Nearly 60 years ago, the West Chester University men’s soccer team defeated mighty Saint Louis University to win the 1961 national championship in the pre-division days of the NCAA, writes Matthew Ralph for Brotherly Game.
The Rams consisted of future physical education teachers and coaches who managed to “put one of only a few dents” in the Saint Louis soccer dynasty. SLU won 10 NCAA Tournament titles from 1959-1973.
West Chester, then known as West Chester State College, had lost to Saint Louis in the 1959 and 1960 semifinals. The Rams’ 2-0 victory over Saint Louis in the 1961 final shocked the college soccer world.
And the legacy of that win still reverberates to this day.
“I think what really hammers home for me with that 1961 team was Coach (Mel) Lorback,” said WCU’s current men’s soccer coach, Michael Benn. “Certainly, he had his team physically ready to go out and play at a high level for the entirety of a match, but he was also able to take any group of individuals and instill in them a belief that against anybody you can go out and be successful.”
Read more about the historic victory from Brotherly Game here.