Coach George Ford's soccer team will face Ivy nemesis Brown in Providence today in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Harvard booters lost the Ivy title to Brown last Saturday on the Business School field, 2-1, and are hoping to avenge the loss.
"We're going down there to win," Ford said yesterday. "Saturday's loss was a matter of a few mistakes, and I think we can take care of that."
No Mental Lapses
Harvard goalie Ben Bryan agreed. "We can beat them," Bryan said. "It's just a question of concentration. They scored both of their goals in about a minute on Saturday. We have to stop the mental lapses."
Harvard's last trip to the NCAAs came in 1972, when the Crimson advanced to the quarter-finals of the national championship. Harvard first edged Rhode Island, 1-0, then beat Brown to take the New England championship.
But this year, the Bruins have been consistently rated ahead of the Crimson in the New England Soccer Coaches' Poll. Ford thinks that may be their downfall.
"They've got a lot of talent and a lot of skill. After beating us last time, they'd better not walk into the game too confident," he said. "It may do them in."
"We didn't know much about them when we went against them on Saturday. Now that we've seen them, we'll know what to expect," junior fullback Ralph Booth said yesterday.
Booth said the expected rain may work to Harvard's advantage. "That should help us with our long passing game, and hurt their precise dribbling," he said.
Ford will make few changes in the Crimson's attack. "Everything will be about the same, except we'll have to cover Brown's (Steve) Ralbovsky better. He really controlled the game last time," Ford said.
Harvard will not change its coverage of Bruin forward Fred Pereira. Although Pereira tallied both of Brown's goals on Saturday, Ford cited Ralbovsky as the "real playmaker."
Ford will throw the same 5-2-3 formation that Harvard used in the last game against Brown. "We'll have two strikers up front, with two wingers in support. Mark Zimering will be in the middle," Ford said.
With the lineup and the game plan the same, the difference that Harvard hopes will reverse the outcome is the team spirit. Bryan said, "Now we know we can beat them. We weren't sure about that before Saturday, but now we are."
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