Crimson Soccer: A Long Season Ends Saturday

What Went Wrong?

"It's just like a nightmare," Harvard goaltender Fred Herold said yesterday, smiling but shaking his head. "So many things went wrong."

The slightly built, red-haired junior would know as well as anyone--all season, he has had the task of defending a Crimson goal that has at times seemed unusually big. The soccer team has won only two of twelve games while being outscored 30-13 on the year.

What went wrong?

"We never really got any pattern of play established," Herold said, "and nobody ever got any confidence because we didn't win any early games."

Herold & Co. have but one chance left to salvage something of the 1976 season in Saturday morning's game against Yale. The odds are good, for the Elis have been pretty much flooded by their opposition this season, too.

"If we have a chance to beat anybody, we have a chance to beat Yale," Herold said. After a pause he added, "I think we're gonna beat'em."

Even a win over Yale, though, would leave the team at just 2-5 in the Ivies, and it would not erase the eight-game losing streak that began with Cornell (on October 9) to the present.

"There were some basic things that went wrong," Herold said. "Number one, we lost the first couple games and never got a chance to build the confidence we needed; and second, the team never did the kind of work required to get a winning feeling."

Certainly, the talent was--and still is--there. Senior co-captains Lyman Bullard and Dave Acorn combined for 21 goals in their sophomore and junior years; but they have scored only three times this season, partly because of the nagging injuries each has suffered.

There is a good deal of other talent, too: rugged halfback Chris Saunders, standout sweeper fullback George Grassby, Herold and a long list of talented players.

The talent apparently did not help, however.

"We never established any unity on the field," Herold said, "and the talent of the players was subdued because of this."

Ah hah! Talent but a poor record. Coach George Ford, it would seem, therefore deserves most of the blame.

Well, not really. Listen to Fred: "It's easy to blame Ford--and he could have helped at certain spots along the way and didn't--but you have to blame the players for the record."

But if the talent's there, what's the problem? Back to you, Fred: "I think we outplayed a lot of teams this year--there's just something about being a winner and a loser. When you start losing, you get a negative attitude, and our team's guilty of that."

Sports teams, like defendants, are innocent until proven guilty, however, and George Ford's 1976 booters have one last chance to exonerate themselves on the Business School field Saturday morning. Don't be surprised if their efforts are successful, with Fred Herold leading the defense.