College Soccer National Champions 1857-58 – 1909/10

This listing is a first attempt to include college champions playing in the early seasons of the Kicking Game/Association Football/Soccer up to 1909/10. The kicking game of foot-ball became known as the association game when American colleges began to use the London Football Association code written in 1863. No carrying of the ball was allowed. By the end of 1905, many big city American newspapers began to use the term ‘socker’, or ‘soccer’ for association football game descriptions.

Most college national champions’ listings of the soccer game begin in 1904. Presently, the first accepted intercollegiate soccer game is played between Haverford College and Harvard University on April 1, 1905. This game is called the first ‘modern-era’ soccer by Haverford; see:

The first college foot-ball club (now called varsity) was formed by the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) after the class games were finished in the fall of 1857 (see ‘The Princeton Book; Chapter on Foot-ball’, D. Stewart, 1879). The Christian Brothers College High School in St Louis, MO, lists their predecessor, the college, as national champions in 1901 and 1904. The Christian Brothers College of St Louis was selected to play in the association football games at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, in 1901. This college also won the Silver Medal in the association football games played at the III Olympiad in St Louis, MO, in 1904.

1857/58   Coll New Jersey (Princeton) (NJ)
1858/59   Coll New Jersey (Princeton) (NJ)
1859/60   Coll New Jersey (Princeton) (NJ)
1860/61-1865/66 N/A
1866/67   Carroll (WI)
1867/68   Coll New Jersey (Princeton) (NJ)
1868/69   Coll New Jersey (Princeton) (NJ)
1869/70   Coll New Jersey (Princeton) (NJ);
                Rutgers (NJ)
1870/71   Princeton (NJ)
1871/72   Princeton (NJ)
1872/73   Princeton (NJ)
1873/74   Stevens Tech (NJ)
1874/75   Yale (CT)
1875/76   Princeton (NJ)
1876/77   Princeton (NJ)
1877/78   U Vermont (VT)
1878/79   Syracuse Medics (SUNY-Upstate) (NY)
1879/80   Pennsylvania (Gettysburg) (PA)
1880/81   Washington & Lee (VA)
1881/82   Washington & Lee (VA)
1882/83   Richmond (VA)
1883/84   U Iowa (IA)
1884/85   Virginia Military Inst (VA)
1885/86   U Iowa (IA)
1886/87   Christian Brothers (MO)
1887/88   U Iowa (IA)
1888/89   Virginia Military Inst (VA)
1889/90   Christian Brothers (MO)  
1890/91   Christian Brothers (MO)
1891/92   Christian Brothers (MO)
1892/93   Christian Brothers (MO);
                St Bonaventure (NY)
1893/94   Christian Brothers “Paulians” (MO)
1894/95   Christian Brothers “Paulians” (MO);
                 Princeton (NJ)
1895/96   Christian Brothers (MO)
1896/97   Christian Brothers (MO)   
1897/98   Christian Brothers (NO)
1898/99   Christian Brothers (MO)
1899/00   Christian Brothers (MO)
1900/01   Christian Brothers (MO)
1901/02   Christian Brothers (MO);
                Haverford (PA)
1902/03   Christian Brothers (MO)
1903/04   Christian Brothers (MO)
1904/05   Christian Brothers (MO); 
                Haverford (PA)**
1905/06   Haverford (PA)++
1906/07   Haverford (PA)++
1907/08   Haverford (PA)++;
                Yale (CT)++
1908/09   Columbia (NY)++
1909/10   Columbia (NY)++

** Haverford also won the Philadelphia Cricket Club Soccer League. 
++ Also selected; the Intercollegiate Soccer Football League Titlists. 

St Bonaventure College beat the big Toronto Ass’n team 2g-0 on November 24, 1892. Princeton College lost to a strong professional association football team, known as the Philadelphia Phillies Association Football Club 1g-7g on November 24, 1894. The association football varsity program at the Christian Brothers College in St Louis, MO, divided into two teams, the Paulians and the Athletics in 1893 and 1894. The Paulians seem to be the better of the two teams.

Much more research is needed to be done in this early period of the kicking game. Up to the present, there has never been any interest to follow the colleges playing the association football/soccer games after 1876. That year saw many of the large colleges in the northeastern United States switch to the carrying or rugby game. But not every school followed the crowd. Therefore, this listing is only done to drum up more interest and research into the early kicking game/association football/soccer games played by the colleges up to the accepted beginning of college soccer in 1904/05.

[This article found in IFRA’s College Football Historian, Vol. 2; #9, September 2009]