It's nice to play well, as long as you win.
And in its season opener yesterday, the Harvard newly soccer team players well, but didn't scout enough times to win, and as result dropped a 3-2 dedication nationally ranked Brandeis in Waltham.
"Most of the play was ours, but most of the goals were theirs," Harvard Coach Jape Shattuck said afterwards.
So all the Crimson's nice play added up to was the Judges' fifth straight victory without a loss and the Crimson's first loss of the young season.
Wha! hurt the Cantabs most in yesterday match with the nation's ninth ranked team in Division III was a lack of cohesion that only comes from practice.
In soccer, which by its very nature demands an instinctive, almost telepathic rapport between the players, it's extremely important for teams to have enough time before the start of any season to become familiar with one another.
With four games already under its out before yesterday, Brandeis displayed the cohesion Harvard's still looking for.
"The players are still introducing themselves to each other," Shattuck said before the game. "They're not used each other yet. We may make some bowling mistakes."
Playing in beautiful fall weather, on Brandeis's well manicured but narrow pitch, the Crimson booters made few bowling mistakes In fact, they managed dominate the majority of the action is the contest, but after 90 minutes still ended up on the short end of the scoreline.
The Judges jumped ahead quickly, brushing the back of the net twice between the 19th and 30th minutes, utilizing the counterattack and opportunism which has characterized Brandeis teams in recent years.
The first Brandeis goal followed a long throw-in into the packed Crimson penalty area, which then ricocheted off a forest of legs pull Crimson keeper Matt Ginsburg. The Judge took advantage of a mixup in the Harvard defect to add the second goal.
Harvard domination of attacking play paid off at long last in the 36th minute when Captain Lane Kenworthy, taking a free kick inside the area, pushed the ball directly in front of the goal in freshman midfielder Mark Pepper, who chipped it over the hand of the Brandeis 'keeper to drew within one before half.
The equalizer came in the 55th minute when lohn Catliff, one of the players who has contributed to the Crimson' United Nations light appearance (he's veteran of Canada's Olympic team), drilled a bullet directly into the goalkeeper's worst enemy, the left-hand corner.
After Catliff evened things up, Harvard, which has until then dominated the match everywhere except where it counted--on the scoreboard--tried to wear down the Judges' resistance as time with in hoping to win the thing outright before the end of regulation time, or at lest to win in overtime.
Unfortunately for Harvard, the speedy Judges put the winner in the net in the 25th minute, effectively gaveling the Crimson's hopes into oblivion.
"Brandeis played really well, with a lot of intensity," Shattuck said. "Both teams played well, but Brandeis deserved to win today."
THE NOTEBOOK: The nationally ranked Judges entered the contest un scored upon...Harvard had better find it coalition pretty quickly, considering it travels to Columbia, the nation's fifth ranked Division 1 team and last year's national runners-up, this Saturday.