If comparative scores told the whole story, the varsity soccer team would have to be rated a nine-goal favorite when it meets Penn in Philadelphia this morning. Cornell defeated the Quakers 1 to 0 at the beginning of the season, and a week later Harvard ran up its fantastic 9 to 1 score over Cornell.
Unfortunately, though, soccer is not played on paper, but in this case on a field which is considerably narrower than most in New England. "It's like playing in a closet," Coach Bruce Munro reported. Having played on a field all week, the Crimson flew to Philadelphia yesterday for an afternoon's practice on Penn's field.
Despite a lack-luster record (2 and 2 in the Ivy League), Penn has made steady improvement over a dismal beginning. Perennially a late-bloomer in the Ivy League, the Quakers have won their last two League games, and Munro rates them a "very definite threat" to Harvard's undefeated Ivy League record.
But the fact remains that Harvard has scored 15 goals and played fine soccer in its three League victories. Dartmouth was a tough win, but Cornell was a breeze, and in shutting out Columbia 4 to 0, the Crimson proved convincingly that it can win without high scoring center-forward Chris Ohiri.
Ohiri, of course, will be looking for the three goals he needs to break the Ivy League season scoring record of eight. Having piled up five in the season's first Ivy game against Cornell, he has been stalled since the Amherst game with a groin injury which hasn't yet cleared up.
Fullback Louie Williams, who has not dressed for the last two games, will probably not start, but he will play today. Sandy Cortesi will start in his place with Charlie David, who at right-fullback was outstanding against Dartmouth. Halfback Tony Davies had an unexpected recurrence of a foot injury this week, but Munro reported Thursday that it had disappeared.
The varsity is on the way to an undefeated Ivy League season and a possible bid to December's NCAA Championships. There are obstacles, but Penn probably isn't one of them.