Booters Tie for Top Spot Midway Through Ivy Race
With four weeks left in the Ivy League's turbulent soccer season, Harvard's booters are locked in a four-way deadlock for first place. Along with three once-beaten teams--Brown, Cornell, and Pennsylvania--the Crimson has accumulated four points with a win and two ties. Columbia and Dartmouth have picked up three points and are still threats with only one loss apiece.
Harvard Coach Bruce Munro said that team had ever won the Ivy soccer crown with two losses in 13 years. The Crimson's two ties put them in a precarious position for their future games.
Last Saturday's 4-4 tie with Dartmouth disappointed both Munro and his players. Failing to follow up an early 2-0 lead taken on easy goals, the Crimson let up and watched their edge vanish. In the second half, Dartmouth gained most of the momentum, and it took a scrambling goal by Solomon Gomez late in the second overtime period to gain the tie for Harvard.
Munro cited poor passing and defensive errors as leading to the team's second-half collapse. The booters in addition, lost control of the mid-field play late in the first half, opening up numerous scoring opportunities for the Indians. In practice this week, Munro stressed coordination and ball control.
For the first time since his injury in the Wesleyan game four weeks ago, full-back Bob Gray worked out with the team. He appears ready for action again and his return will "definitely strengthen the defense," according to Munro.
The team returned from Hanover exhausted and bruised from their grueling match with the Indians. Captain Scott Robertson sustained the only serious injury, however, throwing his right shoulder out of place. He should be ready on Saturday for Pennsylvania, although he didn't scrimmage with the team early in the week.
In other Ivy action over the weekend, Penn beat Princeton, and Cornell topped Yale by identical 3-1 scores, enabling them to move into a first place tie with Harvard and Brown.