The Harvard soccer team dribbled, passed, hustled, and shot like champions for 25 minutes yesterday. By the time visiting Dartmouth could recover and take its first shot at the Harvard goal, the Crimson had scored four times and was far gone on its way to a convincing 6-1 romp.
If there was one star in the game, there were 13. Even last week's injuries couldn't slow the Crimson squad, and players who were limping or in street clothes two days ago were playing their best game of the year yesterday.
The first quarter was played entirely in the Dartmouth half of the field and the fans' only question once the game started was when the goals would come.
Jim Saltonstall's shot into the upper right corner was nullified by an offside call, but the referee's whistle provided defense for the barrage that followed.
With 11 minutes gone, Charlie Njoku lofted a nigh-perfect corner kick that inside Hugh Polk chested across the goal line.
Four minutes later, right inside Dave Taft's 25-yard shot bounced off the crossbar of the goal, and rebounded off the diving Dartmouth goalie's back into the goal.
Fullbacks Tony Marks and Karl Lunkenheimer intercepted every Dartmouth drive before the ball could reach midfield, and it was only four minutes more before Taft bounced in his second goal.
When the teams turned around for the second quarter, Harvard lost the wind at its back, but retained its thrilling sharpness for two more minutes, long enough to score the prettiest goal of the day.
Left half Andy Kydes took control of the ball in Harvard territory and reversed field with a pass to right inside Lutz Hoeppner. Hoeppner, impressive in his first varsity start, dribbled downfield and crossed a pass to left wing Charlie Njoku, who drilled the ball 15 yards into the far corner of the goal.
One minute later, Harvard goalie Norris Childs had to make his first save of the game. He went on to make 13 saves in the game, but almost all were on futile shots from far outside scoring range.
Childs lost his shutout bid after five minutes of the third quarter. He came out of the goal to bat away a Dartmouth pass but the Green's Bill Smoyer picked up the loose ball and lined a drive into the empty net.
Dartmouth's lone tally was sandwiched between two more Harvard goals. Four minutes after the half, center forward Jim Saltonstall converted the rebound of a Dudley Blodgett shot.
And with two minutes to go in the game, Charlie Njoku nudged in a pass from Dave Taft following a mixup between the Indian goalie and a fullback.
The second half was almost an even contest, but it hardly mattered. The Crimson had already shattered Dartmouth's four-fullback defense, which had allowed only four goals before today's game.