Back in 1983, when John Catliff was a sophomore, the Harvard men's soccer team jumped out to a 3-1-1 start. Catliff scored six goals in those first five games.
Now, three autumns later, the Harvard men's soccer team is 3-0-1 and off to its best start since '83. And Catliff, a second-semester senior, again has six early-season goals to his credit.
But Catliff hasn't been Harvard's only offensive star of late. Junior Nick Hotchkin tallied in overtime to give the booters a 3-2 victory over Brandeis last weekend--and also scored the booters' only goal in a 1-1 tie with Connecticut September 24.
Both Catliff and Hotchkin--as well as the rest of the Crimson squad--had better be at their best tomorrow, when Harvard travels to Oneonta, N.Y., to face Hartwick College.
Hartwick, now 6-3-1 after a 4-1 victory over Colgate Wednesday, is ranked 15th in this week's Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America poll. Harvard, at 3-0-1, is four spots back at 19th.
Hartwick is led by senior forward Paul Cushion, who has scored five goals in his squad's 10 contests thus far. A pair of junior midfielders, Terry Connaughton and Mark Mettrick, are also offensive threats with two tallies apiece.
Senior Mike Harrison, who sports a 1.67 goals-against average, will tend the net Saturday, while backs Pat Lynch and Captain Karl Rees will anchor Hartwick's defense.
Harvard's defense is still holding strong, even though sophomore goalie Stephen Hall has been sidelined recently with a viral infection. Chad Reilly, also a sophomore, has filled in for Hall over the past two games and has registered a 1.23 goals-against average. Reilly had seven saves in the Brandeis contest and will probably start against Hartwick.
The Crimson was the only Ivy League squad to infiltrate the ISAA national top 20. Even more important for Harvard's future plans, however, was the booters' standing in the New England poll--number two for the second straight week, behind Boston University (7-0-2).
Invitations to the NCAA post-season tournament are extended to the top two New England squads--and the booters are gunning to return to NCAA play after failing to garner a bid last year.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the Crimson returns home to host league power Cornell. The Big Red (3-0-2 overall, 1-0-1 Ivy) is currently tied with Princeton (1-1-1, 1-0-1) for first place in the Ancient Eight.
Both Harvard and Yale own 1-0 league marks, with Dartmouth and Columbia (each at 1-1) and Penn and Brown (0-2) filling out the back of the pack. This week's only Ivy action consists of a pair of games this evening--Brown at Princeton and Columbia at Penn.
Catliff, who captured Ivy League Player of the Week honors two weeks ago for his four-goal explosion against Columbia, stands second in the league in scoring. Only Cornell's JOhn Bayne (four goals and one assist) has racked up more points than Catliff in league play.