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In Washington Park in Groton, Conn. this past summer a strange conglomeration of individuals could often be seen kicking a spotted black and white soccer ball back and forth between makeshift goals made out of surplus shirts and shoes.
Six-and seven-year-old boys, a 60-year-old ex-member of the Spanish national team, and, yes, even girls, brought beads of sweat to their brows in their energetic efforts to make the ball do their bidding. There was at least one girl, that is, tirelessly seeking to banish from male chauvinists' minds the ago-old myth that "the weaker sex" can't play sports.
The name of that girl was Susan St. Louis. Just six weeks after her first game of organized soccer, St. Louis has established herself as one of the premier women's soccer players in the East. By scoring 17 goals in just 11 games and one tournament, she has set a scoring pace that even Phil Esposito in his heyday would have envied.
Harvard's biggest worry now is that the Cosmos, having established a precedent by signing two undergraduate soccer players several weeks ago, will reach down into the honey pot again and spirit St. Louis away from the Crimson and into the N.A.S.L.
But St. Louis herself shuns praise. Despite her prolific goal-scoring she still maintains that "considering the amount I've shot it's embarassing I haven't scored more." She also says, "A lot of my goals have been really garbagey." Yet, least she forget, "garbegey" goals count for one point just like any others. And many of her goals have been far from "garbagey."
A shot boomed into the net after she out-dueled a defender for the ball against Smith, a 30-yard rocket into the upper left corner of the goal against UMass, and a sharp cut left to avoid Stonehill's center fullback before placing the ball into the left corner of the goal with her left foot, all testify to St. Louis's ability to score gowls worthy of any soccer player, male or female.
St. Louis had a scoring slump in the middle of the season when the naturally unselfish player, concerned that she might be hogging the ball too much, became gun-shy, passing when she had opportunities to shoot. If it were not for her reluctance, she might have 25 goals by now. As it is, she has outscored her team's opposition's total this season by seven.
When Sue St. Louis played those pickup games in Groton this summer, she nurtured the hope that in the fall she might "be good enough to make the team" at Harvard. It seems fair to say now that she's reached that level.
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