1982 – Around the World and Close to Home
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiates reform and liberalization, scientists report a hole in earth’s ozone layer over Antarctica, and New Coke bombs, prompting a rapid return of Classic Coke. In Washington, Seattle’s 76-story Columbia Center opens, becoming the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest, Bonnie Dunbar, the state’s first female astronaut, completes her first mission in space, aboard the shuttle Challenger, and the Seattle Sonics return to the Seattle Center Coliseum following seven seasons in the Kingdome.
Just About Perfect
While it’s true that all championship teams are special, some leave a mark indelible for decades to follow. In claiming a third NCAA title, Seattle Pacific University exhibits a confidence and flair that breaks the mold.
In 1978 and ’83, the Falcons’ formula was largely limiting opponent scoring chances and an opportunistic, counterattacking offense. In ’85, oozing with ability and attacking with abandon, SPU performs with a swagger.
Under Cliff McCrath, Seattle Pacific was coming off a championship and runner-up finish in the previous two years. Add to that experience three proven creators/scorers and a game-changing force among the back four, and it’s no wonder why they are ranked No. 2 among Division II teams to start the season and the favorite to win the Northwest Collegiate Soccer Conference. Peter Hattrup, who scored 33 goals and 16 assists from 1982-83, returns to the fold and is joined by Glenn Lurie, Mark Faller and Danny Machado. Chris McDonald, a skilled 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, takes over at center back.
It’s evident from the outset that as good as this squad appears on paper, it’s more formidable in the flesh. The Falcons roll through the first six games by winning all and outscoring foes 25-1. Somewhat slowed by altitude at Air Force, they respond by going victorious in the next five and taking 10 of 11 by a goal difference of 52-7. Portland (6-1) and Washington become the third and fourth Div. I victims, the Huskies having their record 37-game home unbeaten string snapped, thanks to a pair of Faller goals. Gonzaga goes down, 11-0, with the Hattrup doing most of the demolition, scoring all five of his record-breaking haul before halftime.
Washington gets payback, 2-1 in overtime, at Memorial Stadium, yet that only serves to reenergize SPU for their playoff run. After a quarterfinal win at No. 5 Cal State Northridge, the Falcons come home and are snowed-out of practices and nearly their semifinal with Davis & Elkins. They find refuge in the Kingdome, where Hattrup’s brace brings them from behind, 2-1.
The NCAA final is a rematch with Florida International, who upset SPU at Memorial in ’84. In Miami, McCrath presciently tells his men to be alert early. Ever daring and teasing, Hattrup scores two first-half goals, then finds Lurie for a third to open the second half, and Seattle Pacific hangs on for the win, 3-2.
In all, SPU scores 89 goals – one shy of doubling the year. However, McCrath says the biggest surprise is allowing just 19 goals in going 20-3-0.
“The construction of the team was just about perfect,” claims Hattrup. “Solid back line and keeper, two extremely hard working and unselfish wide midfielders, a rock solid metronome of a center midfielder in Scott Cairns which gave the platform to roam and create, two mobile forwards who fit their roles brilliantly and a bench to help when needed and who knew their roles.
“There was a chemistry and a never-say-die attitude,” adds Hattrup. “There was flair and balance. Even if you took out my 26 goals, we would have outscored the teams before and after us. We had remarkable confidence, mobility and interchange of players.”