This past week while surfing the web, I stumbled onto an NCAA records site. I've always know SPU (Seattle Pacific University) was a soccer power, but had no idea exactly how powerful they were. They may in fact be the most historic Division II soccer school in NCAA history, and definitely one of the best over a 30+ year span.
During this span all but two years of it being under head coach Cliff McCrath. SPU has posted a winning season since 1971, going on 33 consecutive seasons and has made the playoffs 27 times-both Division II records.
SPU has been in 10 Championship games most of any Division II school and is second in most Championships 5. Only Southern Connecticut has won more at 6. They won titles in 1978,1983,1985,1986, and 1993.
SPU also accounts for two NCAA tournament records. Peter Hattrup scored 8 career playoff goals, including five in 1985. That record still stands along with 3 others he's tied with. SPU also had 19 corner kicks in two playoff games, both being school records and NCAA playoff records.
The 47 factor.....
In all 5 Championships the number 47 has been a factor in one way or another. This number has special history with the school, since Cliff himself was issued this number upon joining the Wheaton College soccer team.
In 1978....deciding goal 126th minute and 47 second
In 1983 McCrath was 47 years old
In 1985 The Championship win marked McCrath 470th
In 1986 The game was played in Seattle, situated on the 47th latitude
In 1993 Winning goal of 1-0 Championship win... 9 minutes, 47 seconds
SPU has had several player play for US National Teams and over 30 players play professional soccer. I'd list them all, but the list is so long, and it all can be found on the SPU site under Records.
Many SPU players are still in the area coaching youth teams for various clubs or have in the past several years. Some names and I'm sure not all..... Nate Daligcon, Brad Elmenhurst, Jason Farrel, Peter Hattrup, John Heimbigner, Mark Kovats, Mark Metzger, Sparky Parker, Dan Pingrey, Todd Schilperoort, and Craig Walker. I understand I probably missed more than a few, but the point is SPU has provided more than just great college soccer to our area. They have provided us with many great youth coaches.
This is just small bit of their storied history, much of my information came directly off of the SPU site, and some of it from the NCAA Division II records. I'd recommend that anyone interested in more detailed and individual statistics, visit the SPU site. I was amazed at their history. I can only commend SPU, and Cliff McCrath for being such a soccer icon and shining example of everything good about soccer. Enjoy the link below and WPS wishes SPU the best in the future. SPU Soccer