Tommie men’s soccer has had only four losing seasons in the program's 50-year history. The Toms surpassed 500 all-time wins last fall in its 50th season, and are closing in on the 900th game in program history with an all-time record of 509-257-89. UST has a winning record in the all-time series vs. eight of its 10 conference opponents.
St. Thomas has broken through to record back-to-back top-5 national finishes in 2016 and 2017. Coach Jon Lowery was selected National Coach of the Year in 2016 by D3Soccer.com, and received Regional Coaching Staff of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. St. Thomas senior Shae Bottum was named National Player of the Year and MIAC Player of the Year in 2017, and repeated as All-America. Justin Oliver also made second-team All-America. Mark Heydt was named first-team All-America in 2016.
Lowery has guided St. Thomas Men's Soccer's improvement from nine wins in 2014, to 12 in 2015, to a school-record 20 wins in 2016, to 22 victories in 2017. The 2017 Tommies became just the third team in the last 27 seasons to post a 10-0 MIAC finish.
Lowery's No. 4-ranked St. Thomas team lost in the national playoff quarterfinals, 1-0 on the road at No. 5-ranked North Park (Ill.), to end the season 22-2. The Toms had a 19-game win streak halted and fell one victory shy of a return trip to the national semifinals. St. Thomas won 3-0 the previous day over No. 10-ranked Otterbein -- the team's 33rd victory in a row when it scores multiple goals. The 2017 UST squad broke a school record for goals with 56.
The Tommies' 2016 success was historic. They won the program's first solo MIAC title for the first time since 1991 with a conference mark of 7-1-2 and later captured the conference playoff tournament crown to receive an automatic berth into the NCAA playoff tournament. St. Thomas then posted victories over St. Scholastica, Luther, Benedictine (Ill.) and Redlands, including three comeback wins in overtime. They advanced to the Division III Final Four for the first time in program history. The Tommies lost 2-1 to eventual champion Tufts in the semifinals to end their remarkable season with a third-place national finish and a 20-2-3 record. The team also set school records for victories (20) and shutouts (16).
St. Thomas has been to the conference playoff finals three consecutive season, plus made the conference playoff semifinals in 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. Prior to 2015, the progrm's last postseason victory for Tommie men's soccer came in 1991 in an NCAA playoff win over Macalester.
Over the last 39 years St. Thomas has had just three head coaches: Denzil Lue (1979-2001, 242-140-46); Aaron Macke (2002-2011, 102-57-21); and Lowery (2012-present, 82-28-13).
An Apple Valley, Minn., native, Lowery was named the 1994 Gatorade Minnesota High School Player of the Year. He competed collegiately at Ohio State University and was twice named first-team All-Big Ten. He later enjoyed a four-year professional playing career in both the United Soccer League and Major League Soccer. His 16-year coaching career includes Division I assistant jobs and the latter three years as head coach at Hamline University.
Lowery replaced Macke, who had just one losing season in his 10-year run as head coach.
Macke replaced legendary Denzil Lue, who retired in 2001 after he completed his 23rd season with St. Thomas men's soccer. Lue's teams won four MIAC championships and claimed four NCAA tournament berths.
The Tommies play a challenging schedule of games, both in the MIAC and in trips to Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado or California. Approximately 36 players make the varsity and junior-varsity rosters.
St. Thomas artificially turfed the entire South Field in the summer of 2013 to provide an improved and more durable surface for the university’s soccer and softball teams as well as students who use the field for recreational purposes.