December 2, 2010

A look back: 1980 Men's Soccer Final Four

1980 Time Capsule: The Empire Strikes Back fills theaters, Reagan wins the presidential election, and Voyager I photogrpahs Saturn

1980 was the seventh year of Division III competition and the defending champion from 1979 was Babson. Players returned to campuses after a summer of movie hits such as The Empire Strikes Back, Airplane, and Caddyshack. The 1977 and 1978 men's soccer champion, Lock Haven, had made the move to Division II leaving defending champion Babson and Brandeis, Cortland State, Glassboro State, Scranton and Washington U. as the top D-III programs. The 8-year Iran-Iraq war began in late September as the regular season neared the midway point and the U.S. presidential campaign entered the final stretch.

Queen's Another One Bites the Dust was topping the charts when the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Kansas City Royals became the last of the original AL and NL franchises to win a World Series title. Meanwhile, the regular season was winding down and conference champions were crowned. As Midwest Conference champion Lake Forest was being invited to the tournament while Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champ Augsburg was not, Ronald Reagan won the White House in a Republican sweep on election day exactly one year after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis which spelled the end for Jimmy Carter.

That Friday night while Ohio Wesleyan, the Ohio Athletic Conference's South Division champions, hosted Presidents' Athletic Conference champions Bethany in one of two night games as the D-III tournament opened on Nov. 7, much of the nation was sitting down in front of their television sets to watch their two favorite two shows: the Dukes of Hazzard in its third season followed by the fourth-season premiere of Dallas. During the week between the first and second rounds, the NASA space probe Voyager I made its closest approach to Saturn and sent back the first high resolution images of the fascinating planet.

1980 Conference Champions (and other tournament invitees)

* - tournament participant

Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Averett*

Illinois-Indiana Collegiate Soccer Conference: DePauw* (also MacMurray*)

Independent College Athletic Conference: Ithaca* (also Clarkson*)

Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference: Westfield St.*

Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association: Hope (2nd place Calvin* instead)

Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Conference: Scranton* (also Haverford*, Elizabethtown*)

Midwest Conference: Lake Forest*

Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Augsburg

New Jersey State Athletic Conference: Glassboro St.* (also Kean*)

Northern Illinois-Iowa Intercollegiate Conference: Rockford

Ohio Athletic Conference: North Division - Wooster, South Division - Ohio Wesleyan*

Old Dominion Athletic Conference: Lynchburg*

Presidents' Athletic Conference: Bethany (WV)*

Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Pomona-Pitzer*

State University of New York Athletic Conference: Binghamton* (Buffalo St.*)

Independents: Brandeis*, Babson*, Grove City*, Plymouth St.*, Washington U.*

1980 Division III Tournament

The Division III tournament expanded from 16 to 24 teams in 1980, resulting in an additional round. The first, second, and third rounds were played on three successive weekends followed by the Final Four on the fourth weekend. Interestingly, the eight first round games and byes were not evenly distributed but rather two quadrants had a first round while the other two did not. This format would not be repeated as four-team first and second round regionals were introduced the following year

Note: Regionals with a 24-team field created the oddity of two byes in the third round/quarterfinal stage with two regional victors advanced directly to the Final Four. The advantage of changing to this model despite that oddity was that more of the traveling would be done in the first two rounds when the distances between opponents are less cutting out two quarterfinal trips that were of significantly greater distance and thus cost.

All participants were selected on an at-large basis and numerous conference champions were not invited. Favorites were probably Brandeis, New Jersey State Athletic Conference champions Glassboro State, and the Middle Atlantic Conference champions Scranton.

First Round: Brandeis 2, Plymouth St. 0 | Babson 1, Westfield St. 0 (2OT) | Ithaca 2, Buffalo St. 0 | Binghamton 4, Clarkson 3 (2OT) | Calvin 4, DePauw 3 | Ohio Wesleyan 2, Bethany (WV) 1 | Scranton 2, Grove City 1 (2OT) | Haverford 4, Elizabethtown 3 (OT)

Second Round: Babson 3, Brandeis 2 (2OT) | Binghamton 1, Ithaca 0 (2OT) | Glassboro St. 1, Lynchburg 0 | Averett 1, Kean 0 | Calvin 1, Ohio Wesleyan 0 | Scranton 3, Haverford 1 | MacMurray 2, Lake Forest 1 (3OT) | Washington U. 5, Pomona-Pitzer 0.

Quarterfinals: Babson 2, Binghamton 1; Glassboro St. 5, Averett 1; Scranton 1, Calvin 0; Washington U. 1, MacMurray 0.

1980 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Final Four

November 28-29, Babson College (Babson Park, Mass.)

Babson College Beavers

Head coach: Bill Rogers, 3rd season (40-8-7, .791 entering the Final Four)

Record/Scoring (entering Final Four): 14-3-1 (.794) | 36 GS (2.00 gpg), 11 GA (0.61 gpg)

Tournament Results: Westfield St. W 1-0 (2OT); Brandeis W 3-2 (2OT); Binghamton W 2-1

Prior NCAA Appearances (4): 1975 (Champions), 1977 (3rd place), 1978, 1979 (Champions)

NCAA Record (1975-79): 12-1-2 (.867)

Key Players*: Jim Stento (Sr.) M - 7g, 7a (All-American Honorable Mention, All-New England) | Tim Connolly (Jr.) M (All-New England) | Kevin Bryant (Jr.) M (All-New England) | Mark Silva (Jr.) F - 9g, 4a | Rodolphe Von Berg (So.) F - 6g, 4a | John Sexton (Sr.) M - 4g, 4a | Brian Cahill (Jr.) GK - .55 GAA, 11 Shutouts | Bob LeBlanc (Jr.) M - 3g, 3a (* - tournament statistics and post-season honors included)

The 1980 Babson men's soccer team  photo by Babson athletics

Babson was the defending champion and had lost relatively little from its title-winning squad. Five of their top six scorers returned, representing 27 of the 31 goals scored in 1979, including team MVP Jim Stento (7g, 7a), leading goal scorer Mark Silva (9g, 3a), and defender Kevin Bryant, the Outstanding Defensive Player of 1979 NCAA Tournament. Bill Rogers was in his third season at the helm having taken over from Bob Hartwell who had coached him when he played for the school in the early '70s. He was continuing the success of his mentor with Babson a soccer force regionally and nationally.

Babson didn’t have it easy getting back to the Final Four, needing overtime twice and all three games being decided by one goal. First was MASCAC champion Westfield St. which held the defending champions scoreless through 90 minutes and the first overtime despite Babson taking over 20 shots. But Westfield couldn’t capitalize with a goal of its own and had no response to Babson’s goal five minutes into the second overtime.

Then, for a change of pace, Babson combined with Brandeis for five goals, but it still required two extra periods to be decided. Brandeis scored within ten minutes for the a lead that stood through halftime, but a Babson goal 27 seconds after the break knotted things and a Babson goal followed by a Brandeis goal left things level after 90 minutes. With just under five to play in the second overtime period Babson again got the crucial goal that would give them the win. It marked the second straight year that Babson eliminated the 1975 champions.

With a spot in the semifinals on the line against the SUNYAC champions Binghamton, Brandeis finally came out of the gates strong and was up 2-0 by halftime. Binghamton only managed to cut the lead in half with less than two minutes left to play and it was Babson returning to the Final Four.

Glassboro State College Profs

Head coach: Dan Gilmore, 5th season (67-19-7, .758 entering the Final Four)

Record (entering Final Four): 19-1-2 (.909)  | 71 GS (3.23 gpg), 12 GA (0.54 gpg)

Tournament Results: Lynchburg W1-0; Averett W5-1
Prior NCAA Appearances (2):
1978, 1979 (Runner-up)

NCAA Record (1978-79): 3-2-0 (.600)

Key Players*:  Tim Dempsey (Jr.) M – 5g, 13a (3rd Team All-Region, NJSAC POY) | Scott Salisbury (Jr.) – 6g, 4a (3rd Team All-Region, All-NJSAC) | Jeff Wiebolt (Jr.) (3rd Team All-Region, All-NJSAC) | Pat LaCroix (So.) F – 13g 2a (All-NJSAC) | Garfield Francis (So.) F - 12g, 6a | Tony O'Connor (Jr.) M – 6g, 15a (All-NJSAC) | Walt Gotrell (Jr.) GK – 0.57 GAA, 12 Shutouts (All-NJSAC) | Bobby Wilder (Jr.) (All-NJSAC) | Jay Tucker (Sr.) (All-NJSAC) |  Robbie Bechtloff (So.) (All-NJSAC) (* - tournament statistics and post-season honors included)

Glassboro State (which later changed its name to Rowan) made progress every year under 5th-year head coach Dan Gilmore, and were back in the Final Four for the second straight year, having lost in the final to the very same Babson that they now faced in this year’s semifinal. Their 1980 squad was their best ever to that point, and still ranks as one of their highest scoring teams even 30 years later. The roster included five players who remain among the top 20 all-time scoring leaders at the school. Made up of mostly juniors and sophomores, it’s no wonder they came back and won it all the following year. They won the NJSAC going undefeated with one tie, that to Kean who also was invited to the tournament. The team’s only loss had come against a strong D-I Philadelphia Textile, 3-2, and they closed the regular season with a 1-1 tie against D-I Delaware.

The squad was strong from front to back and attacked very well as a unit with midfielders who knew how to distribute the ball well and create goal-scoring opportunities for their forwards who were only too happy to oblige. To reach the Final Four they edged past ODAC champion Lynchburg, 1-0, in the second round on a goal with under nine to play, being kept off the scoreboard to that point despite over 20 shots, double that of their opponents. Things went smoother against Dixie champion Averett and three goals in five minutes late in the first half turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 rout. A final goal as the game wound down meant a 5-1 final score and a 19th win, breaking the school mark they set the previous year.

University of Scranton Royals

Head coach: Steve Klingman, 8th season (104-38-3, .728 entering the Final Four)

Record (entering Final Four): 20-2-1 (.891)  | 79 GS (3.43 gpg), 13 GA (0.57 gpg)

Tournament Results: Grove City W 2-1 (2ot), Haverford W 3-1, Calvin W 1-0

Prior NCAA Appearances (3): 1977, 1978, 1979 (quarterfinals all three years)

NCAA Record (1977-79): 2-3-1 (.417)

Key Players*: Cedric DeSilva (Jr.) F - 22g 9a (All-American Honorable Mention, All-Region, All-MAC) |  William McNeel (So.) GK - 0.62 GAA, 13 Shutouts (All-Region, All-MAC) | Eric Knuttel (Sr.) D (All-Region, All-MAC) | Mark Haley (Sr.) F - 15g, 6a (All-MAC) | Robert Hernandez (Jr.) B (All-MAC) | Donald DiValerio (Sr.) M (All-MAC) | Ken Reimann (Sr.) F 11g, 3a (* - tournament statistics and post-season honors included)

Scranton had established themselves as the top team in the large and competitive MAC having won their fourth conference championship in five years, making them one of D-III’s best. They dispatched of tournament-bound Elizabethtown 3-0 in the conference semifinal and South Division champion Haverford, also in the tournament, 3-2 in the final. It was the best team Scranton ever had, according to their head coach Steve Klingman who would become the winningest coach in team history.

Klingman had taken over the program in its fifth year and quickly turned it into a winner and now in his eighth year was in the NCAA’s for the fourth straight time. And who knows how much better the first three trips would have turned out if they hadn’t met (and lost to) Lock Haven in the second round all three times. Lock Haven would become champion in 1977 and 1978 before losing in the 1979 semifinal in their last year in D-III before moving up to D-II in 1980.

The Royals’ star player was a junior from London, England, Cedric DeSilva (22g, 9a) who was on his way to an All-American honorable mention in this the final year in which the honors were given for all divisions combined. But the team had an array of weapons and perhaps the top offense in all of D-III. Their defense was equally good anchored by sophomore keeper Bill McNeel who set the school shutout record and would finish his career having played the most minutes by a goalie in D-III history. The only losses Scranton suffered along the way were to Lock Haven who would go undefeated and claim the D-II championship and to perennial D-I power Philadelphia Textile. In the tournament, they avoided the opening round upset with a 2-1 overtime win over Grove City, DeSilva scoring 3 minutes into the second overtime and the defense holding on for the win. They had opened the scoring in the 60th minute only to be equalized 8 minutes later forcing extra time. The second round pitted them against conference rivals Haverford who they had beaten 3-2 just two weeks earlier and the result was the same, this time by a 3-1 scoreline with DeSilva score both go-ahead goals. Standing between them a trip to the Final Four was Calvin who despite finishing second in the MIAA to Hope was the one in the tournament. A DeSilva goal midway through the first half, his fourth of the tournament, was all that was needed to slip past Calvin, 1-0.

Washington University Bears

Head coach: Joe Carenza Jr., 7th season (84-33-5, .709 entering the Final Four)

Record (entering Final Four): 18-5-0 (.783) | 48 GS (2.09 gpg), 13 GA (0.57 gpg)

Tournament Results: Pomona-Pitzer W 5-0, MacMurray W 1-0

Prior NCAA Appearances (2): 1978 (runner-up), 1979 (3rd place)

NCAA Record (1977-79): 2-3-1 (.417)

Key Players*: Arthur Jurema (Sr.) F (All-America, 1st-team All-Midwest) | Matt Klosterman (Sr.) (1st-team All-Midwest) | Gary Lubin (Jr.) GK – 15 Shutouts |  Mike Feld (Sr.)  | Yoram Amir (So.)  | Steve Bigg (Jr.) | Kevin Boyarsky (Jr.) | Jeff Levoff (Jr.) | Jaques Shalo (Sr.) | Phil Baljanski (Fr.) | Matt Gebuer (Jr.)
* - tournament statistics and post-season honors included

Washington came to the Final Four carrying the most losses of the four participants, but they had been there before having reached the Final Four the past two years. Their starting line-up was made up of nine seniors and juniors, so it was an experienced bunch — as much or more than any of the other Final Four squads. And it was not just experience they possessed, but also quality. Their star player, senior Brazilian forward Arthur Jurema, was an All-American honorable mention the year before, a distinction he would garner once again. In the back was another returning All-American honorable mention, senior defender Matt Klosterman.

Seven years prior head coach Joe Carenza Jr., son of the program’s inaugural head coach, took a program that was winning two to five games of a maximum 10-game schedule and from his fifth season on he had his team playing a 20+ game schedule, winning 15 or more games a season, and not just qualifying for the NCAA tournament but advancing to the final weekend. So he and his players knew a thing or two about reach new heights of success and a D-III title would be just that. They started their quest for the title with a 5-0 rout of Pomona-Pitzer, which had the unenviable privilege of making the trip from California to St. Louis for the second round match. Washington was up three by halftime and added two more in the second half, but it was a case of efficient finishing as they only edged Pomona 13-12 on shots taken. In the quarterfinals they faced a MacMurray team they had lost to 1-0 as part of a 2-game skid to close out the regular season. It could have finished the same again as MacMurray put more shots on target (7-4), but it was Washington that found the back of the net with 11:35 to play for the narrow victory.

Semifinal: Scranton 4, Washington U. 1

Friday, November 28 - 10 a.m.

The first semifinal featured two tough defenses as both keepers had set season highs for shutouts for their respective schools. On offense, however, Scranton brought a much higher scoring attack than did Washington. Scranton also came in battle-tested from playing in the tough MAC and overall having played a tougher schedule that included Philadelphia Textile, a perennial D-I tournament team, and Lock Haven who had just moved up a division and was competing in the D-II Final Four the same weekend.

Scranton’s leading scorer, junior forward Cedric DeSilva, wasted no time in putting the Royals ahead, scoring an unassisted goal from just inside the right corner of the box before three minutes had elapsed for his fifth goal of the tournament. Scranton would outshoot Washington 12-7 in the opening 45 minutes, but a freshman off the bench would even things for the Bears as Glenn Edwards scored from seven yards out in the 25th minute off a feed from junior Jeff Levoff. 1-1 was the halftime score.

Scranton held Washington’s All-American forward Arthur Jurema to just two first half shots, and would do even better in the second half allowing him one solitary shot. In fact, they would only allow three total shots after the break while their offense took over. In the 63rd minute they took the deserved lead through a Mark Haley score from the right about 10 yards out. Five minutes later DeSilva would double his tally and the Royals advantage scoring from a similar spot as his first. Sophomore Carlos Louriero set that one up and he would do so again with about 12 minutes to play, this time setting up fellow substitute forward, the senior Denis McBride, for a shot from the edge of the box that deflected off a defender on the way in. The final score of 4-1 sent Scranton to their first national title game.

Goal Scoring Summary:
2:53 Scranton – Cedric DeSilva (unassisted)
24:28 Washington - Glenn Edwards (Jeff Levoff)
62:44 Scranton; Mark Haley (Tom McGill)
67:20 Scranton – Cedric DeSilva (Carlos Louriero)
78:26 Scranton – Denis McBride (Carlos Louriero)

Statistical Summary:
Shots: S-29 W-10 | SOG: S-17 W-5 | Corners: S-10 W-1 | Saves: S-4 W-13 | Fouls: S-11 W-14

Semifinal: Babson 2, Glassboro St. 1 (4 ot)

Friday, November 28 - 1 p.m.

The second semifinal was a rematch of the previous year's final in which Babson downed Glassboro State 2-1. Very similar to the earlier semifinal, the match included two stingy defenses, but a significance difference in offensive output. Glassboro was one of the best teams going forward as a unit and attacking in numbers. Moreover they were hungry to avenge that loss a year earlier. And they seemed to be well on their way when sophomore forward Pat LaCroix scored off a feed from junior midfielder Tony O'Connor at the 9 minute mark. But Babson would equalize ten minutes before the break when senior forward Gary Newcomb finished off an assist from sophomore forward Rodolphe Von Berg.

The second half would pass without another goal and the game moved into overtime, familiar territory for Babson. As one scoreless period led to another and then to sudden death action it seemed like the game was destined for penalty kicks. But as they had done at every step of the way, Babson was the team to hold their nerve and find a way, ending the game in an instant to return to the title game. Team captain, senior Jim Stento, fed junior forward Mark Silva for the decisive tally. As Babson celebrated passage to the final once again, Glassboro would have to wonder what went wrong as it was Babson who generated twice as many shots.

Goal Scoring Summary:
8:58 Glassboro St. – Pat LaCroix (Tony O’Connor)
34:21 Babson – Gary Newcomb (Rodolophe Von Berg)
138:32 Babson – Mark Silva (Jim Stento)

Statistical Summary:
Shots: G-14 B-28 | SOG: G-10 B-14 | Saves: G-12 B-9

Third Place: Glassboro St. 1, Washington U. 0

Saturday, November 29 - 10 a.m.

In the anticlimatic consolation match Glassboro took the honors with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Kevin Gray tally in the 16th minute assisted by David Carney. The remaining 74 minutes passed without another goal.

Goal Scoring Summary:
15:54 Glassboro St. – Kevin Gray (David Carney)

Statistical Summary:
Shots: W-15 G-20 | SOG: W-7 G-11 | Saves: W-10 G-7

Final: Babson 1, Scranton 0 (OT)

Saturday, November 29 - 1 p.m.

The final like the two semifinals would match two very good defensive teams met, but Scranton boasted a much more potent attack than Babson. However that was the case before Babson’s semifinal against Glassboro and it was Babson who put up the better offensive stats. Scranton might have been playing the best soccer of anyone as they showed the day prior in an impressive 4-1 win over Washington, but Babson was the defending champions as well as 1975 champs and their seniors had lots of experience in tight games having been involved in seven tournament games decided by one goal over last four years. 

It was a clear, cold afternoon in Boston and the field was muddy which, by hampering both attacks, may have been to Babson’s advantage. In the first half Babson’s defense held Scranton in check, committing 12 fouls and limiting the trio of Cedric de Silva, Mark Haley, and Jim Crines, who combined for 24 total shots the day before, to just two shots. Scranton committed 10 fouls and similarly limited Babson to six first-half shots, although the best chance did go to the hosts when junior midfielder Bob LeBlanc found himself with an open net and fired wide left.  

Babson- 1980 D-III Men's National Champions
Babson is the 1980 Division III men's national champion photo by Babson athletics

Then, as against Washington, Scranton’s offense generated more in the second half with de Silva and Haley getting off four and five shots, respectively. But despite 12 total shots, Babson’s junior goalkeeper Brian Cahill was up to the task on the six that were put on frame. Likewise the Scranton keeper, sophomore Bill McNeel, turned away four shots with Babson getting a lift from sophomore forward Rodolphe Von Berg who came off the bench to lead the team in shots with four after the break to go with his two in the first half. But no one was finding the back of the net and regulation ended in a scoreless stalemate.

So it was another overtime game for Babson who was accustomed to the extra minutes and pressure having needed overtime in three of their four games in the tournament already. As the first overtime period was nearing a close with neither team managing much, senior Babson full-back John Sisk picked the perfect moment for his first ever collegiate goal and what a beauty it was: a 35-yard rocket from outside the top right corner of the box to the far side netting past the surprised McNeel for the 1-0 win. Babson had repeated as champions, making it three titles in all to pass Lock Haven for most in D-III’s short history. It was Scranton’s best finish in four appearances.

Goal Scoring Summary:
103:54 Babson – John Sisk (Jim Fisher)

Statistical Summary:
Shots: B-18 S-22 | SOG: B-9 S-12 | Corners: B-9 S-8 | Saves: B-13 S-8 | Fouls: B-23 W-22

Other Collegiate Soccer Champions in 1980

NCAA Division I Men's: San Francisco 4, Indiana 3 (OT)

NCAA Division II Men's: Lock Haven 3, Florida International 1 (Lock Haven: 21-0 undefeated first season in D-II)

NAIA Men's: Quincy 1, Rockhurst 0

NJCAA Men's: SUNY-Morrisville 2, Mercer County Comm. Coll. 1

NCCAA Men's: Houghton 2, Messiah 1 (OT, shootout)


by Christan Shirk

Special thanks to the sports information personnel at Babson College, Rowan University, University of Scranton, Washington University (Mo.) for their assistance in developing this review.

If you know of any factual errors in the above review or have addition information please contact the author. Likewise, if you have any "artifacts" (newspaper clippings, box scores, photos, etc.) related to the 1980 (or any other year's) tournament and Final Four, we would love to have copies to add to our archives and use in our review.

Other Final Four Reviews:  1981 | 1990
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