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The varsity lacrosse team opens its season next Tuesday against Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J. Although the Crimson has 16 returning lettermen, the team will be hard pressed to better its 1971 performance, when Harvard finished third in the Ivy League.
Coach Bruce Munro feels that Harvard's greatest problem this spring will be lack of depth on attack and defence. Nine of the 16 returning lettermen, including co-captains Bob Green and Verdi DiSesa, play midfield.
In an attempt to strengthen the attack, Munro has moved junior John Hagerty from midfield up front. Hagerty, the second leading scorer last year, will play with Steve Milliken, Steve Leahy, and sophomore Grant Geiger, who was top freshman scorer last year.
The Crimson's defense will be the team's weak spot, with only one experiences player, senior Rob Barber. Munro will miss the skills of senior Eric Walsh and junior Charlie Kittredge; Walsh decided not to play lacrosse this season, while Kittredge is currently on a leave of absence.
The Crimson's toughest opponents will likely be Navy, Cornell, Brown and Yale.
Over the years Harvard has compiled a dismal 0-28-1 record against Navy, while last season Cornell and Brown thoroughly beat the Crimson, 9-3 and 11-5.
To place in the top three of the Ivy League. Harvard will have to beat either Cornell or Brown. Victories over all three teams--though unlikely--would probably give the Crimson the Ivy title.
To equal their 1971 record, the laxmen will have to down both Rutgers and Massachusetts, which took the Crimson into overtime before losing last year. Both games are away, and the Crimson will have had only one week of outdoor practice when it faces Rutgers Tuesday.
The Pennsylvania game will be Harvard's first on astroturf and under lights. If the Crimson has trouble with high bounces off the artificial surface, Pennsylvania could win an upset.
Harvard should beat the rest of its opponents easily. Last season the Crimson crushed Williams, Princeton and MIT by scores of 19-3, 16-6, and 25-4.
Co-captain Green is hesitant about making a specific prediction for the season. "Generally we're an inexperienced team," he said. "On paper there is not reason to predict we'll do especially well. We are capable of beating teams like Brown and Cornell, although if we did, it would be an upset."
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