The lacrosse team is up against it today. Triumphant in four straight games, the Crimson opens its Ivy League season against Cornell on the Business School field at 2 p.m.
A victory will sustain the hope that Harvard can make a game of it with Princeton and Yale later in the season. A loss will move the Crimson a giant step toward oblivion.
Pre-season reports rated the Big Red on a par with the Elis, but a Cornell spokesman said yesterday that his team is "nowhere near as strong as they are made out to be."
The primary reason for Cornell's pessimism is the loss of attackman Bruce Cohen, the league's leading scorer last season as a sophomore. Cohen broke his foot in an exhibition game last week and is out for a month. His injury leaves the Big Red with only one experienced attackman, junior John Doub, who scored only three points in Ivy play last year.
Cornell is stronger at midfield. Seniors Ed Woll and Don McCarthy, junior Dave Mellon, and sophomore Doug Zirkle are the top men. Mellon and Zirkle are football linemen and excel on defense. And with the loss of Cohen, Cornell will have to depend on its defense to win games.
Joe Robinson, a second team All-Ivy selection, and John Engle (both football players) head the defense. Don Levenson has played well at goalie, a position Cornell was worried about before the season.
Low Score Indicated
In its only game thus far Cornell lost to Baltimore, 6-4 the same score by which Harvard defeated the Bees last week. The score indicates that today's game will be a rough, low-scoring affair.
Harvard has not proved exceedingly proficient in putting the ball into the net. The team's scoring has been done chiefly by three men--Tink Gunnoe, Pete Wood, and Lou Williams. Gunnoe leads the club with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points. Wood and Williams have 12 apiece. Attackmen Dick Ames, with eight points, and Ted Leary, with five, are the only other players to score more than three points in the first five games.
In addition to unbalanced scoring, Harvard's main trouble so far has been inability to clear the ball smoothly. The return of Chip Gray, who did not make the trip south, should help the defense in that regard. Another letterman who played his first game of the season against M.I.T. Wednesday is midfielder Joe Barton, now recovered from a separated shoulder. He could make the third midfield a scoring threat.