Injuries Cloud Soccer Team Predictions; Coach Munro Must Rebuild 'Dark Horse'
Varsity soccer coach Bruce Munro has the gargantuan job this season of building a soccer team out of an ailing goalie, two accident-prone fullbacks, an inexperienced and injury-riddled halfback line, and a forward line which has yet to prove itself as a real scoring threat.
Munro, however, is not overly discouraged. "I expect the line to score more this year even though we have lost our two top scorers, Jim Shue and Tom Bernheim. Our defense," he added, "is our strongest point, but on the other hand, the halfbacks may be our weak link."
Munro is woefully short of depth, since his roster reads like a page out of a Mayo Clinic report. Furthermore, a majority of the injured men play halfback position, where Munro will have to depend on depth if not on experience or an abundance of skill.
Tom Bagnoli, who saw a good deal of service last year, will open the season in goal unless his injured leg keeps him out of action. If Bagnoli cannot start, Munro plans to use Bob Forbush, a sophomore who has looked very good in practice this year. As Munro himself commented, the goal should be one of the team's strongest positions.
The backbone of this team will undoubtedly be the fullbacks. Munro has two fine and temporarily healthy players at the positions. Junior Lanny Keyes, who was All-Ivy last year and who sports one of the longest kicks seen in a long time, is a fixture at left fullback, while Captain Terry O'Malley will start on the right. But both of these men have had leg troubles in the past and, as Munro puts it, "if we lose either of these men, we're in trouble."
At this stage of the season the half-back line is somewhat nebulous. Munro expects to start Charlie (sprained chin) Steele on the right, Bill Rapp at center, and sophomore Bill (bad charley horse) Driver on the left. Two other backs, Peter (sprained ankle) Erskine and Art (bad heel) Atkinson should be ready for some service by the beginning of the season.
"The forward line can either be a bunch of All-Americans or dubs," says Munro, "but they have been improving in practice." Larry Ekpebu, who showed promise last year, will be at outside left. John Hedreen will open at inside left, Roger Tuckerman is back for his second year at center, John Mudd will start at inside right, and Dick McIntosh, a sophomore, will start at outside right.
On the surface, it would seem that Munro is in for a year of rebuilding. But if the fullbacks stay healthy, if the half-backs develop into some kind of a unit, and if the forwards produce a scoring punch, the Crimson could become the proverbial "dark horse" in the Ivy League.