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Paced by Sol Gomez and Charlic Thomas, the varsity soccer team edged the Bruins in Providence, 2-1, Saturday, clinching its first Ivy League title since 1963.
Before the game even began, the Crimson knew that it had a battle on its hands. The field- at the bottom of a hill- was not rolled before the game. Consequently, it was wet and muddy, cutting the Crimson's speed and passing ability.
A large crowd, estimated at 1600, was also there to cheer on the Brown squad, proving to be like the Bruins themselves: obnoxious and, at times, unsportsmanlike.
Coach Bruce Munro started his second team in the first period. He wanted to give the first team a chance to see the Bruins in action on the muddy field. Munro had used the same strategy in the 6-0 B.U, rout, but this time the first team did not explode as it had done before.
Brown's buffalo-like fullbacks dept booming the ball out of their zone. The Crimson could not establish its short pass game, and had to resort to the Bruins long pass technique.
The Bruins took the lead in the second period Forward Jim Bender lofted the ball past Bill Meyers, who would have had a chance to stop it if it hadn't been wet and muddy. The ball slipped through his fingers.
The Crimson booters didn't wait ten seconds before they tied the Bruins. Catching a long pass on his foot, Phil Kydes dribbled to within ten yards of the goal. He saw Gomez and passed to him, Gomez eluded a burly fullback to put it in.
Kydes kept the Harvard attack moving. While almost everyone was having trouble gaining steady footing in the wet grass the short forward could not be stopped.
The Bruins were rougher than usual. They tried to get Harvard riled up so that they would either be thrown out or lose their effectiveness as team members. They bruised Thomas's shin's managed to get. Bill Brock kicked out of the game, and worked hard on Gomez. Like a pro. Gomez took it, and gave it back- when the referees weren't looking.
Harvard took the lead in the third period. Taking a long pass. Thomas out across the Brown goal, faked the goalie, and put the ball in the opposite corner.
For most of the game, Gomez and Thomas were the only forwards as the other two, Kydes and Pete Bogovich, dropped back and helped the halfbacks dig the ball out of the mud.
In the game against Southern Connecticut this afternoon- the first round of the national championships- the Crimson will go back to its customary 4-3-3 line up Harvard hopes to break out of its scoring Slump in the game against the Owls. The defense has carried the team past its tough competition, but it will need the full power of the offense if it is to go on to the finals.
The Owls, however, will be trying to stop the Crimson with a stacked defense that sports four fullbacks. They don't have any outstanding performers, but are strong at all positions.
The Owls also have a tendency to move all their men back into their zone should they take a one or two goal lead. Consequently long passes have little chance of making it in Harvard will have to re-establish its short pass game if it hopes to score against this defense.
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