A Crimson lacrosse team that could manage only one Ivy win last season and weathered 1972's graduation at the cost of its mid-field unit, returns this season amid inhospitable predictions of the stiffest Ivy competition in memory.
Bolstered by depth at defense and attack, the stickmen are nonetheless anemic in the goal and on midfield, having lost starting middies and co-captains Verdi DiSesa and Bob Green.
Elsewhere in the Ivies, however, Penn returns with the harvest from the winningest '72 freshman team in the country, beaten only by Princeton, whose varsity this season also poses a championship threat. The Crimson faces both the Quakers and Tigers, in addition to traditionally strong squads from Cornell and Brown, during a three-week stretch beginning April 14.
Harvard, which finished a disappointing 3-8 last year, scrimmages the New England Lacrosse Club March 28, but opens official competition April 2, with a four-game southerly swing. The Crimson will face perennial power Navy and last year's seventh-ranked Rutgers, in addition to Franklin and Marshall and Adelphi.
1973 captain and attackman John Hagerty--who led Harvard scoring in '72 and led the Crimson to its lone Ivy win, over Dartmouth--said yesterday that "this is a good Harvard team, and much better than last year; our only problem is that we face a very tough schedule. This Ivy League just might be the best league in the country."
According to coach Bruce Munro, Hagerty will be joined on attack by wing Jim Quinn, a sophomore, and creaseman Steve Milliken, a senior.
At the other end of the field senior Charlie Kittredge, all-Ivy as a sophomore, and junior John Taliaferro have secured spots on defense, while the third spot remains a toss-up among several candidates.
"We had to beat the bushes for a goalie. It's a long process to make a lacrosse goalie; it's the kind of job you grow up in," Munro commented yesterday. Currently, Bob Coplan, last season's third-string netminder, and Brian Everist are vying for the place.
Munro's most nagging difficulties rest at midfiled, the pivotal and most tiring position in the game. Half of the 40-man turnout is running midfield now, but of the possible seven units, Munro plans to cull three or four. A proliferation of sophomores and "a lack of experience or depth," however, leaves the middy corps "very thin," Munro said.
Returnees Andy Anderso Garth Ballantyne, Tom Johnson and Rick Carey, and sophomores Frank Gerald and Bob Frisbie will probably dominate the first two units.