The Ohio Wesleyan men’s soccer team has won two national championships, advanced to the national semifinals 10 times, and has won 30 conference championships. Ohio Wesleyan leads all NCAA Division III institutions with 37 Division III playoff appearances.
In 1913, under the direction of coach Frederick W. Dixon, the men’s soccer team played Ohio State in what was reported as “the first game of intercollegiate soccer ever played on Ohio soil.” Ohio Wesleyan won by a score of 1-0. With World War I affecting both the number of players on the team and the ability to schedule games against other institutions, men’s soccer was dropped as a varsity sport in 1917.
Men’s soccer returned as a club sport in 1953 and regained varsity status for the 1955 season, with Dick Gordin ’52 serving as head coach.
Fred Myers took over the head coaching position in 1957. In 1963, with wins over Wheaton and Akron, the Bishops won the NCAA College Division Mideast Regional tournament. The men’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals in 1975, then the furthest advancement by an Ohio Wesleyan team.
In 1977, Jay Martin took over as head coach. In 1981, the men’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals.
Ohio Wesleyan hosted the NCAA Division III semifinals and championship game for the first time in 1990. The Bishops tied Glassboro State, 1-1, in the championship game but lost the national championship on penalty kicks. The team returned to the national semifinals in 1991, with Jay Martin receiving his first NCAA Division III Coach of the Year award. The Bishops advanced to the NCAA Division III championship game for the second time in 1992.
In 1998, the Bishops won the NCAA Division III championship, defeating Greensboro, 2-1, in overtime. Martin was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year for the second time.
The Bishops advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals in 2001 and 2006, and in 2009, Ohio Wesleyan allowed only 2 goals during the regular season, setting an NCAA all-divisions record for fewest goals allowed in regular-season play.
Ohio Wesleyan won its second NCAA Division III championship in 2011, defeating Calvin, 2-1. Martin was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year for the third time. The win in the national championship game was the 608th of Martin’s career, making him the all-time leader in college men’s soccer.
In 2014, the Bishops advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the 10th time.
The Battling Bishop men’s and women’s soccer teams play their home games at the Jay Martin Soccer Complex, located on Park Avenue across from the Ohio Wesleyan residential campus. Named the Jay Martin Soccer Complex in 2013, the complex is widely regarded as one of the Midwest’s finest facilities for soccer. Previously known as Roy Rike Field, the facility became home to the soccer team in 1964. Prior to 1964, home games were played at South Field, which was located on Henry Street south of Selby Stadium.