Crimson Soccer Team Defeats Bruins, 2-1 Booters Advance to Quarterfinals
Sophomore Chris Papagianis set up teammate Charlie Thomas for two first period goals, and the Crimson defense held off a desperate last period surge by Brown, as the varsity soccer team won the New England regional championship with a 2-1 victory over the Bruins.
Harvard will face Hartwick, 13-0 and ranked second in the nation, this Saturday in Oneonta, New York, for a berth in the NCAA finals.
The Crimson's play against Brown was erratic. Harvard attacked well at the start of the match and rallied during the final minutes of the game. But throughout the third period and during most of the fourth, the Crimson played an uninspired game, as it had in last Friday's narrow 1-0 victory over Yale.
It was Papagianis, a substitute forward, who ignited Harvard in the opening period. Starting in place of Solomon Gomez. Papagianis riddled the Brown defense and came close to building an early four or five goal lead.
Midway through the quarter, Papagianis and Phil Kydes worked a perfect give-and-go on the left side, On a two-on-one break with Thomas. Papagianis pulled the fullback to him and fed Thomas for the goal.
The sophomore forward returned five minutes later when Gomez received a bloody nose, and Papagianis had two hard shots just tipped aside by goalie John Sanzo. Then Kydes hit Papagianis again and the sophomore passed to Thomas on the right side of the net for the Crimson's second goal.
Harvard completely dominated the second period of play and by the half the outcome appeared determined. But Brown came out for the third period knowing that its season was about to end. and Cliff Stevenson's team muscled its way into several dangerous situations. In particular, the Bruin forwards threw themselves at goalie Shep Messing whenever he went into the air to intercept a pass.
Near the end of the third period, Brown wing Rudy Zeller floated a cornerkick into the goal mouth. Messing went up to catch the ball, but a Brown forward cut his legs out from under him.
With five players pushing and shoving at Messing and the ball, the referee did not call a push and Brown eventually muscled the ball across the goal-line. Lee Thompson got credit for the goal.
In the fourth period Brown moved nine men up on offense and the Bruins had several scoring opportunities. But Brown has been plagned all year by the lack of a big shooter on the front line, and the Crimson fullbacks kept the Bruins from getting a direct shot on net from within the penalty area.
On defense. Sanzo made incredible saves on Thomas, Gomez. and Pete Bogovich to keep the Bruins in the game. Sanzo played two remarkable games against the Crimson this year.
If Harvard has a significant advantage against Hartwick, it is the fact that the Crimson has five outstanding forwards who could each score two or three goals in a single game. Thomas now has scored 16 goals this fall. only one short of Chris Ohiri's season record.
Senior goalie Bill Meyers, starting in goal against Hartwick. must concentrate on stopping All-American Alec Papadakis. The Hartwick forward has scored 22 goals in 13 games this season.
In other NCAA finals. Philadelphia Textile upset Penn State, 2-1, and will play Howard next Saturday for a berth at the NCAA finals. Howard, led by Trinidad freshman Alvin Henderson, beat Navy, 2-0, to advance to the quarterfinals.