|Title:||Class of 2012|
John Pavlos may have spent only two years playing on the soccer field for Hall of Fame coach Alan King, but he certainly had a memorable impact on the program’s history.
After arriving from Dutchess Community College, Pavlos quickly became a force in Division III Men’s Soccer. He netted 14 goals and handed out 8 assists as WPI finished the 1976 regular season 10-2-1.
Pavlos was even better in the postseason as the Engineers stunned New England’s top-seed Westfield State 4-3 in a penalty kick shootout after four sudden death overtimes on the Owls' home AstroTurf field. The epic game took nearly three hours and 45 minutes to play and, according to the Westfield State yearbook, saw 100 cars ticketed because all the parking spaces had been taken early for the overflow crowd.
The Engineers went on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to eventual national champion Brandeis 6-5 in sudden death overtime. Pavlos posted three goals and added twos assists during WPI’s magical postseason run.
“Coach King was very fortunate to have such a prolific and energetic scorer as John Pavlos on his roster in the late '70s,” remembers former sports information director Steve Raczynski. “John was like a man possessed, like a man among boys, with his ability to bust by defenders.”
A year later he kept scoring at a jaw-dropping rate, collecting 17 goals while doling out 4 assists on an Engineers squad that posted a 7-5-1 overall record.
John’s two-year totals on Boynton Hill included 34 goals and 14 assists for 82 points. At the time of his graduation, it ranked the forward third all-time on the WPI points list, despite wearing the Crimson and Gray for only two seasons. For his efforts, he was selected All-America in both 1976 and 1977.
“I was always surprised if he did not score at least one or two goals a game,” continues Raczynski. “But, above all, the best part about John was how he always comported himself as a gentleman."
A native of Lamia, Greece, John Pavlos and his family came to the United States in 1971. He graduated from Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) High School in 1974 and from Dutchess Community College in 1976; he studied mechanical engineering at WPI from 1976 to 1978.
John was drafted by the NASL in 1978 to play for the Houston Hurricanes. He continued to be active in the sport by coaching the local LaGrange Youth Travel Soccer Teams from 1995 to 2005. He and his wife, Donna, and their children, Chris and Angela, live in Poughkeepsie, where John currently owns a family business.