M. Soccer Unloads Bench With Pleasing Results

STAMA-TASTIC
Jessica E. Zbikowski

Freshman John Stamatis is one of several freshmen who have seen playing time in the early part of the 2005 season. Stamatis started both games this weekend.

Over the course of Friday’s blowout, Harvard used 18 different players at one point or another in the game.

With a number of freshmen looking to start consistently this year, this strategy—which has been employed in all three games to date—looks to become a constant in Crimson soccer this season.

“I’m happy with the group,” said Harvard coach John Kerr. “We are not losing a beat when we make the subs.”

Freshman Anthony Tijero especially made his mark in limited minutes by getting two chances to score and forcing Coastal Carolina goalie Jeremy Wolfgang to make a save on one. Classmate John Stamatis has also seen consistent playing time—starting both games this weekend and assisting on junior Charles Altchek’s goal.

Sophomore Adam Hahn made his season debut in goal as well and helped maintain the shutout—although he registered no saves since the Chanticleers did not put a single shot on net over the full 60 minutes.

FINISHING TOUCHES

Junior Tom Stapleton has missed the opening two games for Harvard since he has been unable to leave England, his home country. According to Kerr, due to issues with obtaining a visa to enter the United States as a student, Stapleton’s date of return is unknown as of now, although the team expects him back soon.

Late in Friday’s game, the 172 fans who came out to the Crimson went wild as Kerr began to take out the successful starters and give some other players time on the field. One especially large cheering section was for junior Chas Hamilton—who appeared in two contests all season last year. With a laugh and a look back at the fans, Kerr put him in late in the second half.

CHARLES IN CHARGE

The Crimson has scored four goals in its first three games of the season and three of those four have been scored by Altchek. This should come as no surprise, though, as in the first three games of last year’s season he scored two out of three Harvard goals for the season openers—including scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Furman.

But Altchek is making his offensive presence known more this year as he has already racked up 11 shots compared to eight last year in his first three games.

“He’s an opposing guy and dangerous,” Kerr said. “He’s got a lot of confidence and a lot of energy.”

And although his goal in yesterday’s game against the Paladins wasn’t enough to guarantee a win for the Crimson this time, it was enough to establish Altchek as the leader of the offense for this Harvard team.

WEEKEND RECAP

Harvard still remains undefeated at home with one win and one tie on the weekend, bringing its overall record to 1-1-1.

The Crimson played Coastal Carolina on Friday with Furman losing to New Hampshire earlier that same day. Yesterday, Harvard faced off against the Paladins with the Chanticleers losing to the Wildcats 1-0.

“We are still undefeated at home,” said senior defender and captain Will Craig. “It was a good weekend for us, since we only gave up one goal.”

The Crimson also leaves the invitational with a better record than last year, when it lost to Coastal Carolina in the 2004 edition of the tournament.

—Staff writer Abigail M. Baird can be reached at ambaird@fas.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Gabriel M. Velez can be reached at gmvelez@fas.harvard.edu.

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