With only one victory to its credit out of five starts, the Varsity lacrosse team has gotten off to a slow and disappointing start. Opening against Penn Coach Skip Stahley's charges, despite a 5-3 defeat, gave indications of having the ability to continue the winning ways of last year's championship team. Injuries, illness, and indifference on the part of a few men since then have resulted in defeat rather than in improvement and victory.
At present the starting lineup seems pretty well settled, with Jerry Hunsaker, Van Cleveland, and Phil Hammond forming the first attack. All three are experienced men and should be able to produce plenty of goals before the end of the year provided Hammond and Hunsaker can supply the necessary pop that the rest of the attack and midfield lack. Bill Blanchard and Irving Shepard are the leading reserves for the forward positions. Both of these men saw service last year.
Power In Midfield
Stahley has concentrated most of his power in the midfield positions, which require a great deal of running and contact work. He has worked out three combinations which he can substitute at will. Captain Tommy Campion, Pithy Willard, and Frank Downey are the starting trio here. Campion, a rugged and aggressive player, was injured in the Navy game and will not play again until Wednesday. Downey set up several goals with his accurate passing. As yet Willard, who is a Sophomore, has had difficulty in accommodating himself to the Varsity style of play. The second trio consists of Torrey Baker, Jim Doughty, and Gordy Halstead. Potentially this combination should go places, but to date it has failed to click. Halstead started the season off as an attackman, where he proved to be an effective scorer, but Stahley feels that he will do even better at midfield. Bill Tonner, Willie Flinn, Sully Sullivan, Lee Bird, and Eddie Greble have been battling it out for berths on the third midfield, and each one of them stands about an even chance.
At defense, Stahley has plenty of material but to date none of the men have shown themselves to be anything more than mediocre. Norm Blotner, Ralph Livingston, and Joe Magurn have had the starting call to date, but they are being hard pressed by Ben Ferris and Dick Lewis. Livingston has been hampered all season by a bad leg, which has slowed him down considerably.
Norm Blotner, a Sophomore, is a ten-second man who has been coming along rapidly. He is a shifty runner and clever on the defense, but has been held back by poor stickhandling. Lewis, who played superbly against Maryland, was sick for the next week, and has not returned to his top form since. Playing his first year of lacrosse Ferris has done surprisingly well. Other men who have played some are Ben Wilcox and Ed Behr.
Burly Hank Riecken is holding down the goalle position for the second year. On the vacation trip he played sensationally, but he has not been very effective since. His clever stickwork has been a great help both defensively and offensively. Jerry Cook, another goalle, is also being used some on the attack. Mel Gordon is the third net-minder.
Chief trouble with the team seems to be the absence of sparkplugs who can keep the attack going and hold the team together on the defense. With the return of Campion on Wednesday much of this trouble may be removed. Otherwise it is more than likely that the stickmen will find themselves on the short end of the scoring column against either New Hampshire or Dartmouth and out of the league running.