CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- North Park University is preparing for its first-ever Final Four appearance in the men's NCAA Division III soccer tournament this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The 20-1-1 Vikings will face hometown rival University of Chicago in the semifinal Friday at 6:30 CST. The winner of that game will face either Brandeis University or Messiah College in the National Championship game Saturday.
"What an amazing time for North Park," said President Carl Balsam, who plans to make the trip to Greensboro with the team. "This Viking men's soccer team has surpassed every milestone for their program, and they aren't done yet."
The team boasts a diverse, international roster, with players from as far as Sweden, Norway, Germany and England, and as close as Chicago, Michigan and Minnesota. One player hails from neighboring Von Stuben Metro Science High School.
"The team has been training hard in practice and has had an amazing focus about them," Head Coach John Born said. "They are an extremely close-knit and competitive group."
While Born and the team respect the talent and experience of the other three squads in the tournament, the Vikings have a clear goal.
"We aren't just pleased to be there, we intend to make our own history this weekend," Born said.
This is the furthest a North Park team has progressed in an NCAA tournament since the dominant men's basketball team of the 1980s, which won several consecutive Division III championships.