Crimson Kickers Toughen Defense For UConn Tilt
After a spotty 8-3 opening victory over Tufts, the Harvard soccer team goes to Storrs today to battle a potentially potent University of Connecticut team. UConn is generally in the thick of the fight for an NCAA bid, and, off a narrow loss to last year's New England champion, Vermont, figures to be solid again.
Coach Bruce Monro must resolve some serious defensive weaknesses immediately if he hopes to challenge for the Ivy title. Admittedly some lack of coordination in the opener may be related to a lack of practice, but Monro acknowledges a definite personnel problem.
He's looking, he said, for defensive substitutes "who won't hurt us". Of greater concern at the moment is the questionable starting status of fullback Bob Gray, who injured a hamstring against Tufts. Then, too, junior goalie Rich Locksley reinjured his thumb in a second half collision with a Jumbo forward and may not play.
Against Tufts, sophomore Peter Bogovich tied a Harvard record by scoring five goals. He'll be back today, but his sidekick from last year's freshman team, outside Solomon Gomez, is still nursing his Achilles tendon.
Outside right Gerry Montero has what Monro termed "academic commitments" and his place will be filled by a 1967 starter Ahmed Yehia.
Monro has concentrated on the defense for the last few days, stressing halfback-fullback coordination and passing. He sees "some improvement", but wants to see how the team functions under today's game conditions.
Unfortunately. UConn plays Saturday games at 10:30 a.m., so the Harvard squad will leave Cambridge at dawn for the two hour trip to the Storrs campus. Unless the defense holds solid, it might be a long ride back.