Home
share

Humility Leads to National Success for Men's Soccer

Great teams are comprised of great players who allow their skill and talent to speak for them. The Notre Dame College men’s soccer team is in this category, allowing their efforts on the field and their silence everywhere else to speak volumes about their success this season.

Humility is a familiar trait for the Falcons, who from humble beginnings only five seasons ago, have grown the program into a national competitor. The team earned its third American Mideast Conference (AMC) North Division championship this past season, while continuously ranking among the nation’s top 25 teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national Men’s Soccer Poll. Notre Dame College’s final national ranking at No. 18 led the team to its first appearance in the National Championship which was held in Daytona Beach, Florida in November.

“Seeing ‘little’ Notre Dame College up there with the established athletic elite of the NAIA was very gratifying,” said fifth-year head coach and AMC North Division Coach of the Year Michael “Mac” McBride. “However, getting to the national tournament was almost beyond comprehension. Twenty teams get to go to the tournament and 190 teams don’t. I think that might give some perspective as to the enormity of the achievement.”

When just making it to the tournament would be satisfying enough for some young teams, Notre Dame College took the achievement one step further by defeating its first opponent, Simon Fraser University from British Columbia, Canada by a score of 2-1 in overtime.

“To get to the national tournament was brilliant,” said two-time NAIA All-American Honorable Mention forward senior Chris Loughlin. “To win a game when no one outside of ourselves gave us a chance was fantastic and definitely my favorite memory of the season.”

The Falcons lost in the quarterfinals 1-0 to Southern Nazarene University (Okla.) to finish in the elite eight. The team was also selected as the recipient of the Nels Dahlquist Memorial Team Sportsmanship Award – an honor selected by the Tournament Games Committee and referees based on sportsmanship, character and integrity.

“You always go into a season hoping your team will do well,” said AMC North Division Player of the Year sophomore midfielder Nick Jordan. “A lot of our success stemmed not only from having outstanding players, but from having Mac as our coach. He puts so much passion into the game and our team. You would think he actually wants to be on the field himself, which is something I don’t see from many coaches.”

“The team had a phenomenal year and obviously Mac played a major role,” said Loughlin. When told about the impact he had on the team’s success, McBride shrugged off the compliments, “I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a very special group of young men since the program began. The 2005 season was a culmination of the collective efforts of everyone who has ever been involved with NDC men’s soccer and I have been given a lifetime of memories.”

The men’s soccer team is the first team from Notre Dame College to appear in a national tournament and Jordan, the team’s captain, has plans for a return trip, “To come off of a year achieving so much only means you can expect nothing but pure excitement next year. With new opponents, our team will work hard to make just as big of an impact in 2006.”

Kristy Booher is the Sports Information Director for Notre Dame College.