players at St. John's had never heard of before.

The appointment was almost to be expected eventually. James Vivaldelli, the 1969 coach and player, welcomed his successor for the reason that it gave him the opportunity as assistant coach to exercise the leadership that the squad needed in order to make progress in mastering the game. Moreover, a number of the 1969 team members had not returned, and there were vacancies to be filled by new men. Missed, especially, were Mark Studer, the leading 1969 scorer, Tom Keul, who had developed into a first-class goalie, and Kinwah Ng, their outstanding halfback who had graduated.

The overall record for the season was four wins, four ties and two defeats; the conference record three wins, three ties and two losses. The number of tied games is indicative of the stubborn defense the team had developed. The season ended with St. John's in third place behind Gustavus (first) and St. Thomas (second).

The only team members mentioned in the game reports were Tim Hogan, John Weiss, John Cretzmeyer, Steve Pollock, James Vivaldelli, Tim Broback and Ning Yuen Chen.

- 1971 and 1972-

The Record for the years 1971 and 1972 showed little or no interest in soccer. For that reason the outcomes of the 1971 and 1972 seasons have been culled from the Sagatagan: 1971, four wins, six losses, four ties; 1972, six wins, nine losses.

Returning for the 1971 season were the following veterans: Weston Cutter, Daniel Dimarco, David Farnesi, Patrick Machogu, Vinh Dink Nguen, Thomas Weber, John Weiss, David Yeh, Stephen Pollock and Steven Young (Record, October 1, 1971).

SCORES-1971

SJU Opponents

0 Gustavus 8

0 Macalester 0

3 Augsburg 3

6 Hamline 1

2 St. Thomas 3

3 St. Olaf 5

0 Gustavus 7

4 Macalester 1

3 Augsburg 2

1 Carleton 2

2 Hamline 1

0 St. Thomas 4

 

RECORD

Overall: 4 wins, 2 ties, 6 losses

 

SCORES-1972

SJU Opponents

0 St. Olaf 2

6 Luther 0

0 St. Thomas 7

0 Gustavus 9

1 Macalester 4

1 Augsburg 3

3 Hamline 2

(?)St. Thomas 2

2 Gustavus 5

0 Carleton 5

1 Macalester 2

2 Augsburg 3

3 Hamline 2

6 Concordia 1

2 St. Cloud 1

 

RECORD

Overall: 6 wins 9 losses

Conference: 4 wins 8 losses

-1973 -

The 1973 soccer season was one of transition from an experienced coach, Axel Theimer, to a beginner in the coaching game, Matthew Sikich, a 1972 graduate of St. John's. Captain of the team was David Yeh, a native of Hong Kong who had done all his earlier playing in the techniques of a country where soccer was an international sport. On the team were two other players experienced in foreign-style soccer, Geoff Murphy and his brother Brian, both rugged American players who had lived in Athens, Greece, during the years when they were going through grade school. Like Captain Yeh, they were expert soccer performers. With the exception of a few other players on the team, the 1973 edition was made up mainly of beginners who had little knowledge of the game and practically no experience. The Record gives the names of only a few of the veterans on the team: Carl Neuburge Joe Speltz, Ward Johnson, and young Tom Rocheford who later was captain of the 1976 team and coach of the 1977 aggregation.

The inexperience made itself evident in the first nine games of the season, during which the team won only one game, lost six and tied one. The spirit of the team was good, however. Coach Sikich had won the confidence of his players, and in the next five games won two, lost one and tied two others. The record of the season, therefore, was three wins, six losses, and three ties for fourth place in the conference-a respectable finish despite a miserable beginning. The closing games inspired hope for the future. Geoff Murphy was especially cheerful and predicted that the Jays would win the conference the next season. He based his prediction on his belief that Americans are talented soccer' players. "They may not pass as well, but they make up for it with hustle. Every year the top conference teams get better" (Record, November 2, 1973). Coach Sikich shared the enthusiastic optimism of his players.

- 1974 -

In his introduction of the 1974 soccer team to readers of the Record, Carl Neuburger prophesied that the "soccer fans are in for a treat this year as SJU is fielding what is proving to be the best team ever in the history of St. John's." Nothing could have been truer. The high hopes of Coach Matt Sikich at the end of the 1973 season were by no means unfounded. The number of star soccer players returning from the previous year was unusual: senior Captain Tom Rocheford; juniors Jim Sawyer, Jack Sandberg, Geoff Murphy, Bernard Rahming and Carl Neuburger; sophomores Joe Speltz, Jim McGough, Brian Murphy and Joe Mueller. Not mentioned, however, were three freshmen, Chi- King "Paddie" Lai, Ken Potts and Mike Lilly, three superb soccer players without whom the Johnnies would not have won their way to the semi-finals in the NAIA national tournament.

Apparently Coach Sikich became aware early that his three freshmen were highly talented performers, for their names figure consistently in the scoring columns throughout the entire season. After an initial loss to St. Olaf (3-6), the Jays ran up a streak of eight victories, one tie with Gustavus (3-3) and then a one goal loss to Augsburg, 1-0.

There remained the post-season games for the national championship, as St. John's, by virtue of its record, was eligible to enter competition for the championship of NAIA District 13. In the play-offs the Johnnies first defeated Lakehead of Canada by a score of 2-1. They were then pitted against the tough Augsburg team and emerged the victors in a thrilling 1-0 victory. It was a game that left the SJU supporters jubilant and the defeated Auggies stunned in disbelief.

St. John's placed five players on the all-MIAC team: Captain Tom Rocheford, goalie; Geoff Murphy and his brother Brian, forwards; Mike Lilly, only a freshman, center-forward; Jim McGough, defense.

ROSTER

Chi-King"Paddie" Lai

Michael Lilly

James McGough

Joseph Mueller

Brian Murphy

Geoff Murphy

Carl Neuburger

Kenneth Potts

Thomas Rocheford

Bernard Rahming

Joseph Sandberg

James Sawyer

Joseph Speltz

Coach-Matthew Sikich

Captain-Tom Rocheford

SCORES

3 Bethany 1

4 Bethel 0

3 St. Olaf 6

0 Augsburg 0

3 St. Thomas 2

1 Macalester 0

3 Gustavus 3

7 Hamline 0

4 St. Olaf 1

1 Augsburg 0

(?) St. Thomas (?)

2 Macalester 1

8 Hamline 2

The 1974 Quest for the National NAJA Championship

Carl Neuburger wrote a lively account of the SJU struggle to annex the NAIA championship to its 1974 laurels:

"The soccer team, which ended its conference season with an 8-2 win over Hamline, played some of its best soccer of the year last weekend as they defeated Lakehead of Canada 2-1 and Augsburg 1-0 to take the District 13 regional crown. Lakehead had defeated the Johnnies two weeks earlier and were a trifle arrogant coming into the match, but the cocky Canucks were sent to the showers, bedazzled by a tough Johnnie defense led by the Rock of Gibraltar (or rather the Rocheford of St. John's) that allowed only one goal to the tough Lakehead team. Ken Potts and Brian Murphy were each able to beat the Lakehead goalie to advance the Johnnies to the finals of the District 13 NAIA play-offs with Augsburg.

"In an exciting game against Augsburg the Johnnies were able to break a 0-0 deadlock with a perfect 35-yard shot by Geoff Murphy that caught the Augsburg goalie slightly out of position. Solid defensive play by Joe Speltz, along with Jim Sawyer, Jim McGough, and Brian Murphy kept the Auggies in check, and magnificent goal-tending by Tom Rocheford left the Augsburg players and fans in bewilderment and at the short end of a 1-0 score" (Record, November 18, 1974). The defeat of Augsburg entitled the Johnnies to enter the NAIA Nationals in order to compete for the national title as top team of its class in the nation. The Record failed to post a report of the Johnnies' fortune in the national meet. The fact is that St. John's was seeded to meet the Kickers of Quincy College, Illinois, a team that for years dominated the NAIA nationals. St. John's lost the semi-final game by a score of 8-0.

- 1975-

Coach Matt Sikich, when he saw his 1975 soccer team in action was convinced that this was the best of his three teams. A large number of his 1974 players had returned and, except for the absence of Tom Rocheford, it was basically the same as that of the previous year. The Jays made a fast start in the conference race by blitzing Hamline 5-0 with ease and defeating strong St. Olaf in a hard-fought game by a score of 3-2. The two initial victories left them in first place in the' conference and full of confidence for a big year. The team was well balanced with a stout defense and a versatile offense led by sophomore Mike Lilly, who already had scored five goals in the first two games. Flanking Lilly were sophomore Ken Potts, freshmen Tim Rutka, Patrick Lilly, Mark Cote, Pete Rocheford and Angelo Castellano. Among the halfbacks were veterans John Sandberg, Captain Geoff Murphy, and freshman Shawn Dougherty.

On the defense was junior goalie Tom Kozlak, protected by fullbacks James Sawyer, Joe Speltz, Steve Westlund, Carl Neuburger, and freshmen John McHale and Dale Kiedrowski. The squad was larger than usual, but numbers were necessary because of the freshmen and other inexperienced players.

The Record is silent about the progress of the team until the October 28 issue which carried a brief statement under a snapshot of Tim Rutka in action to the effect that the soccer team had suffered reverses. St. John's had dropped games to St. Thomas (1-3) and to league-leading Augsburg (1-4), losses which relegated the Johnnies into third place with only one more game to go. The record for the season was eight victories, four losses, and two ties. Winner of the 1975 soccer title was Augsburg.

-1976 -

It is difficult to write an adequate resume of the 1976 soccer team in the short space allowed for each year in this history. It was a glorious season played by what was undoubtedly the strongest, most versatile and most unified term in St. John's soccer history. After an initial loss to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay by a score of 2-3 and a 1-1 tied game with Gustavus, the Jays exploded with a string of eight conference victories, then a tie, followed by three more conference wins for a record of eleven wins and three ties for first place and the MIAC championship. The overall record was thirteen wins, two losses, and three ties.

Credit has to be given to Coach Matt Sikich who assembled the team and coached it, but, as for playing the games, even more credit has to go to Captain Mike Lilly and his companions in arms who formed a unit more powerful than the brilliant team of 1974. The outstanding scoring star was Mike Lilly, probably the most prolific scorer that St. John's had ever seen, but the championship was essentially a team achievement, scoring 47 points to eight by the opposition. The defense was "awesome," as one columnist wrote. The defense shut out the opponents in eight conference games, with an average of only one goal per game for the season.

According to the reports of games, the total number of key members was fourteen: forwards Pat Lilly, Mark Cote and "stylish" Tim Rutka; midfielders Mike Lilly, John Cella, Shawn Dougherty and John McHale; on defense were, first of all, two gladiatorial goal tenders, John Warren and Robert Cherry, with fullbacks Dale Kiedrowski, Joe Speltz and Steve Westlund. Key substitutes were Michael Bruckbauer, Pete Weyandt and Pete Rocheford, all-purpose men who were called upon often to substitute for an injured player.

The NAIA Play-offs

The play-off games for the district championship were almost as dramatic as the games of the regular season. St. Thomas and Augsburg, second and third place finishers in the MIAC standings, were both eligible for the district play-offs and hence were forced to play one another to decide who should meet St. John's.

Augsburg defeated St. Thomas in a game that went into seven overtime periods before the Auggies finally broke the tie to win the right to play St. John's for the District 13 championship. The Augsburg- St. John's game also ran into extra periods and only ended when, in the second overtime, John McHale spotted Mike Lilly breaking for the goal and threaded his way through the Auggies' defensive line to pass the ball to Lilly, who fired the ball into the net for a 2-1 victory and the undisputed District 13 championship.

The next move was to win the deciding game over the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, District 14 champions, for the Area III playoffs, preliminary to the semi-finals of the NAIA tournament in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California. In fact, the Jays defeated Parkside easily, only to discover that the next opponent would be Quincy College' the perennial winner of the meet. With a gulp of dismay but plenty of courage the Jays fought the Quincy kickers valiantly but lost by a score of 5-0. We will let the Record columnist relate that story:

"The soccer team's recent loss to Quincy College was a generally expected fate. But the final score of 5-0 was a marked improvement over the trip taken two years ago.

" 'They outclassed us,' said Mike Lilly. 'They were quick and had good defense. We had two very good chances to score in the first half but we couldn't quite put them in.'

"One consolation was that it took Quincy eight minutes to make its first goal.

" 'The last time it was the first nineteen seconds,' said Lilly. 'That doesn't mean anything, really; but still, we are a better team than we were two years ago' " (Record, October 13, 1976, p. 11).

The following players of the 1976 soccer team were awarded berths on the all-conference team: Mike Lilly, Mark Cote, Steve Westlund and John Warren. Lilly and Warren were also awarded All-District 13 honors.

The team roster included Michael Bruckbauer, John Cella, Robert Cherry, Mark Cote, Shawn Dougherty, Dale Kiedrowski, Michael Lilly (captain), Patrick Lilly, John McHale, Timothy Rutka, Joe Speltz, John Warren, Steve Westlund and Pete Weyandt.

Games won, tied or lost: Green Bay 2-3 (lost), Gustavus 1-1 (tied), Hamline 6-0 (won), St. Olaf 1-0 (won), Augsburg 4-3 (won), Macalester 3-1 (won), Gustavus 2-1 (won), Hamline 7-0 (won), St. Olaf 2-2 Augsburg 0-0 (tied), St. Thomas 1-0 (won), Macalester 8-0 (won), St. Mary's 8-0 (won).

-1977-

Coach Matthew Sikich was succeeded by Peter Rocheford, a 1976 graduate of St. John's who had played under Sikich for four years. Coaching was new to him, but he managed to lead his team to a second place finish in the MIAC. Assisting him was Pat Haws, director of the swimming pool and coach of the swimming team.

Coach Rocheford inherited a strong team that included Mike Lilly (styled in the Record as the "Gem"), scrappy Kenneth Potts and stylish Timothy Rutka. Also on the team from 1976 was the 1976 all-conference goalie, John Warren. Lost, however, were two other all-conference players, Mike Cote and Steve Westlund. Goalie Bob Cherry, who had alternated with J~~rren as goal tender, was also lost as a "defector to St. Thomas,' as the sportswriter jokingly expressed it.

To some extent the 1977 season was a rebuilding year, inasmuch as the brilliant passing combinations of 1976 had been broken up. The The season began most propitiously with four victories of the first five matches played. Then the reverse took place; the Johnnies won only one game of the last five. The record for the regular season of play was 5-4-3 (five wins, four losses, and three ties). The overall record was 5-5-3.

Far from being a losing team, the 1978 "kickers" were a well-balanced organization that lacked only aggressiveness or a bit of luck in making the one point more in each game that would have launched the team into the upper stratum of the conference. To use an athletic cliche, the Johnnies were "never out of the game." Only Augsburg and St. Thomas (winner of the 1978 soccer title) defeated St. John's twice. The other scores all indicate that the 1978 Jays were a well-balanced but unspectacular team in an unspectacular conference season. .

The season record is as follows: games won-over St. Olaf 3-1; Hamline 2-1; Macalester 1-0; St. Mary's 3-2; Bethel 2-0. Games lost: to St. Thomas 1-2, 0-1; Augsburg 1-3, 1-2. Games tied: Gustavus 1-1, and Bethel 2-2.

Squad members: John Cella, Dave Theissen, Paul Gelbmann, Robert Porter, Thomas Torborg, Timothy Stevens, Thomas Wiesenhahn, David Uppgaard, Paul Schoen, Timothy Rutka (co-captain), Frank Pilney, Patrick Lilly (co-captain), David Clark, John McHale, Roger Hassinger, Richard Teigen, Michael Kilian, Michael Tierney, Daniel Mulvaney, James Phelps, Kerry Fitzgerald, George Theisen, Robert Schmidt, Tom Hotz, Mark Jansen, Timothy Frederick, Gregory Wolff, Bill Moran, Gregory Steveken.