Defending BIG EAST champs poised for another title run in 2014
Over half of MU men's soccer team recognized by the league office
Team, individuals recognized for success on and off the field
Golden Eagles celebrate 50 years of competition this fall
Marquette University sophomore one of six forwards headed to Raleigh, N.C.
GoMarquette.com features a one-on-one summer sit-down with men's soccer coach Louis Bennett.
Marquette men's soccer gathered to learn their draw for 2013 NCAA College Cup on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.
Highlights and post-match comments from coach Louis Bennett and freshman Louis Bennett II following Marquette's 4-1 win over Drake on Sept. 8, 2013 at Valley Fields.
Head Coach Louis Bennett enters his ninth season as head men's soccer coach at Marquette University in 2014, following a 2013 season in which his team won BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles and made an appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship Round of 16.
Bennett boasts an ever-expanding list of players who have gone on to play professionally both in the United States and abroad. Most recently, Bryan Ciesiulka was drafted in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft to the Chicago Fire, while Eric Pothast signed with Angelholms FF in Sweden's Superettan league.
Bennett led the Golden Eagles to a 13-6-2 overall record (6-2-1 in the BIG EAST)in 2013, which earned the team its second BIG EAST regular season championship in three years and second-consecutive NCAA tournament berth. MU also won its first BIG EAST tournament in program history and placed a program-record seven players on the various all-league teams.
In 2013, after tying a single-season program record with 10 shutouts for the second year in a row, junior Charlie Lyon won a share of the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year award. Senior Bryan Ciesiulka also took home a major conference award in 2013, earning a share of the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year award.
Under Bennett's direction, Marquette climbed as high as No. 2 (Soccer America) -- the highest ranking in program history -- in the national polls after the squad reeled off 12 consecutive victories to open the 2012 campaign, including a thrilling 3-2 win over then No. 2-ranked Connecticut at Valley Fields on Oct. 6.
MU finished the 2012 season with a 16-4-1 overall mark, tying single-season school records for wins and shutouts (10). Following a disappointing defeat to national runner-up Georgetown in the BIG EAST Conference semifinals, the Golden Eagles were rewarded with the No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, but fell to Northwestern at home in the Round of 32 following a first-round bye.
Bennett and his staff earned BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year accolades after guiding Marquette to its first BIG EAST Conference regular season title in 2011. MU posted a 7-2 mark in league play to finish ahead of perennial national powerhouses Connecticut and Notre Dame in the Blue Division standings.
Following the remarkable 2011 season, captain Calum Mallace garnered BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year honors and freshman C. Nortey was a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team. Mallace went on to become the first Marquette player ever drafted into Major League Soccer when he was the second-round pick of expansion team the Montreal Impact in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
In 2010, Bennett's squad captured its first postseason win during his tenure at Marquette, rolling to a 3-1 victory at defending BIG EAST champion St. John's in the first round of the BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship.
A lifelong ambassador of the "beautiful game" and beloved in the Milwaukee soccer community, Bennett has boasted a 162-127-35 career record in nearly two decades as a collegiate head coach.
Since the mid-1990s, Bennett has helped develop 32 players who have gone on to play in the professional ranks. He has also coached six all-America selections and 63 all-conference performers.
Bennett's squads have improved every year since he took over at Marquette in 2006, including the team's first-ever appearance in the BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship in 2009. It's a testament to the drive that Bennett instills in his young players and the leadership he helps to foster among his team captains, coupled with the sound technical and tactical training MU players receive.
Bennett brought a wealth of previous success to Marquette after 10 illustrious seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Widely regarded as one of the top head coaches in college soccer, Bennett is a five-time winner of the Horizon League's Coach of the Year Award and twice was named NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year.
At Milwaukee, Bennett led the Panthers to five straight NCAA Tournament berths, including four consecutive appearances in the second round of the tournament. The most successful coach in the history of UWM men's soccer, Bennett compiled a 136-63-17 record in 10 seasons.
Milwaukee had dominated the Horizon League, posting a 41-4-2 record in conference play with five league titles between 2001 and 2005. Over the same period, Milwaukee was 14-1 in conference tournament matches, reached five conference championship games and won a total of four tournament titles. Bennett also guided his squad to a 25-game league unbeaten streak (23-0-2) that stretched into the 2004 season.
In 2005, Bennett led the Panthers to their fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance, winning the regular-season crown for the fifth consecutive year and the conference tournament for fourth straight time. Bennett had Milwaukee poised to upset top-seeded New Mexico in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship before eventually falling in penalty kicks.
The 2004 campaign included a fourth-straight trip to the NCAA postseason tournament, winning the regular season crown for the fourth-straight season and the league tournament for the third consecutive time. That same year, Bennett surpassed Dan Harris in the all-time Milwaukee men's soccer coaching ranks, becoming the school's all-time winningest coach with a Sept. 25 victory over Detroit. The Panthers' run in the NCAA tourney included a 3-2 win at No. 16 San Francisco in the first round and an overtime loss at UC-Santa Barbara in the second round. UCSB eventually advanced to the NCAA national championship game.
In 2003, Bennett earned a third consecutive Horizon League Coach of the Year award while leading Milwaukee to its fifth-straight winning season. Milwaukee defeated Western Michigan, 4-1, to advance to the second round of the tourney for the second-straight year.
All of this came on the heels of a record-breaking season in 2002 which included a school-record 19-2-1 overall mark, a No. 8 national ranking -- the highest in school history -- an NCAA-best 19 consecutive wins and the program's first-ever NCAA tournament victory. Bennett also earned NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honors as well as Horizon League Coach of the Year accolades.
In the 2001 season, Milwaukee posted an 18-5 overall record, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Horizon League play. Under Bennett's direction, the Panthers advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990 and just the fourth time in school history.
Prior to taking over the head coaching position in 1996, Bennett served as an assistant coach at Milwaukee from 1993 to 1995.
A tireless worker off the field, Bennett helped transform the Panthers' program by helping upgrade facilities and equipment. He oversaw the renovation of the playing surface at Engelmann Field and the locker room to reflect a more inspiring pre-game atmosphere. Bennett acquired and furnished the Panther Room to hold meetings, "chalk talks" and watch video on the 60-inch TV screen.
A native of Great Britain, Bennett has made the Milwaukee area his home since 1985. Two years later, he started the British-American Soccer Program in Milwaukee. He is now the owner and director of the organization that operates as a camp and touring program for soccer players ages 6-18. Prior to his assistant position at UWM, Bennett coached the boys' and girls' varsity soccer teams at Nicolet High School for five years. He also has coaching experience at the adult club level in Wisconsin with F.C. Victoria, the Bavarian Soccer Club and the ODP.
Bennett played collegiate soccer at Crewe & Alsager College in England, helping win the British Colleges National Championship in 1982. He was also honored as a Great Britain Colleges International Player for three years. Bennett played professional soccer for seven years in the U.S., including three seasons with the Milwaukee Wave of the NPSL (1985-87).
Bennett's All-Time NCAA Division I Coaching Record