Tape and Ice

The Soccer Notebook

Harvard men's soccer trainer B.J. Baker better start looking for specials on tape and ice.

Wrap jobs and cold packs have been in big demand in the Crimson locker room.

A run of pulls, bumps and bruises has left Harvard Coach Mike Getman with a short roster and Baker with nearly enough charges to field a team of his own.

Top returning forward Derek Mills sat out the first three games with a knee injury and still isn't 100 percent.

First-team All-Ivy back Mark Pepper has had to captain his team from the sidelines, tape around his injured quadricep.

Junior Gian D'Ornellas took over sweeper duties for Pepper in the opening two games, only to end up joining him on the sidelines for most of the last eight games.

Then Getman turned over the backfield position to freshman Nick Gates. Guess where he'll be sitting for Saturday's Harvard-Princeton match-up.

A muscle pull qualified Gates to join backfield buddies Pepper, D'Ornellas and junior Roger Chapman in the Crimson cheering corps for the past two weeks.

The dearth of defensemen forced Getman to move midfielder Richard Knight into the back and capitalize on a three midfielder-three forward combination.

But Knight got dethroned quickly--he'll be nursing a swollen knee during this weekend's contest.

Throw in the assorted bumps and bruises incurred over the season, and the Crimson booters have given new meaning to the term "walking wounded."

"We really haven't seen our "ideal team" in action yet," D'Ornellas said.

Forget the "ideal team." Getman's just hoping to see the same 11 players take the field twice this year.

"All the different combinations have really hurt us," Getman said. "It really makes it hard to build consistency."

Harvard's play has been as inconsistent as its line-up.