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Dust devils skittered back and forth and divers persons practiced offensive patterns late yesterday afternoon at one end of the field where the Crimson will meet the Cornell soccer team at high noon today.
But the real business of yesterday was conducted sporadically on the edge of the field by a Doctor who divided his time between examining an astonishing number of injured players and squirting ether at a stray dog. The dog got away, but the injured included all but two or three of the varsity's first team.
Yet Crimson coach Bruce Munro, who has predicted all along that Cornell will have a private war with Penn for the Ivy League championship, asserted, "We'll give them fits."
It remains an open question who "we" will be.
Injuries have continued to mount to proportions far beyond normal, not only hindering the varsity in games, but making it difficult for the first team to practice as a unit. One contributing factor has been the lack of rain, which has made the Business School field unusually hard and virtually without grass.
In addition, Munro points to the high percentage of sophomores both on the team and among the injured, explaining that sophomores are often more enthusiastic and less experienced, and hence are less skillful at taking care of themselves.
At right outside, Ken McIntosh, whose ball handling and playmaking stood out in the Tufts game Wednesday, might have to sit out today's game with a charlie-horse in his back.
Sophomore John Mudd will be in sound shape to start at outside left. Mudd scored once for the varsity in the 2-2 draw in Medford. Tom Bernheim will work with Mudd at inside left.
One bright spot in today's lineup will be the return of John Hedreen, a leading scorer for the freshmen last year. Hedreen will start at center forward. Although he has only been practicing since the middle of this week, he showed great skill and adroitness in handling the ball yesterday.
The return of Hedreen will allow Munro to shift Captain Jim Shue back to inside right, a spot handled until now by Robin Magowan, who has been out this week with flu. "Hedreen is a center forward by nature," Munro said yesterday, "and Shue naturally belongs at inside right."
Shue, who nearly missed the season opener because of flu, may be inactive today, Munro said. In that case, Barry Russman will see action, he said. Shue was credited with providing much of the drive that kept the powerful Tufts squad to a pair of goals.
The halfbacks are particularly crippled. Regular left half Jon Felsteiner did not practice yesterday because of a pulled muscle, and center half Tony Oberschall, who broke up several Tufts drives, went onto the injured list with his second twisted ankle of the year.
Marshall Schwarz continues to hold up at right half, and will in all probability play the entire game today, as he did Wednesday.
In the goal, veteran Jim Perkins and sophomore Tom Bagnoli will be ready.
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