Author Topic: The Big Dance  (Read 56438 times)

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #750 on: December 05, 2017, 08:59:46 pm »
Well, I was going to start off my final thoughts on the season with a nod in the direction of Saint of Old for this accurate statement:

North Park does not have that record by chance, and they are playing with the knowledge that if they win it they are cemented in History.

They will be the squad that set the standard for what will likely be a strong program for years to come hopefully.

But then he blew it by omitting NPU here, making me think that the Vikings still haven't dented the consciousness of a lot of you Northeasterners:

Now cmon Amherst, Chicago, Lycoming, OWU, Trinity, Cortland, Oneonta, Tufts, You Saints....
Lets knock em off that throne :)


Seriously, though, he's right. The bad taste of Saturday night for Vikings fans gives way to the realization that this was a magnificent season that really changed everything for the North Park soccer program. Prior to this season, the Vikings had been perennially solid under John Born, sometimes even bordering on outstanding, but they never had anything more than regionally-based respect -- and rightly so, since NPU had never been able to survive the first weekend of the tournament.

This season, the Vikings finally broke through.

They had such a tremendous regular season that they more or less forced the committee's hand into giving them a bye -- and then immediately showed that they deserved it by walloping UW-Platteville by five goals in the second round. They completely dominated Washington & Lee, dominated 2016 Final Four participant St. Thomas as well for 60 minutes (allowing only one non-SOG shot by the Tommies in that time) and then showing the moxie to hold off the Tommies when they sent the extra defender forward and went hammer-and-tongs at the NPU back line and goalkeeper in the waning minutes of the match. They then were the beneficiaries of a terrific performance by Matthias Stulen in goal when they were badly outplayed in the semi by Chicago, surviving the PK shootout, and even though they succumbed to Messiah in the final they still played like they belonged there.

Aside from the incredible pride and happiness that this Vikings side brought to a lot of people affiliated with North Park University comes the knowledge that, as Saint of Old said, they set the standard for what will be a strong program for what will hopefully be years to come. There's no promises that come with that, of course; every year's success has to be earned, as it's not granted automatically by pedigree. But the Vikings program is really in a great place right now, not just because of how much of this roster returns next season but because the success that the Vikings have produced on the field and the support that they get in the stands will likely spur recruiting on to another level, the level that will be necessary to sustain NPU's new status as a national program rather than a regional one.

I've said this dozens of times already in person and in other online venues to the team and the coaches, but I'll say it again here: Thanks for the fantastic ride that you gave us all. It's a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of the NPU soccer program in a minor way as your PBP broadcaster. Best of luck to you in the off-season, as you prepare to attempt to climb the mountain again. Can't wait for '18! Jag är stolt över att vara en North Park Viking!
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful..” -- John Wooden

Offline Dubuquer

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Re: The Big Dance
« Reply #751 on: January 18, 2018, 03:38:51 pm »
Chicago just CLINICAL...They deserve it....

NOTE:   Emory's GK WAS NOT NEAR any of those PK's....Why make that change? The Emory starter was a lightning quick GK that might have gotten to maybe 1 of those....

Yeah I don't get that.  Maybe because he's a freshman without the experience.  The guy they brought in was quite large, but you're right he didn't seem real comfortable.

Exactly,,,,The other GK like you said was quick as a cat but the GK off the bench almost looked immobile....Still an Elite 8 for an interim Head Coach is not bad. As long as the players give him decent reviews I am sure he will have a leg up on anyone else although maybe still a bit young..Still have no clue why Travis resigned to be an AD in Iowa....Oh Well...They do lose a ton of quality seniors so unless he gets a legit class they might struggle for a year or 2.

News about Travis' new hire at Coe College in Iowa...

Is this the reason Travis left Emory?  Hmmmm...  Hopefully it will lead to another quality side in the IIAC as Coe has been weak for years.