Brown Men's Soccer Team of
Year Inducted: 2007
In his June 1967 newsletter, Coach Cliff Stevenson wrote: "I will go out on a limb and say that next fall we could have the best soccer team Brown has ever had."
Stevenson was a prophet, for his Bruins finished the '67 season unbeaten with a 13 - 0 - 1 record. The 1936 team (7-0-3) was the only other team in Brown soccer history to go unbeaten. While the Red Sox were completing their "Impossible Dream" season, the Brown booters were making magic of their own, winning a fifth straight Ivy League title and third consecutive New England championship, while completing an amazing run of 25 Ivy games without a loss.
The seniors ended their Brown careers having never lost to an Ivy opponent. This Brown team was a perfect blend of potent offense and stout defense. Balanced, deep, talented, and superbly conditioned, the Bruins barraged opposing goaltenders with 459 shots, while posting 8 shutouts. Ben Brewster '69 and Mark DeTora '68 led the scoring parade, while center halfback Pat Migliori '68 keyed the defense, and keepers Bob Bernius '68 and Bill Hager '69 were impenetrable between the posts.
With increasingly large crowds ringing the Aldrich-Dexter Field pitch, the '67 Bruins played many matches in miserable conditions: mud, fog, wind and rain. In the quest for the Ivy League title, they were tied by Penn 1-1, beat Yale 2-1 in a hard-fought contest, and hit their stride against Dartmouth, thrashing the Indians (as they were then called ) 6-2 on Homecoming Day. Road wins over Princeton and Cornell set up a championship showdown with archrival, Harvard.
Brown prevailed over the Crimson, 3-2 in the Aldrich-Dexter mud, before thousands of Brown faithfuls. The League finale against Columbia provided an exclamation point with a 2-0 whitewashing of the Lions. Convincing earlier shutouts over Wesleyan, Springfield, Army, and Connecticut solidified Brown's ranking as #1 in the East.
Post season individual honors rolled in-- three First Team All-Ivys, Migliore, Brewster, DeJong; one Second Team All-Ivy, Brunner; and three Honorable Mention All-Ivys, Cooper. DeTora, Ssebazza. Migliore and DeJong were also named All-Americans. The most coveted reward, a team invitation to compete for the national title, was not forthcoming. This squad, which The Brown Daily Herald touted as "the best team in America," had to stand on the sidelines and watch, as the Ivy League and NCAA played out their dispute over eligibility requirements.
Even with petitioning and letter writing to the NCAA by hundreds of Brown students, the '67 team could only wonder, "What if?" For the underclassmen it was "wait until next year." And when next year came, the 1968 Ivy League champion Bruins did compete in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the semi finals!
Coach Cliff Stevenson and six individual members of the 1967 soccer team have already been inducted into the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame. Forty years after their magic season, the entire 1967 team is finally being inducted, the first men's soccer team to be so honored!