Perhaps the most storied program at Babson, men's soccer boasts more than five decades of excellence at the varsity level. Since its first season in the fall of 1955, the team has posted an overall record of 583-291-101 for a sparkling .650 winning percentage. Babson also boasts three national championships as well as the distinction of being the first Division III school in the country to attain three NCAA titles in the sport of soccer.
Despite it's awesome overall totals, the men's soccer program struggled in its infancy, going 36-89-8 in its first 14 seasons of varsity competition. However, the team still featured several individual stars during this time, including Athletics Hall of Famer John Dolan '56 and future Babson President Brian M. Barefoot '66 P'01.
The Hartwell-Rogers Era
In 1967, Bob Hartwell took over as head coach of the men's soccer program. In just two years, he turned a team that went winless in 1966 into a regional power that went 11-3, including wins over Boston University and archrival Brandeis, in 1969. That fall, the Beavers were invited to play in the NAIA District Playoffs, marking the first team postseason bid in program history.
From 1969 until he stepped down as head coach to assume the Director of Athletics duties in 1977, Hartwell led Babson to an era of unprecedented success. He guided his teams to an overall record of 118-34-14 and was named New England Coach of the Year on four separate occasions. Hartwell's tenure also included the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1973, as well as the magical 1975 campaign which saw the Beavers go 17-0-1 and win the College's first-ever National Championship. Also a coach for the swimming and diving teams and the men's lacrosse team as well as one of Babson's greatest administrators, Hartwell was one of the first people inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
Succeeding Hartwell as head soccer coach was former player Bill Rogers '73. In the seven seasons under his watch, the team continued its regional and national dominance, going 87-23-15 and winning back-to-back National Championships in 1979 and 1980. Rogers would later join Hartwell as a member of the Hall of Fame's first induction class in 1991, and in 2002 Babson's soccer complex was renamed Hartwell-Rogers Field in their honor.
Babson's Reign Continues
Another Hartwell desciple and a former member of the 1975 national championship team, Jon Anderson took over as head coach of the program in 1986. Over the next eight years, he guided the squad to six NCAA Tournament bids, including a trip to the National Semifinals in 1991, as well as Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) titles in 1990, 1992, and 1993. Among the many individual stars during this period was three-time All-American goalie Steve Webber '92, who set an NCAA Division III record with 45 shutouts in his spectacular career.
A New Millenium
Despite winning two more CAC titles in 1996 and 1997 as well as the ECAC New England Championship in 1997, Babson was shut out of the NCAA Tournament from 1994 to 2001. However, the Beavers returned to the national stage in 2002, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney by winning the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship. With nine-time Conference Coach of the Year and three-time New England Coach of the Year Anderson still at the helm, the team won the league title and returned to the NCAAs in 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010, capping off another enormously successfull decade for the Babson soccer program.
Although the team's run of three straight conference titles came to an unfortunate end in 2011, Babson still garnered an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Beavers hosted the opening two rounds, defeating Lesley and moving past Trinity in penalty kicks to advance to the Third Round for the second consecutive season. The team then won its fifth straight regular season conference crown and earned another at-large bid to the NCAA Tourney in 2012 - a year in which Babson extended its unbeaten streak against NEWMAC opponents to an unprecedented 39 games. The Beavers' conference unbeaten streak would come to an end at 40 games following a loss to MIT in late September 2013.
No program at Babson boasts more individual awards than men's soccer, which has seen 20 individuals win a total of 31 All-America honors since 1976. Among these greats have been two-time honorees Fran Pantuosco '79, Mark McNabb '85, Mark Sullivan '86, Terry Jackson '92, Craig Porter '95, Dan Pucci '98, and Tim Winn '09, as well as 1982 first-team honoree Jim Fisher '83. In addition to his three All-American awards, goalie Steve Webber '92 was also a two-time Adidas Academic All-America first team selection, and was the 1991 NECAC Division III Male Athlete of the Year. More recently, Dan Pucci was named an Umbro Senior All-Star and was drafted to play professional soccer in 1997, and Winn joined Fisher, McNabb, Sullivan, and Pucci as the only first team All-Americans in program history after graduating as Babson's all-time leader in goals and points in 2009. Also joining that elite group was head coach Jon Anderson's son Eric Anderson '13, who became the first player in program history to earn multiple first team All-America selections in 2010 and 2011 before adding second-team honors in 2012. Eric also surpassed Winn's program records by finishing with 57 goals and 149 points in his brilliant career.
To date, a total of 14 soccer players/coaches have been inducted into the Babson Athletics Hall of Fame. They are Hartwell, Rogers, Fisher, Pantuosco, Dolan (also played basketball), Webber, Shane Kennedy '76, Mark Paylor '78, Rodolphe von Berg '83 (also skied), George Savitti '81 (also played baseball and ice hockey), Jim Powers '76 (also played hockey), James Stento '80, Franz Grueter '76, and Jon Anderson '75.
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