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Outplaying Dartmouth on the field, but, as usual, only tied on the scoreboard at the half, the unbeaten Harvard soccer team treated the fans at the Business School to its traditional second half scoring exhibition by pouring five goals past the shellshocked Big Green goalie on route to an easy 7-2 win and its sixth victory of the year.
The Crimson, which thus far this season has been almost exclusively a second half team--outscoring its opponents 8-3 in the first half and a phenomenal 2-4 in the second--waited once again until the final 30 minutes before breaking the game wide open. Dragan Vujovie, who had hits best game of the season with two goals and an assist, began a scoring parade with a goal assisted by Felix Adedeji, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Three Goals for Chris
Seven minutes later Chris Papagianis headed in the first of his three goals to put the game out of reach at 4-2. Papagianis, who is playing the best soccer of his career, added three assists on the day to up his Ivy League leading scoring totals to an unbelievable 13 points in three games.
The scoring continued minutes later when an Adedeji pass and left footed blast by Bent Hinze increased the Harvard lead to 5-2. Papagianis converted another Hinze corner kick into a goal and then took a pass from linkman Demetrio Mena, and while falling down sent a dribbling ground ball past the Dartmouth goalie for his hat trick.
The second half scoring broke open what had been in the first half a close game. Harvard started out well, pressuring the Big Green defense, and with 10 minutes gone a Vujovic-to-Papagianis-to-Vujovic passing play resulted at the first score. Dartmouth had, however, several scoring opportunities in the early part of the game, but both times a Big Green shot went over the crossbar.
Dartmouth, which is used a long passing, last break offense, tried to break through the Harvard defense with long fullback clears to Frank Gallo, its chief offensive threat, but captain Ric Scott and Brian Fearnett shut off the middle effectively and Dartmouth was forced to come down the wings.
Dartmouth' long game payed off however when a centering pass from the corner was converted into a score. Coles' shot, a bullet from 15 yards out, beat goalie Steve Kedder cleanly. Another Coles' boomer, from a similar angle and distance game Dartmouth a surprising 2-1 lead midway through the half, giving the Big Green's four fans a lot to cheer about.
Dartmouth's lead was, however, shortlived, and for the rest of the afternoon it was the Crimson fans who were cheering. Felix Adedeji, who played the entire game after sitting out the Wesleyan game and playing against Cornell hobbled by muscle spasms in his back, pulled Harvard even with 15 minutes to go in the half. Adedeji dribbled through the defense, stood with the ball, turned to the goal and sent a grounder dribbling into the nets. It was a classic "the ball had eyes" goal.
The Harvard defense had trouble spotting the ball in the won in the first half, but played right, confident ball in the second half, completely nullifying the Dartmouth offense and getting back well on fast breaks. Henry Sideropoulos and Ric LaCivita both played good games, tackling effectively, stealing the ball and taking away the outside. Captain Ric Scott played his usual hustling, steady game while Brian Fearnett stole the ball numerous times is initiate Harvard rushes.
The midfield area was perhaps the Crimson's strong point. Bahman Mossaver-Rahmani and Demetrio Mena had a field day dribbling around and through Big Green defenders, and linkman Emmanuel Ekama, who has missed the last three games as a result of a tore foot, saw considerable action yesterday. Ekama played well despite continuing pain in his foot.
"Offensively, it was another superlative game for Harvard. All four offensive starters had goals and the balance of the scoring was incredible: Papagianis (3 goals, 3 assists); Vujovic (2 goals, 1 assist); Adedeji (1 goal, 1 assist) and Hinze (1 goal). "They're still hurting now," head coach Bruce Munro said after the game, "but imagine what they'll do when they are healthy."
"It took us a whole half to get untracked again," Munro said. "We looked complacent in the first half, but we can wear down a team the way we move the ball and Dartmouth was worn out halfway through the second half."
Papagianis, who half sparked the Crimson wins over Cornell and Dartmouth, seems to be getting better with each passing game. He has already tied teammate Adedeji's Ivy record for most points in a season with 13 and seems a cinch to smash that record in his final four Ivy games. With a healthy Adedeji, Papagianis, Vujovic and Hinze set to play next Saturday against Penn, the Crimson could be unstoppable.
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