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December 1, 2004

2004 MEN'S SOCCER REVIEW

Vikings go 9-7-1 to post 10th straight winning season; Steve Lytle and Kevin Love earn MVP honors

 

Over the last seven matches of the 2004 season the Augustana men’s soccer team suffered just one loss, going 5-1-1 over the final month. That late season surge was enough to secure a 10th straight winning season for the program as fourth year head coach Scott Mejia’s team went 9-7-1 overall and 3-4-0 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, good enough for a fifth place finish.

 

The Vikings were 4-6 on Oct. 2 after losing 3-1 to eventual CCIW champion North Park and facing the very real prospect of not having a winning season for the first time since 1994. The final drive to the finish started with a 2-2 tie with Loras on October 5 and that was followed by four straight victories, two of them in overtime. A 2-1 overtime win at Carthage on October 10 was the first win of the four game streak and it was followed by 5-2 win against Elmhurst on October 15, a 3-2 win at Luther on October 17 and punctuated with a 3-2 overtime win at home against St. Ambrose. After losing to Millikin 3-1 on October 26, the season ended with a 3-1 win at North Central on October 30.

 

In the early going of the 2004 campaign, the goals were coming at a record pace. Through the first six games the Vikings scored 30 goals, an average of 5.0 per game. As the season progressed, those goals became a little harder to come by as the schedule stiffened up a bit. In the final 11 games they scored 21 goals to finish the year with 51.

 

Although the Blue & Gold did manage to extend its winning streak to 10 straight years, a nine year skein of double digit victories came to an end in 2004. Mejia, who finished his fourth year at the Vikings helm, was able to push his overall Augustana record to 49-21-5 while his CCIW mark is now 15-7-3.

 

Led by the trio of Steve Lytle (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, IL), Colin Nolan (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, IA) and Brad Becker (Naperville North HS, Naperville, IL), the Vikings had little trouble generating offense in 2004. As a team Augustana scored 51 goals, averaging 2.92 goals per game with Lytle leading the way with 10 while Nolan had nine and Becker seven. Lytle added four assists and led the team in total points as well with 24 while Nolan had 18 total points, the same as Becker, who added four assists to his seven goals.

 

Both Nolan and Becker have climbed into the school’s career top 10 goal scoring list and Lytle is not far behind. Nolan has 27 goals and is in ninth place while Becker is in 10th with 26. Lytle’s 19 goals put him just outside the top 10. Becker has tallied 61 total points in his career and he is in 10th place on that list while Nolan is in 11th with 60.

 

Lytle was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player in a vote of his teammates at the end of the season while Kevin Love (Buffalo Grove HS, Arlington Heights, IL) was tabbed as the Most Valuable Defensive Player. Phil Balzer (Morris HS, Morris, IL) was named the Most Improved Player and Dylan Degrave (Fremd HS, Palatine, IL) was the winner of the Iron Viking award. Balzer was a midfielder who recorded a pair of assists on the year while Degrave scored two goals and had three assists for seven total points.

 

Lytle and Nolan were both first team all-conference selections while Love was a first team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. Love, who was a starter in all 17 games and led the Augustana defense, is a business administration major with a grade point average of 3.83.

 

2004 AUGUSTANA MEN’S SOCCER SUPERLATIVES

OFFENSIVE MVP: Steve Lytle

DEFENSIVE MVP: Kevin Love

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Phil Balzer

IRON VIKING AWARD: Dylan Degrave

2004 TEAM CAPTAINS: Steve Lytle, Colin Nolan & Ryan Verchota

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE: (1st team) Colin Nolan & Steve Lytle

COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: (1st team) Kevin Love

 

2004 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN MEN’S SOCCER FINAL STANDINGS

TEAM

CCIW

.PCT

GF

GA

OVERALL

.PCT

GF

GA

SEASON PTS

TOUR PTS

OVERALL PTS

North Park

4-2-1

.643

11

5

14-3-2

.789

41

17

13

6

19

Wheaton

7-0-0

1.000

23

3

18-5-0

.783

58

21

21

3

24

Elmhurst

4-3-0

.571

14

19

12-7-1

.625

52

33

12

0

12

Carthage

3-3-1

.500

7

10

10-8-2

.550

44

33

10

0

10

AUGUSTANA

3-4-0

.429

12

13

9-7-1

.559

51

30

9

0

9

Millikin

2-3-2

.429

13

11

6-7-5

.472

28

28

8

0

8

North Central

1-5-1

.214

6

15

6-10-1

.382

29

31

4

0

4

Illinois Wesleyan

1-5-1

.214

5

15

5-10-3

.361

22

30

4

0

4

 

2004 CCIW TOURNAMENT

November 2 – Semifinal

North Park 1, Elmhurst 0

Wheaton 8, Carthage 2

 

November 6 – Final

North Park 2, Wheaton 0

 

NOTE: North Park is declared the 2004 CCIW champion based on the tournament championship game win over Wheaton but Wheaton earned the NCAA Division III automatic berth based on its higher season point total.