May 9, 2008
BALTIMORE - Loyola men's soccer alumni John Karpovich and Jeff Nattans are two of six area individuals who will be inducted as the Class of 2008 to the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame tonight.
The former Greyhound backs will join Phillip Gyau, Walter "Lefty Mason" Matcuk, Laurie Schwoy and Barry Stitz as this year's honorees.
Karpovich and Nattans, who both prepped locally at Calvert Hall, played on two of the most successful teams in Loyola's NCAA Division I history, the 1986 and 1987 squads that each won the NCAA South Atlantic Region Championships and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
"I was proud as a local player to represent Baltimore both at high school, college and in the professional ranks," Karpovich said. "As a player and a student, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Loyola, and the great experience, memories, and friendships made there will last a lifetime. I am obviously honored to be inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame."
Both teams defeated Virginia in the NCAA South Atlantic Region Tournament, the 1986 squad doing so when the Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 in the nation. The 1986 team, of which Karpovich was a tri-captain, advanced to the Quarterfinals where it lost, 2-1, to eventual NCAA Champion Duke.
The 1987 team defeated William & Mary in the NCAA First Round and Virginia in the second before falling, 1-0, against North Carolina, the eventual third place team.
Karpovich helped the 1984-1987 teams to a record of 58-16-9, while Nattans' teams from 1985-1988 went a combined 59-16-9.
Individually, the duo was just as good in the classroom as on the field.
Nattans earned GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors following hisjunior and senior season. In his senior year, he received All-NortheastConference honors and was named the Northeast Conference Scholar-Athleteof the Year. A two-sport athlete at Loyola, Nattans also played basketball for the Greyhounds. He was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and after graduating summa cum laude from Loyola, he earned an MBA from Harvard. Nattans currently works for Legg Mason.
"I am honored to be inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame," said Nattans. "It makes it extra special to be inducted with my friend and teammate, John Karpovich. We are both proud to be a part of the Loyola soccer tradition."
Karpovich was an adidas Academic All-American following the 1987 season and earned ECAC Metro All-Conference honors in 1986 and 1987 and was named to the Maryland All-State Team each of those season. He earned Regional All-America honors as a senior and was a fourth round pick of the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League in 1988.
Both players were selected to the Loyola College Athletics Hall of Fame and played professional soccer in the United States. Each competed for the Maryland Bays of the American Soccer League, helping the club win an ASL title, and Karpovich was a two-year member of the Blast.