The Harvard women's soccer team's 1979 season began with triple sessions in August and ended with a triple overtime match with Cortland State for the Eastern championship crown in November. After battling Cortland State through 90 minutes of regular play, 20 minutes of overtime play and 10 minutes of sudden-death play, the Crimson booters had to settle for a 1-1 deadlock and a shared title when the referee called the game for darkness.
But even though coach Bob Scalise's booters received only half a crown at the Easterns, they undoubtedly ruled over their Ivy League opponents, and claimed Ivy top honors for the second year in a row. The only tarnish of the 15-1-1 season was a 4-3 overtime loss to UMass in regular season play. Harvard later avenged that loss, handing the Minutemen their first shutout in two years in the second round of the Eastern tournament.
The loss of seniors Julie Brynteson, Stefi Baum, Ellen Hart, Sally Kinsberg, goalie Wendy Carle, Marcia Hamelin and manager Maura Costin will leave large gaps all over the field.
Captain and forward Brynteson received both Harvard and Ivy M.V.P. honors, and was the only female named in a poll of the nation's top ten soccer players. Her precision corner-kicks set up numerous Crimson goals as did her heads-up play.
Senior forward Hamelin lent speed and agility to the front line, as did captain Ellen Hart before she was forced to sit out for most of the season with a leg injury.
On defense, seniors Baum and Kingsberg provided a stern backline and Carle, playing goal for the first time in her life, was named to the All-Ivy team, proving beginner's luck was in fact skill.