University of Connecticut Coach Joe Morrone could have been directing a hockey game.
Complete lines of Huskies--often as many as four at once--skated on and off the Ohiri Field turf with amazing regularity throughout yesterday's men's soccer contest with Harvard.
Waves of fresh faces, however, were no match for the Crimson defense. While the Harvard offense struggled, the defense held out.
And held out.
And after two 45-minute periods and a pair of 10-minute overtime halves, the score stood locked at 1-1.
"[Frequent substitution] works both ways," Harvard Coach Jape Shattuck said. "It brings fresh people in, but it also brings cold people in. The people we're going with might be slightly more tired, but they're completely locked into the game."
"We're depending so much right now on our organization that it would be very disruptive for us," he added.
As far as Harvard's scoring was concerned, however, a little disruption might have been more welcome than stability.
"We were disappointed not to win," Shattuck said. "Looking at the kind of results we'd had up 'till now, we hoped that we would win."
The results Shattuck was referring to include Saturday's smashing 4-1 victory over Columbia--a victory in which second-semester senior extraordinaire John Catliff tallied each and every one of the Crimson's four goals.
That effort, along with a 3-0 season-opening defeat of MIT, earned the booters a 20th-place spot in yesterday's national rankings.
More important, though, was the Crimson's location in the New England poll, also released yesterday--number two, behind only Boston University.
The top two teams in New England will be tabbed at year's end to attend the post--season NCAA tournament. A Catliff-led Harvard squad reached the NCAA quarterfinals two years ago before dropping a 2-0 decision to UCLA.
This year, the Crimson (now 2-0-1 overall, 1-0 Ivy) hopes to find itself NCAA-bound once again. In order to cop a tournament berth, however, Harvard will need to turn its offense up a notch--a reasonable task considering that Shattuck feels his attack is only "two weeks away" from completely gelling.
But even in its current, un-gelled condition, the Crimson offense is still dangerous.
With just under 18 minutes remaining in the first half yesterday, junior Nick Hotchkin drove a Nick D'Onofrio pass into the net from 12 yards out.
Harvard's tenuous 1-0 lead crumbled, though, when UConn forward Steve Rammel's shot eluded Crimson netminder Chad Reilly at 43:53. Reilly, usually the booters' backup goalie, was filling in for first-stringer Stephen Hall, who was out with a strep throat.
Reilly was not the only Harvard newcomer on Ohiri yesterday. Although Shattuck didn't choose to make multiple Morrone-style reinsertions, he did rely on a changed line-up from the one that struck gold the last two times out.
Notably, Catliff--so potent from his normal spot on the forward line--was pulled back to midfield to bolster a line lacking injured Captain Paul Nicholas.
"[Catliff] was as involved as he was in our other games, but not as much of a factor," Shattuck said. "We had to withdraw him to the midfield, so he wasn't in a position to strike at the goal as often."
THE NOTEBOOK: Harvard travels to Brandeis Saturday for a 2 p.m. start...The Crimson had 34 fouls yesterday, the Huskies 16...Catliff was issued a yellow card 17 minutes into the first half.