Oct. 1, 2009

Courtesy of Saint Louis University

ST. LOUIS – The Saint Louis University department of athletics today unveiled the Billiken Half-Century Team, which was selected by the public via an online vote. The roster is comprised of 24 individuals, who will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s 7 p.m. soccer match against Clemson at Robert R. Hermann Stadium.

“We are proud to announce the Billiken Half-Century Team as another way to connect the Saint Louis University athletics program with our rich soccer heritage,” SLU director of athletics Chris May said. “Each member of the team along with the great coaches have played an integral role in Billiken soccer. Congratulations to the team, and thank you to the more than 1,200 people who voted on SLUBillikens.com for this illustrious team.”

“This is an incredible honor for the 22 players recognized,” Billiken soccer coach Dan Donigan said. “They have obviously all left a mark on the legacy of the Saint Louis University men’s soccer program. Not only are they great players, but they have been great role models and many continue to contribute to the success of SLU soccer. Bob Guelker and Harry Keough are true legends in the game having each won five national championships. I look forward to my players getting the opportunity to meet a lot of these exceptional men this weekend. We are trying to make this a weekend that they never forget, because we will never forget them.”

Today’s unveiling of the Billiken Half-Century Team begins a week filled with tributes with the history and heritage of Saint Louis University men’s soccer, which is celebrating its “First 50 Years” this season. Later this week, the 1959 team will be featured on SLUBillikens.com. In addition, the squad will gather to celebrate the “Golden Anniversary” of the 1959 national championship at Lorenzini’s Friday evening. The 1959 team will also be honored prior to Saturday’s 7 p.m. kickoff against Clemson.

All Billiken men’s soccer alumni and their families are invited back to SLU for a pre-game tailgate Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. at Hermann Stadium. At halftime of the game against Clemson, they will join the Billiken Half-Century Team for a ceremony on the field at Hermann Stadium. The Billikens will wear commemorative blue uniforms with gold script and numbering against Clemson in celebration of the “First 50 Years.”

Legendary SLU coaches Bob Guelker and Harry Keough were the two coaches voted to the squad. Guelker coached the Billikens during their first eight seasons, claiming five national championships and posting a 95-10-5 record overall. Keough took over for Guelker in 1967 and went on to also capture five national championships. Keough is the Billikens’ all-time winningest coach, accumulating a 213-50-23 record in 16 seasons.

Fans selected Kevin Johnston and Chuck Zorumski as the two goalkeepers on the Billiken Half-Century Team. Johnston is the Billikens’ wins leader after accumulating 52 victories over a four-year span beginning in 1987. He is also third on the Billikens’ all-time list with 280 saves. Zorumski was between the pipes during SLU’s national championship seasons in 1972 and 1973. The Bills were 30-4-6 in his two years, and Zorumski posted three shutout victories in eight NCAA Tournament matches.

The eight defensive players selected to the squad played over a span of four decades. Don Ceresia was a member of the 1962 and 1963 national championship teams and also earned All-America status in 1964. Joe Clarke also played on a pair of national championship teams in 1972 and 1973. He was named an All-American following the 1975 campaign and later coached at SLU for 14 seasons.

Bruce Hudson, an All-American in 1974, also earned a spot on the defense. He played on national championship teams in 1972 and 1973 and accumulated 28 points (12G, 4A) from his defensive position. Bill McKeon and Kevin Kalish were also voted to the Billiken Half-Century Team. McKeon was a two-time All-American in 1979 and 1980. Kalish helped the Billikens’ 1997 side to the NCAA College Cup and was named an All-American and Conference USA Player of the Year in 1998.

Also voted to the defensive unit were Mark Demling, Bob Matteson and Denny Werner, who were teammates on three national championship squads in 1970, 1972 and 1973. Matteson is a two-time All-American (1971 and 1973), and all three contributed to a Billiken defensive effort that yielded just 10 goals in 16 NCAA Tournament appearances during their careers.

The playing careers of the 12 offensive players selected to the Billiken Half-Century Team span five decades. Combined, the talented group scored 493 goals and notched 305 assists.

Dan Counce won the Hermann Trophy in 1973, played on three national championship teams (1970, 1972 and 1973), and is seventh on the Billikens’ all-time scoring list with 112 points (45G, 22A). Brad Davis earned All-America status in his two years with the Billikens and was voted to the Billiken Half-Century Team. He totaled a combined 20 goals and 21 assists in 2000 and 2001 and helped the Bills reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in 2001.

Despite playing just three years, Carl Gentile ranks second on the Billikens’ all-time scoring list with 160 points (67G, 26A). An All-American in 1965, Gentile played on national championship teams in 1963 and 1965 and owns the two best scoring seasons in SLU history after notching 70 points (30G, 10A) in 1963 and 61 points (27G, 7A) in 1964.

Fans selected a three-time All-American, John Hayes, to the Billiken Half-Century Team. Playing from 1978 to 1981, Hayes helped the Billikens to the NCAA Tournament in all four seasons and ranks fifth all time with 48 goals and eighth with 107 points (48G, 11A). Jack Jewsbury (1999-2002), the most recent Billiken alumni selected to the Billiken Half-Century Team, is a two-time All-American (2000 and 2002). The 2000 Conference USA Player of the Year is 10th on the Billikens’ all-time scoring list with 101 points (38G, 25A).

The only four-time All-American in Billiken history, Ty Keough was voted to the Billiken Half-Century Team. He accumulated 48 points (14G, 20A) during his playing tenure from 1975-78 and helped the Billikens to the NCAA Tournament all four years.

Brian McBride, the Billikens’ all-time leading scorer, was selected to the Billiken Half-Century squad. From 1990-93, he registered 184 points (72G, 40A), ranking first all time in goals and second in assists. A two-time All-American (1992 and 1993), McBride guided the Billikens to four NCAA Tournaments, including the 1991 College Cup.

Fans also chose Pat McBride to a spot on the Billiken Half-Century Team offense. He played on a pair of national championship teams in 1963 and 1965 and is a two-time All-American (1964 and 1965). Pat McBride ranks fifth all time with 130 career points (46G, 38A). Just ahead of Pat McBride on the SLU scoring list is Matt McKeon, who won the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation’s soccer Player of the Year Award in 1996. McKeon earned three All-America distinctions (1993 through 1995) and was named the 1995 Conference USA Player of the Year. He is fourth all time in scoring with 140 points (47G, 46A). His 46 assists are the most in SLU history, while his 47 tallies rank sixth.

Mike Sorber, who helped the Billikens to the NCAA Tournament in all four years during his playing career (1989-92), landed on the Billiken Half-Century Team. The two-time first-team All-Conference selection registered 29 assists during his career to rank fifth on SLU’s all-time list. Sorber is a volunteer assistant coach for the Billikens while serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

From 1969 to 1972, the Billikens had two of the best players in college soccer in Al Trost and Mike Seerey. Both won two Hermann Trophies and both were selected to the Billiken Half-Century squad, rounding out the 22-player roster. Seerey won the Hermann Trophy in 1971 and 1972 and was a member of three national championship squads (1969, 1970 and 1972). The Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the 1971 NCAA Tournament, Seerey ranks sixth on SLU’s all-time scoring list with 127 points (54G, 19A). Trost was an All-American in 1969 and won the Hermann Trophy in consecutive seasons in 1969 and 1970. A member of the 1969 and 1970 national championship teams, he compiled 61 points (26G, 9A) in his career.

Because of the large number of decorated alumni who have come through the program, additional honorees may be celebrated along with the Billiken Half-Century Team.

BILLIKEN HALF-CENTURY TEAM

Coaches
Bob Guelker (1959-66)
Harry Keough (1967-82)

Goalkeepers
Kevin Johnston (1987-90)
Chuck Zorumski (1972-73)

Defense
Don Ceresia (1962-64)
Joe Clarke (1972-75)
Mark Demling (1970-73)
Bruce Hudson (1971-74)
Kevin Kalish (1997-98)
Bob Matteson (1970-73)
Bill McKeon (1979-82)
Denny Werner (1970-73)

Offense
Brad Davis (2000-01)
Dan Counce (1970-73)
Carl Gentile (1963-65)
John Hayes (1978-81)
Jack Jewsbury (1999-2002)
Ty Keough (1975-78)
Brian McBride (1990-93)
Pat McBride (1963-65)
Matt McKeon (1992-95)
Mike Seerey (1969-72)
Mike Sorber (1989-92)
Al Trost (1968-70)