Turn Back The Clock: Men’s Soccer Rises to National Prominencecsudhbulletin April 11, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jeremy Gonzalez
Assistant Sports Editor
lthough CSUDH does not have a football team that is known across college athletics like the University of Southern California Trojans, we do have the other “futbol” present on our campus, which is better known as soccer here in the United States. Just before the 1994 season, the CSUDH men’s soccer team hired a new head coach by the name of Joe Flanagan. At the time of the hire, no one had any idea of what type of impact he would leave on the school. Fast forward to the present and he is the winningest coach in the soccer program’s history.
Flanagan brought in a unique style and culture that took the Toros to the next level of competition and made them an elite team, not only in the California Collegiate Athletic
The Toros had finished among the top four CCAA teams for the first six seasons of Flanagan’s reign. The Toros were able to improve even further and elevated their game to a new level during the 2000 season. They closed the season out on a 22-game unbeaten run, tying only once during that historic run while winning the other 21 matches. The Toros posted their best record in school history (23 wins, one loss, one draw) while going undefeated in conference play (14-0-0).
They were crowned as CCAA tournament champions and qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Toros marched towards the Final Four as NCAA Far West Champions, where they defeated Lewis University in the semifinal 1-0, and were crowned national champs after they defeated Barry University 2-1 in the final, scoring the game-winning goal in 4OT to end the game.
The 2000 men’s soccer team set the record for most goals in a single season as a team (84) along with the most wins in a single season (23). They had JC Bolanos, Alex Bengard, and Joe Cartlidge named as All-Americans, and a total of eight players named to All-CCAA teams. That historic team will go down as one of the best men’s soccer teams to don the Toro cardinal and gold.