Two years ago there was no Brown lacrosse team. A few Bruins did field a small, disorganized club that played a few games, but the sport wasn't recognized in Providence.
Then last year soccer coach Cliff Stevenson made the sport official, enlisted a batch of football and soccer players, and ground out an 11-3 record against some pretty good competition.
Now for the first time Brown is in the Ivy League in lacrosse, and several league coaches are already wishing that the Bruins had remained unofficial.
The Bruins opened their league season by beating Penn. Then they amazed everyone by upsetting Yale, second in the League last year, by a 7-5 score in overtime. Finally on Wednesday, they almost beat Princeton, Ivy champion for the last 7 years and winner of 39 straight league games, before losing 8-7. Overall their record is 6-2; the only other defeat, a 9-7 squeaker came against Maryland, ranked second in the nation.
So the game at Brown this afternoon should be the toughest test so far for a Harvard team that has met almost every test in good style. After losing its opener, 9-6, to Rutgers, the Crimson has ripped off eight straight wins.
As Brown's score against Princeton indicates, there will be some competition for the League title this year. To be in it, Harvard has got to get past the Bruins today. If they win, they can go into the Princeton game unbeaten and hope to beat the Tigers and Yale for the crown.
Brown wll be a tough first step, however. The Bruins boast top-calibre scoring threats in Tom Draper and Mike Healy, plus a sensational sophomore goalie in Rich Alter.
Any goalie opposing Harvard these days, however, has his work cut out for him. The Crimson scored 16 goals against Williams Wednesday, and 13 against Cornell in their first Ivy game. Junior Attackman Dick Ames is among the league leaders in scoring with 11 points in two games, but he isn't the high scorer on the team--midfielder Tink Gunnoe leads the pack with 30 points overall to 27 for Ames. Lou Williams, with 21, is third on Bruce Munro's varsity ten followed by captain Pete Wood and sophomore attackman Ted Leary.
Pressure on Defense
The defense, which had problems clearing the ball early in the season will be under plenty of pressure today from a Brown attack that emphasizes speed. Draper and football players Bob Sieple and John Parry are fast midfielders. Healy and Warren George pace an attack that has been criticized for sloppy passing--the scores so far belie it.
To stop them, Harvard will rely on Fred Gates, the team's outstanding defenseman to date, plus Charlie Kessler, Dan Calder-wood, and Toby Hay. Orm Hammond will be in the goal.