Jape Shattuck, first-year coach of the Harvard men's soccer team watched the squad's confrontation with Hartwick College in Oneonto. N.Y,. Saturday with scrambled emotions.
On one hand, his current charges were outplayed in a 3-0 loss, while on the other players he had helped recruit and train for three years before coming to Cambridge performed very well, boosting their chances for a bid to the NCAA Championship tournament.
"It was pretty emotional," said Shattuck yesterday. "Hartwick played exceptionally well. Some of the people there said it was the best game they'd played in a long time."
Coming off a string of bad results, Hartwick--a perennial powerhouse in collegiate soccer--started rolling in the past two weeks with wins over Ivy League-leading Columbia and nationally ranked Philadelphia Textile. And when the Crimson booters jumped off the bus in the little hamlet of Onconta, their hosts were prepared to play.
"We were unfortunate in that we caught a very good team at its peck," explained Shattuck.
Harvard suffered from a bout of sloppy passing throughout the first half, a malady Hartwick never contracted in the game. The result was repeated interceptions by Wick halfbacks and fullbacks that turned Crimson passes in its end of the field into immediate threats on the Harvard goal.
"They entered our back third of the field many times in the first half," said Shattuck. And in the opening minutes of the match, Hartwick opened the scoring on just such an intrusion Forward Mike Lopuyada pounced on a weak clearance in the Harvard penalty box and shoved a bouncing ball past Crimson goalkeeper Phil Coogan.
The Hartwick counter-attack tallied later in the opening period, when Greg Brown was forced by Harvard stopper Ian Hardington-a teammate on the English National Schoolboy team--to dish a pass to David Long. The Hartwick captain hit a hard drive from 20 yards that beat Coogan to the right.
"Both goals in the first half could have been saved in drier conditions," said Coogan, explaining that intermittent snow flurries during the match and rain the night before left the field soggy and showed his movement by hair.
Despite the score line, Coogan had an outstanding match, making his presence felt in the air on corner kicks and crosses and saving a Long penalty kick midway through the opening stanza.
In the second half, the booters settled into a more controlled offense, but they only drew even with Hartwick's level of play in the closing 15 minutes. "In the first half, it was kind of disbelief when we got the ball," said Shattuck, adding that. "In the second half we finally started believing and penetrating."
But the late surge was inconsequential, with Hartwick icing the match on a goal in the opening minutes of the final stanza. Capitalizing again on a quick conter, Long--flanked by Brown and Pat Craikshank--came downfield opposed only by Crimson sweeper Frnak Ricapito. The senior defender succeeded in directing Long to one side of the field, but the Wick captain dumped the ball off to Brown with his left foot and the forward converted on a 17-yard drive.