The men’s soccer team came within one game of advancing to the NCAA DIII Soccer Championship this season. After going 4-3 in conference play, the team earned the fourth-place seed in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) tournament. It was the team’s first appearance in the conference playoffs since 2002, when the tournament’s qualifying format was changed. The Cardinals played top-seeded Wheaton College to a 0-0 tie in the semifinals, advancing with a 5-4 win in a penalty shootout. The Cardinals fell to Carthage College in the championship match, 3-1.
Four members of the team were named to the 2015 All-CCIW Men’s Soccer Teams. Forward Matt Koth ’16 and goalkeeper Justin De Boer ’17 were named to the First Team. Jon Borzick ’18 and Joey Faleni ’16, both midfielders, were named to the Second Team. Koth and Chandler Olah ’17 led the team in scoring with four goals each. De Boer, who played in 15 matches, finished with a 1.20 goals-against average. Ryan O’Deen ’18 led the team with five assists.
Head coach Matt Klosterman received the CCIW’s Joe Bean Coach of the Year award. He’s the first North Central coach to receive that distinction.
Part of the team’s success can be attributed to staying cool under pressure. Three of the four wins in conference play were 1-0 victories where the game-winning goals were scored on penalty kicks, including a victory on the road at then-No. 15-ranked North Park University. The Cardinals did not miss a penalty shot all season.