NEW HAVEN - The Crimson booters affixed an exclamation mark to the end of their season with a 6-1 rout of Yale Friday afternoon.
If Harvard had been a bit disappointed a week earlier at its dashed hopes for a tournament berth, it had every reason to put that behind. The team reached its goal of a .500 Ivy season (3-3-1, 6-4-4 overall) and it cannot be forgotten that back in September that prediction had seemed a bit optimistic. Post-season play had not even been considered.
After gaining a 2-0 lead in a evenly played first half on two Harold Martin goals, the Crimson went wild in the second, notching four goals to Yale's one in its best half of soccer all season.
"I was a bit worried at the half," Coach George Ford said after the game. "We let them get into the game," in the last 20 minutes of the first half after Martin's goals. Ford added, however, "We went back to the wings," after the break.
The third goal, which opened the flood gates, was one of the nicest you'll ever see. It was a Lee Nelson diving header off a low cross from the left corner by Alberto Villar. This was worthy of opening film footage from ABC Wide World of Sports--Pele shoots, scores and the fans go wild.
"I saw Alberto breaking down the right wing," Nelson said, describing the play after the game. "I just knew where he was going to put the ball so I headed for the space. I had to dive but it was a perfect chip."
The next two goals came within a minute of each other. Andy Kronfield scored assited by Nelson and then Villar took a through pass from Nelson (one goal, three assists), dribbled by two Yale defenders and drilled the ball between Eli goalie John Ertmann and the left post.
Yale slipped onto the scoreboard at 81:10 after Captain Fred Herold was removed from the nets to a standing ovation from the Crimson contingent. Paul Farago jumped on a loose ball for the Eli score.
Antonio Ardila, after missing several golden chances, scored the final Harvard goal assisted by Steve Yakopec.
Numerous players deserve citation, including Mike Smith and Brian O'Connor, whose aggressive midfield play helped to turn the tide in Harvard's favor. Then there are seniors Harold Martin and Fred Harold, who finished their Harvard careers in style. Martin tallied the deciding goals of the contest and Herold ended his three-year reign in the Crimson nets with an 81-minute shutout performance.
The victory was particularly sweet for the two since neither had ever defeated the Elis. As Herold said, "It's always good to beat Yale."