The Harvard soccer team, given a chance to patch up its injury-riddled lineup at a result of Wednesday's rainout with Tufts, travels to Princeton, N.J today to face a punchless Tiger squad scrambling to avoid the Ivy cellar.
Princeton, along with Columbia, usually vies for the dubious distinction of being the worst soccer team in the Ivy League and this year is no exception. The Tiger, by virtue of a 1-0 win over Dartmouth, are tied with the Big Green for seventh place. The winless Lions bring up the rear.
The Crimson, which trounced both a Dartmouth (7.2) and Columbia (8-4), should have no trouble adding Princeton to its list of Ivy victims. The Tigers, like both the Big Green and the Lions, are ineffective offensively and woefully inept defensively.
The Tigers have scored only six time in Ivy competition, and have given up 16 goals, a pathetic performance considering the fact that of the 13 and 20 goals Dartmouth and Columbia have allowed respectively, almost half were scored by Harvard. Despite holding Penn to a scoreless halftime tie, the Tiger defense is pourous.
Harvard, which leads the league offensively with 20 goals and on defense has allowed only three scores in its last three Ivy games, has been hurting in both departments. The offensive line counts the top three scores in the league, but all are injured. Chris Papagianis who has three more games to pad his Ivy League scoring record of 14, has been bothered by water on his right knee, but the problem sounds worse than it actually is.
Felix Adedeji, whose disappointing reason can be traced to muscle spasms in his back suffered after the Columbia game a month ago, will rout this weekend in Cambridge for the Columbia's stretch drive. Adedeji, despite this health problems, remains tied with Bent Hinze for second place in the scoring derby with seven points.
Hinze, who has suffered through the reason with a number of annoying leg problems, had a store more hip another in the week best hopefully move the tuffs number did him good. The fourth starter, Dragan Vujovic, has five points, more than any Tiger scorer, and remains the healthiest of the quarter.
The Harvard fullback line which took the worst physical bowling in the Penn game was bothered by minor injuries earlier in the week, but captain Ric Scott, Brian Fearnett, and Ric LaCivita are healthy enough to play. The Crimson linkmen Emmanuel Ekarna and Bahman Mossavar Rahmani are fully recovered from their various injuries.
Harvard, which remains undefeated (6-0-1) and number one in New England, is entering the most demanding portion of its schedule. Depending on whether or not the Tufts game is rescheduled for sometime next week, the Crimson will play four or five games in a 12 day span.
With games against physically brutal Brown and Yale yet to come, along with the first post-season playoff game sandwiched between those two, Harvard's ability to stay relatively healthy may well decide the outcome of these contests.