Harvard's varsity soccer team, intent on proving they are a better squad than the one which played the University of Connecticut to a disappointing 2-2 tie last Saturday, travels down river for its annual picnic with M.I.T. this afternoon.
It should be an almost typical Harvard-M.I.T. soccer game especially since the Crimson will start former freshman highscorer Solomon Gomez for the first time this season. Gomez, who has been sidelined by a pulled Achilles tendon, should give the already high-powered Crimson attack even more scoring punch.
But Harvard Coach Bruce Munro will still have some problems in the game against the usually weak Engineers, a team which has already lost its first two contests. John Gordon suffered a sprained ankle against UConn, leaving a gaping hole at right halfback. Untried sophomore Leslie Cutler will probably start in his place, and Mike Sicher and Rich Hardy will be the other halfbacks.
Last year's top scorer for the varsity, Jaime Vargas pulled a groin muscle last Saturday and is a questionable starter today. If Vargas can't play Munro will move Gomez over to inside left for the game and use hustling substitute Bruce Detora at inside right.
Peter Bogovich will anchor the line at center forward and Captain Scott Robertson and Gerry Montero will be at the wings.
Munro will be experimenting with different line-ups today in an effort to improve the defensive coordination between his goalle, fullbacks and halfbacks.
"Offensively we don't have any real problems," he said, "but we're really going to have to work on our defense before the Ivy opener against Columbia on Oct. 12."
"We showed a lot of spirit and hustle in the UConn game, and I was especially pleased with our fourth quarter and overtime play," Munro said, "but we still have a problem with getting possession of the ball."
Rollin McClain and Hilary Worthen will alternate with starting fullbacks Bill Brock and Bob Gray as Munro tries to put together a defense quick enough to feed his talented scorers.
Harvard usually goes into a game with M.I.T. over-confident and much too sure of itself. Lacking a tested right halfback, the Crimson may find it a little tougher than in the past, but there still isn't much of a reason to start being humble.