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Booters Explode to Destroy Cornell


Erupting for four goals in an awesome second-half display of power, Harvard's unbeaten soccer team broke open a scoreless half-time tie and sent a Peter Pan busload of surprised Cornell players back to Ithaca, publicly admitting that this year's Crimson squad may indeed by the team to beat this season in the Ivy League.

Cornell, who now sports a 5-3 record, having lost earlier this year to Hartwick (4-2) and Penn (3-2), outshot Harvard in the first half, 7-4, but neither team could muster a consistently penetrating attack and the majority of shots by both teams were taken around the top of the penalty area or even farther out.

For Harvard, the second half was an exercise in perfection. The defense continued to prove airtight, thwarting numerous Big Red attempts to get the ball past midfield. Bahman RahmaniMossavar. Henry Sideropoulos, and Demetrio Mena (who earlier in the first half replaced an injured Emmanuel Ekama) were excellent in breaking up Cornell plays before they could get untracked.

Further back on defense, Brian Fearnett put the clamps on Cornell's big threat Victor Huerta. Teaming with captain Rick Scott and Rick LaCivita, the trio provided goalie Steve Kidder with strong protection and support throughout the contest.

In final statistics, the Crimson outshot Cornell, 14-13, but in the second half Harvard's chances were all from dangerously close in while Cornell was again forced to take most of its shots from long range.

Harvard broke the ice at 1:01 of the second half when Mens intercepted a pass at midfield, shot a pass up to Dragan Vujovic, who hit Chris Papagianis alone on a wing. Papagianis broke in on the goalie and drilled a bullet through his legs for the serve. The goal was one of three points credited to Papagianis Saturday. He assisted on the next two Crimson goals.

Twenty minutes after the first goal, Harvard scored its second tally on a textbook-perfect play. RahmaniMossavar made a chip into the penalty area. Papagianis took it on his chest, the defenseman thought he was going to settle it there and came over to cover it.

But Papagianis let the ball bounce off his chest and across to Felix Adedji, who rocketed it securely home.

Rahmani-Mossavar, who started the scoring play, was a key to the Crimson's success in the second half. He set up many of the deep penetrating drives and was extraordinary in setting up scores with accurate assist passes.

With a two-goal lead, Harvard and Kidder survived the best offensive chance Cornell could throw at them all day. In traffic in front of the Harvard net, Hueets picked off a head ball and drove it a foot to the outside of the post. After an excellent flying save by Kidder two minutes later. Cornell never threatened and the shutout was assured. Both goalies finished with nine saves each.

The Crimson's third goal came as the result of tight defense at midfield, an excellent individual effort by Papagianis, and a sure shot by Vujovic. After weaving his way through defenders heading down the sideline, Papagianis sped by the fulloack, turned the corner and fed Vujovic, who put it away.

Bent Hinze rounded out the Crimson scoring after an adroit dribbling display, five minutes before the final gun. That gave the Harvard front line perfect scoring balance with each member netting a tally.

"You definitely can beat Penn if you play like you did in the second half today." Huerta lamented. "Just keep breaking those wings free and you can do it."

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