1983 MEN'S SOCCER
inducted October 2, 2008
Ranked first in the nation throughout the NCAA Tournament, the 1983 Columbia men’s soccer team advanced further toward the title than any Ivy League soccer team in history.
Columbia stormed through the regular season with a 14-0 mark, 7-0 in the Ivy League. Only three games were decided by one goal, the first coming at Hartwick on October 29, a 2-1 Lion triumph.
The Lions would square off with Hartwick again in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and the score remained the same, a 2-1 Lion victory. Columbia edged Fairleigh Dickinson, 1-0, a week later and after a 4-0 romp over UConn in Storrs in the Final Four, met Indiana in the final on December 10.
Although the Lions fell, 1-0, in double overtime to Indiana in the 1983 NCAA championship game, Columbia will be linked forever to greatness with an 18-1 record. It was the Lions’ best season during an eight-year run from 1978-85 that saw the Lions win eight consecutive Ivy League titles and make two Final Four appearances.
That year, Columbia boasted a pair of All-Americans, four all-region honorees, the Ivy League Player of the Year in Steve Sirtis, and a whopping 11 All-Ivy Leaguers, its entire starting lineup. In fact, six of Columbia’s 11 starters were named to the first team, making up more than half of the All-Ivy League first team.
Columbia’s trademark that season was defense, as it was during much of head coach Dieter Ficken’s tenure. The Lions gave up just seven goals that season (in 19 games!), finishing the season with a 52-7 goal differential.