Stigmatized

Harvard and the NCAAs

As the top-ranked squad remaining in the NCAA tournament, the Harvard men's soccer team has at least a fair shot of capturing the NCAA title.

It also has 83 years of history working against it.

That's because ever since Captain H.C. Egan '05 and the Harvard men's golf team bested Yale at the Myopia Hunt Club on October 20, 1904 to win its fifth national title in six years, the NCAA title cupboard has been bare for Crimson sports teams.

This amazing and quirky streak--Harvard athletes have won dozens of individual NCAA titles in the intervening years, and a bushelful of national titles in sports, such as squash, rugby and crew, which are not sanctioned by the NCAA--has never been so challenged as in recent years.

The men's soccer team made it to the semifinals last year (where it lost to Duke), and has also appeared in the national quarterfinals a number of times (1984, 1972, 1970).

The women booters have also tasted NCAA action in the 1980s, advancing to the second round of play-downs in both 1982 and 1984.

The men's hockey team has made the NCAAs 11 times in the last 30 years, and twice made the final game this decade, but has always come up empty. In fact, the Crimson icemen's 6-5 finalsloss to Michigan St. two years ago in Providenceprobably ranks as Harvard's closest brush with atitle since ought-four.

Still, there were no victory cigars for BillCleary and his boys that night.

From the Path to Providence, then, we have theCommotion in Clemson. And as the history offutility begins to near the century mark, you canbe sure that the Harvard athletic community, pastand present, is rooting for the booters to laywaste to the streak.

Except, that is, for a couple of old dufferswho probably hope to retain their unique place inHarvard sports history for a few more years