HU Soccer National Champion Hoodie Limited Edition: Inspired by Howard University, the only HBCU to win a National Title in any sport.
"When we took the field, it gave voice to people in a country that sometimes needed a voice," says captain Ian Bain
On December 30, 1971 the Howard Bison were in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship game at the Miami Orange Bowl. Standing between them and the national championship were the Saint Louis Billikens, who were in the midst of a run that had been unrivaled in college men’s soccer with 10 national championships and 3 second place finishes in 16 years. Howard had made the semifinals in 1970 but came up short, and this was an opportunity for them to break through and make history. It was a close game, but in the end, Howard emerged as 3-2 victors over the Billikens. Howard University became the first historic black college or university (HBCU) to win an NCAA national championship in soccer.
On Jan. 26, 1972 the NCAA received a letter from someone “desiring to remain unidentified,” according to documents in a later court case. The sender urged the organization to look into the eligibility of Howard’s players. The NCAA alleged that two of Howard’s players hadn’t taken the correct college entrance exams and as a result they were to strip Howard of the National title. Howard was also suspended from participating in the 1973 National tournament.
Of note, Howard soccer team players had the highest GPAs among the school’s varsity teams, according to a 1971 report in the Post.
With only three players still on the Howard team who had been there in 1971, coach Lincoln Phillips’ 1974 team, put together one of the single greatest seasons in college soccer history. Despite continuing to face racism from many opposing teams, Howard outscored their competition 63–6 and carried a 19-game win streak into the NCAA championship game against none other than St. Louis University. In the tournament final, which was held that year at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, they beat their old rival St. Louis 2-1 in a four-overtime marathon.