Crimson heavyweight Kip Smith pinned his foe last night to give the Harvard matmen a come-from-behind, 22-19 victory over Lowell University.
"If you had told me before the season that we would beat Hofstra and then lose to Lowell," Harvard coach John Lee said last night, "I would have had no conception of that." And yet that's what almost happened to the Crimson, probably because Lee took the Terriers too lightly.
With several of his regulars questionable because of minor injuries, Lee chose to keep them on the bench and let them mend for the upcoming Ivy League schedule, trotting out his reserves instead. The result was a match that went down to the final bout before Smith put it away.
Lowell forfeited the first bout to give the Crimson an early 6-0 lead, but then Milt Yasunaga's second, freshman Ray Dominquez, battled to a tie at 126 lbs. Bill Mulvihill (134 lbs.) won easily, but then things started to go sour.
Tied at 11
Bill Snyder (142 lbs.), subbing for the long-idled Bob Cusumano, lsot a 3-2 squeaker, and then freshman Doug Mason (150 lbs.), starting over regular Tom Bixby, was pinned in the third period of his bout. Suddenly, Lowell had pulled even, 11-11.
Jim Corcoran (158 lbs.) stayed mired in his surprising slump, wrestling defensively and hesitantly on the way to a disappointing 1-1 tie.
In the next bout, a near-fall earned Harvard's Ed Bordley (167 lbs.) two points when Lee felt his matman deserved three, and the Crimson grappler went on to lose, 8-7.
Sal D'agostino (190 lbs.) ran his undefeated record up to 8-0 in the next bout, completely manhandling his foe but managing only a 15-8 triumph. With two bouts remaining, it was anybody's match, 16-16.
Fred Smith (190 lbs.) was called for stalling twice in the first of those two crucial bouts on the way to a 6-5 loss that apparently put the Terriers in the driver's seat.
"Fred is a much better wrestler than that," Lee said. "He's just got to start wrestling on the mat the way he can in the practice room."
Matches have a way of being clinched one way or the other before Kip Smith ever gets his chance, and he must relish an occasional opportunity to decide things himself. He rose to the occasion last night, turning his foe over for a contest-clinching pin when it appeared that Lowell had earned at least a tie.
The victory left Harvard with five wins in eight outings.