Fucito played so enthusiastically that he couldn’t help but inspire that same enthusiasm in the crowd, causing them to rise up and shout at the rest of the Crimson players to feed Fucito the ball during the second half of play.
Head Coach John Kerr also noticed the hard work and skill Fucito was putting in, standing up and screaming at his own midfielders, “Give it to Fucito!”
All of this support and adoration came after Fucito scored the tying and first goal for Harvard.
Twelve minutes into the second half Fucito received a pass from sophomore midfielder John Stamatis and was able to hit the back of a wide open goal.
“I just had to hit it to know it was going in,” Fucito said. “It really lifted us – we knew that once we got the first one, we were going to get more. We knew eventually it was going to come.”
Luckily for Harvard, Fucito was correct. His goal did pick up the spirits and energy of the team, leading to another goal by freshman forward Andre Akpan twenty minutes later.
Fucito and his ability didn’t escape the eye of Bearcats’ head Coach Paul Marco though. Marco noticed that throughout the first half of play, the Crimson had been trying to attack more on the left flank – Fucito’s stomping grounds. During the halftime huddle Marco tried acknowledge this but did not know how to counteract Fucito’s force.
“We did discuss the adjustments that they would make,” Marco said. “But their special guys were special.”
Fucito is indeed a special player and one who will undoubtedly continue to impress and inspire throughout the rest of this NCAA tournament.
—Staff writer Abigail M. Baird can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.