Renowned for its academic standards, Brown University achieves that same excellence in its nationally competitive soccer program. Scholar-athletes at Brown have proven that they can excel in their chosen academic field and participate on one of the most successful soccer squads in the country as well.
Brown soccer first attained varsity status under coach Samuel Fletcher in 1926. Brown did not post a winning season until 1933, when a string of six highly successful seasons began. Perhaps the best of the early Brown teams were Fletcher's squads of 1936 (7-0-3) and 1937 (8-1-2). Led by Brown Hall of Famers William Margeson '37 and Walter N. Jackson '39, both these teams were New England Intercollegiate Soccer Association champions.
Thereafter, under Fletcher and the second of Brown's five soccer coaches, Joe Kennaway, outstanding teams included the 1945 team (6-1) in Fletcher's final season with the Bears, and the 1956 team (7-3). The latter was led by Brown's first All-Ivy selection, Bruce Yeutter. However, it was not until 1963 that Brown became a consistent powerhouse in New England soccer.
Under the direction of Cliff Stevenson, who retired in 1990 after his 31st and final season at Brown, the Bears produced 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1968 to 1978, and a total of 13 from 1963. Four times, in 1968, 1973, 1975 and 1977, Brown has reached the NCAA semi-finals, and the Bears won 10 Ivy titles and seven New England crowns during Stevenson's tenure.
Brown soccer returned to national prominence in 1994 under head coach Trevor Adair, earning its first NCAA Playoff berth since 1978, capturing the Ivy League title, and advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals. Along the way, Brown defeated number one ranked Boston University in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs.
The national resurgence of the Brown soccer program continued under coach Mike Noonan as the Bears made their second consecutive NCAA Quarterfinal appearance while earning their second straight Ivy title in 1995. Brown returned to the NCAA Championship in 1997, falling in the last minutes to defending National Champions St. John's.
In 1998, the Bears won their fourth Ivy title in five years and became the first Brown team to go undefeated in the Ivy League since 1976. In the NCAA Tournament, Brown faced a familiar foe in St. John's, falling 1-0 in double overtime. In 1999, Brown received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after finishing second in the Ivy League. The Bears defeated Rhode Island, 2-1, in overtime at Stevenson Field for their first opening round NCAA victory since 1995. Brown advanced to the second round, but fell to host Virginia, 3-1.
In 2000, Brown advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals with a decisive 2-0 win over Vermont and a hard-fought 1-0 defeat of Duke, before dropping a 1-0 decision to eventual national champion UConn in Storrs. The following year in 2001, the Bears captured a share of their second consecutive Ivy title by posting a 5-1-1 league mark. The title was the Bears' fourth in the last five years and sixth in the last eight.
2002 proved to be one of the toughest seasons for the Bears in over a decade. Plagued by injuries, Brown finished with a 5-8-4 record. Adom Crew '04 was on his way to a record-breaking season before an injury took him down for the remainder of the year. Crew had recorded 10 goals and two assists in just eight games.
The Bears bounced back in a big way in 2003 as they went from a seventh place Ivy finish to a first place finish. The title was Brown's seventh in the past ten years as it made its 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Noonan's team stayed in the national rankings throughout the season and went undefeated in Ivy play with a 6-0-1 record. Crew and Jeff Larentowicz '05 earned All-America status at the end of the season.
In 2004, Brown battled to a second place finish in the Ivy standings, finishing the year with an 8-7-2 overall record. The team faced a total of eight opponents that were nationally ranked at some point during the season. In 2005, the Bears returned to the top of the Ivy standings, earning a share of their eighth title in the last 12 years and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Brown finished the 2006 with an 11-5-3 record and took third in the Ivy League. The team received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, and lost to Duke in the second round. The Bears had a tremendous 2007 season, defeating #5 ranked Santa Clara in their season opener during the adidas-Brown Classic. Bruno claimed the Ivy League Championship with an unblemished 7-0-0 record and went on to make its 23rd NCAA appearance when hosting Old Dominion on Stevenson Field in the second round. Brown lost 2-1 in double overtime, and finished its season 15-2-1. For the first time ever, Brown earned both the Ivy League's Player and Rookie of the Year honors. Brown reached the NCAA Tournament again in 2009, but fell in the second round, 2-0, to UNC who advanced to the semifinals of the College Cup.
A new era began when Noonan left College Hill after 14 years and Coach Patrick Laughlin took over the reigns. In just his first season, Laughlin guided the Bears to a 14-4-4 record while going undefeated at Stevenson Field with a 9-0-3 record. Brown made its 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as well as its first trip to the Round of 16 since 2000 with a home victory over Boston College and a 7-6 penalty kick win in Storrs against Connecticut. Seven Bears earned All-Ivy honors, and one was invited to the MLS-Player Combine.
Samuel Fletcher (1926-45) 20 yrs. 63-69-24 (.481)
Joseph Kennaway (1946-59) 14 yrs. 45-70-9 (.399)
Cliff Stevenson (1960-90) 31 yrs. 251-160-36 (.602)
Trevor Adair (1991-94) 4 yrs. 34-24-5 (.579)
Mike Noonan (1995-2009) 14 yrs. 160-77-31 (.655)
Patrick Laughlin (2010 - present) 4 yrs. 44-19-13 (.664)