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Harvard Soccer Team Faces Williams In the Crimson's First Crucial Game

By Charles B. Straus

The Harvard varsity soccer team, coming off a traditionally uninspired and relatively unimportant 5-0 rout of MIT, faces its first crucial test of the season this afternoon when it hosts a strong Williams squad at 12:30 p.m. on the Business School field.

Williams, presently ranked second in New England to the Crimson, has its team returning virtually intact. Last year, the Ephman finished strong, gaining an identical runner-up spot to Harvard and showing well in the NAIA small college tournament.

Besides bringing to Cambridge a readymade team, a contrast to Harvard, Williams also enjoys a considerable advantage in terms of practice time: the Ephman began workouts a full two weeks prior to the Crimson.

These two factors, while not easily measurable, may work in the Ephman's favor today unless Harvard is able to exploit its edge in individual talent, and more crucially, begin to jell as an effective unit. The ability of the Crimson to successfully play a team game early in the season, an object of great concern so far this fall, may be the key to determining the outcome.

Offense Disorganized

The offense, while clicking for five goals against a porous MIT defense, looked disorganized. This is no doubt because the starters lack the time and experience playing with each other and a knowledge of each other's moves that is tantamount to offensive precision. As coach Brace Munro remarked earlier in the week. "With four strangers on the line, it takes time." He hopes however, to begin implementing some offensive plays today, and hopefully the offense will begin to play more effectively.

Defensively, the diagonal formation in this year's 4-2-4 responded well against the Engineers but was not severely tested, as it will no doubt be today by a quality Williams offense. Goalie Steve Kidder played confidently in the nets on Wednesday, but may be another question mark against the Ephman.

Injuries, which invariably signal the downfall of any team, are particularly important this season because of Harvard's overall lack of depth. As Munro admitted yesterday, "We're thin." Unfortunately, several starters have already suffered slight injuries as a result of the MIT game, and if any or all are unable to play, or perform at full efficiency, the team and the teamwork will suffer accordingly.

The most doubtful starter of the walking wounded. Captain Rick Scott, may be the most sorely missed. Scott, who has a tight hamstring, dominated the center against MIT from his position as leftcenter fullback, and exhibited tremendous range. All-Ivy forward Fells Adediji developed a sore knee after playing the Engineers, but will probably start. Linkman Emmanuel Ekama, who sat out the second half of Wednesday's game with a groin pull, has not fully recovered, while both wing Demetrio Mena and linkman Bahman Mossavar Rahmani have colds but will play.

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