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It was a season of benchmarks. In 2002, Malcolm MacPherson celebrated his 100th WPI victory as coach of the men's soccer team. The men won 16 games, the most ever in a season, including a 4-zip victory over Wheaton, which held the number one spot in New England and was ranked sixth in the country. WPI went to the ECAC playoffs, making it to the final round, where Roger Williams won, 4-1.

"After the game," says MacPherson, "I told the team that even though it was disappointing to lose, when you look back at our season it was quite successful." He says he knew "on paper" they'd be competitive this past year, but "you never really know until you start playing."

MacPherson credits the record-setting season to seven senior starters and a team with passion for the game. Co-captains Mark Dion '03 and Jose Goncalves '03, both All-New England players, led the charge along with Bob Shanley '03, all four-year starters for the Engineers. "Beating Wheaton will be the game I remember when I look back at my career at WPI," says Goncalves. For Dion, starting each of 69 games in his four years at WPI is a source of pride.

With the bulk of MacPherson's starting lineup graduating this spring, he knows he has big cleats to fill. Still, some of his top scorers are returning, including juniors Jim Jenkins, Conn Doherty and Matt Zuccaro, and leading goal scorer, Jim Norton '05. "Recruiting is always the key," says MacPherson. "Players come to WPI knowing that they're going to get an outstanding education, and that they also can play a game they love."
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Last modified: Sep 02, 2004, 10:04 EDT
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