John Nikchevich returns for his fourth season as head coach of the USF women's soccer program.
Nikchevich directed his 2010 team to a 6-10-1 record, giving the Saints more victories in one year than they had in the previous two seasons combined (5). The Saints stood at 6-7-1 and 3-4 in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play before dropping their final three contests to eventual CCAC regular-season champion Robert Morris, CCAC Tournament winner Olivet Nazarene and perennial CCAC power Trinity International.
USF registered three conference wins in 2010, its most since posting a 5-4 league mark in 2005. The club also recorded four shutout victories, three of them coming in CCAC play over Holy Cross, Judson and Calumet St. Joseph.
Nikchevich came to St. Francis after putting together an impressive soccer coaching record at the high school and club levels. He continues to coach in those divisions in addition to his duties at USF.
He led Nazareth Academy High School in nearby La Grange Park to back-to-back girls soccer regional championships in 2006 and '07 and again to regional titles in 2009, ‘10 and ‘11. He directed Nazareth to both regional and sectional crowns in 2010 before bowing out in the supersectional round of the Illinois state tournament. The championship in 2006 represented the first-ever regional title for the Nazareth program and he has now coached regional winners in five of his first six seasons at the school.
In addition to his current success at Nazareth, Nikchevich has made a name for himself as one of the top girls soccer club coaches in the Chicago area. He previously directed the Sockers FC Chicago club from 2001-03, winning titles in U-16, U-17 and U-23 divisions. He also led the Eclipse Soccer Club from 2004-06. While with Eclipse, his team placed third in the nation in the U.S. Girls Under 19 division.
Nikchevich, who graduated in 1985 from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., is currently the Director of Coaching for the Joliet Storm Soccer Club. He also served as head coach for the USL W-League Chicago Gaels U-20 team for five seasons.
Ben Boyd Is in his second season as an assistant coach and goalkeeper coach at University of St. Francis but certainly is no stranger to USF head coach John Nikchevich.
Boyd has served as an assistant to Nikchevich on the girls’ soccer staff at Nazareth Academy in nearby La Grange Park since the spring of 2004. With Nikchevich, he has been part of regional championship teams in four of the past six seasons and helped direct the team to a sectional title and a berth in the supersectional round of the 2010 state tournament.
In addition to working at Nazareth, Boyd has coached both girls and boys – ages U8 to U14 – at a pair of area soccer clubs. He was the club goalkeeper trainer and coached a girls team at the Hawks Soccer Club in Oak Brook from 2005-2008. He then worked at the Zen United Soccer Club in Westmont in the fall of 2009 and trained the goalies and coached a boys’ team there.
Boyd was a goalkeeper himself, playing one season of collegiate soccer at Dominican University in suburban River Forest. He has continued his playing career in various adult leagues ever since.
Boyd graduated from Dominican in the spring of 2007 and completed his Master’s Degree in Teaching from Dominican in the fall of 2007. He is a native of La Grange Park and a 2002 graduate of Nazareth. He currently is in his third year of teaching at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.