In a steady downpour, Harvard's varsity soccer team overcame the elements and soundly beat Dartmouth, 3-0, yesterday in the Business School Swamp. The victory gave Harvard sole possession of the Ivy League lead.
Because of the mud and stagnant water, neither team could play an outstanding game, but the Crimson showed a determined effort. On a field that baffled any attempts at a coordinated attack, Harvard's forward line combined for three excellent goals. The Crimson defense never made a major error, although the slippery conditions exaggerated every mistake.
Harvard is now undefeated in five games. Both Shep Messing and Bill Meyers made crucial plays in goal to record the Crimson's first shutout of the season.
As play slowly developed in the first quarter, it became apparent that the condition of the Business School Field was going to be a decisive factor in offensive strategy.
At both ends of the field, the area directly in front of the goals became large puddles of mud. Known by the spectators as "The Puddle," the penalty areas looked more like the Charles River and had many of the characteristics of quicksand.
The game seemed headed towards a 0-0 tie, when Solomon Gmez and Charlie Thomas combined for a goal near the end of the first half. Approaching the mud, Gomez lofted the ball into the air. Indian goalie John Orange came out to catch the ball, but Thomas out-raced him and headed the ball just over Orange's reach.
Harvard's Messing made several spectacular saves to protect that early lead. The mud in the penalty area made running almost impossible, but Messing consistently came far out of the goal to break up the Dartmouth attack.
Kick Gives Break
In the third period, the Crimson got a break when a direct kick was called for from about 20 yards out. As Bogovich lined up the ball, Gomez moved to the left wing, taking a fullback with him. Then, Gomez quickly broke back to screen the goalie, and Bogovich kicked a perfect placement into the lower right corner.
A 2-0 lead in the torrential rain seemed insurmountable, but the Crimson added another insurance tally moments later. Halfback Norrie Harrower started the play by bringing the ball to midfield. Harrower then sent what appeared to be a pass forward to Gomez, but Gomez purposely overran the pass and the ball continued through the Dartmouth fullback line to Thomas.
Alone in the Puddle
Thomas and the lone remaining Dartmouth fell but. Thomas maintained his balance and hit the ball under Orange to end the scoring.
Despite the weather conditions, the 4-4-2 system usually seemed to be working well, especially on the wings, Perhaps it was because the middle of the field was so muddy, but the Crimson moved the ball well on the sidelines and on cross-field passes.
Also, the Crimson took advantage of the offensive strength of the 4-4-2. Outside fullbacks John Gordon and Bill Brock moved up to midfield frequently to assist the attack, and halfbacks Norrie Harrower, Emmanuel Ekkama and Rick Scott each joined the front line as the Datmouth defense sagged.
But much of the credit for the Crimson's confident thrusts into the Dartmouth half of the field belongs with fullback Chris Wilmot. As a sweeper fullback, Wilmot intercepted many of Dartmouth's long, clearing passes, and not once during the game did an Indian forward get a direct shot on goal from the penalty area.