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Fred Herold's personality is a study in steadiness--both on and off the soccer field, where he is captain and goalie, Herold controls the world around him with a calm, even hand. And he is definitely (one of his favorite words), yes, very definitely, in control.
In fact, he is so in control that he is to the point of being damn near perfect. The slender, curly red-haired, apple-pie faced Herold strikes a thoroughly All American image--he's modest, he breaks out in a face-wide grin at the slightest provocation, and he doesn't kick water coolers, swear at referees. chase women, or butt in line at the Coop.
And if the wearer of an All-American tag is supposed to be a good athlete, well, Herold fits the mold. Currently in his third year occupying the goal for Harvard. "Freedo" (a nickname that somehow sounds too exotic for the even-keeled Herold) has compiled slightly under 2.0 goals-against average.
But until this autumn's thus far golden season, the goalkeeping job has assumed nightmarish proportions at times for Herold. During last year's 2-10-1 campaign, Fredo found himself operating behind a sometimes sieve-like defense--a situation that calls more for qualities of outlandishness, or craziness, than for steadiness.
"Last year," Herold said, shrugging and forcing a smile, "was definitely a bad year. We couldn't score, the team had a bad attitude, and it just wasn't fun at all."
This year, Herold is riding high once more. Working behind a virgin fullback line, Fred strutted his stuff right from the season's opening gun, stopping breakaways right and left against Columbia.
From there, the story has been one of success. Herold has registered 50 saves in the four games since Columbia, allowing but four goals in that span. Best of all, he seems to have developed enough confidence to overcome his only earlier weakness--hanging back in one-on-one situations.
No one knows what fate holds in store for Herold and Co. as the booters enter the tough part of the schedule Friday, but for now, the squad is sitting pretty.
And Herold, quietly confident in his performance so far, has but a few problems. Witness this vintage Herold, from earlier this week: "One thing I definitely worry about is that some of the guys might not like it if my name gets in the paper too much."
Untrue, Fred, untrue. With the way Herold has been tending the nets, his teammates have spoken only words of praise for their captain. Said fullback John Sanacore of Herold's shutout against Cornell: "I thought he played a perfect game."
The 0-0 tie against hightly-touted Cornell pleased Herold, as well. The tie proved that the Crimson's strong showing in two earlier wins was no fluke, and it helped put an end to a long string of frustration both for the team and for Herold.
"That," Herold said, "was definitely a good game."
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