The men’s soccer team took on the slogan “Everything’s Possible” by the end
of their season because they were successful in ways they couldn’t have predicted. Fifth-year head coach Jon Lowery received MIAC Coach of the Year
award and Player of the Year went to senior Mark Heydt. Additionally, the Tommies set the school season record for victories ( 20) and shutouts ( 16) as well as
won the program’s first outright MIAC conference title in 25 years.
They opened the season strong with a 3-0 win against Buena Vista on Sept.
2. A few weeks later, the Tommie-Johnnie rivalry opened MIAC conference
play and ended in a dramatic 1-1 tie. By Oct. 4 the Tommies had an 11-game
unbeaten streak, were nationally ranked 24th, and had won five consecutive
shutouts. With recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association of
America for a team GPA of 3. 26, the Tommies show the importance of academics in athletics.
On Nov. 5, the Tommies won 1-0 at home over Macalester in the MIAC playoff
championship game, sending them into the NCAA tournament. At this point,
sophomore Aidan Hogan had played 11 games as goalie and only allowed
Senior Tony Kuplic played an integral role in the game against St. Scholastica
in the first round of NCAA playoffs on Nov. 12 despite not normally starting. He
scored the winning goal in overtime. The Tommies continued to win against
Luther and Benedictine in the second and third rounds of the NCAA playoffs.
In the Nov. 20, quarterfinal game against Redlands (Calif.), Kuplic came in the
clutch again to score in the final nine minutes and lead the Tommies to victory.
Their record-setting season ended Dec. 2 in Salem, Virginia, when the men
lost 2-1 to Tufts (Mass.) in the national semifinals. Heydt made first-team All-American and junior Shae Bottum made third-team All-American. St. Thomas
sophomore Andrew Stuempfig was honored with the Elite 90 award for men’s
soccer. The team will continue to reach for success and Heydt said, “My advice
for younger teammates and players is to just stick with the game. As long as
you love to step onto the field and play soccer, you absolutely should.“
“MY MINDSET IS TO BE
FORWARD... I DON’T
WORRY ABOUT WHO
ENDS UP SCORING AS
LONG AS WE PUT THE
BALL IN THE BACK OF
- MARK HEYDT ‘ 17
Photos: Lauren Petersen ( 1, 3); Luke Hubers ( 2, 4)
Page: Emma Bassier