The script seemed perfect--continual pressure from the clearly superior team and finally a goal late in the game. The writer made only one mistake--the wrong team scored. Bill Moran's goal with 5:17 left in a soccer contest yesterday in Amherst helped UMass steal victory from the Crimson, 1-0.
Moran's goal came out of the blue for the Minutemen. Harvard goalie Bill Blood punched out a corner kick which U Mass forward Dennis Walsh chipped back near the front of the goal. Moran headed it in past fullback Lorenzo DiBonaventura who could only brush it with his forehead in an attempt to clear it off the line.
Yet Harvard outplayed the Minutemen. In particular, Harvard controlled mid-field as Peter Sergienko moved up from sweeper to halfback in a re-aligned 4-4-2 line-up.
After taking a few minutes to grow accustomed to his new slot, Sergienko began distributing pin-point passes to fellow halfbacks Don Rung and Andy Kronfeld, and making long runs from mid-field which climaxed in long, booming shots.
Rung and Kronfeld also played perhaps their best games of the year, stringing together short passes to work the ball upfield, then dumping off to the two forwards or releasing shots themselves. Rung had one of Harvard's best opportunities mid-way through the opening half. He followed up his own cross from the right side, then fired the ball just over the cross-bar after UMass tried to clear.
Mike Mogollon and Mauro Keller-Sarmiento, the Crimson's two forwards for most of the game, played soundly for the first time in four games. Only the power in Keller-Sarmiento's right foot seemed to be severely affected by an ankle injury he suffered in the Brown game.
Though they played fit, Keller-Sarmiento and Mogollon couldn't recapture the magic touch they had developed before getting hurt they played well, but occasionally seemed gun-shy as they made on move too many in attempts to set up the perfect opportunity.
Keller-Sarmiento did come close once early in the first half. Sergienko led the Argentinian sophomore between two defenders for a shot that went wide of the left post.
The Crimson back four adapted quickly to the loss of Sergienko. Dennis Perese, up from the J.V. since mid-season, filled in admirably as he had for John Duggan when Duggan sat out the second half of the Penn game. Perese played calm, intelligent soccer, showing poise that belies his inexperience.
Captain John Sanacore praised his halfbacks after the game and noted the added confidence Sergiento brings to Harvard's mid-field play. The halfbacks "were taking shots outside the penalty box, which we haven't been doing," he added.
Sanacore also said the UMass contest might have been Harvard's "BEST GAME OF THE YEAR." Still, though Harvard won all the battles, UMass won the war--they fired the only shot that counted.