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He was there, his ball and chains clanging on the bleacher steps. There could be no other explanation for Harvard's 2-0 loss.
Fresh from a night of trick-or-treating, the "Ghost of Harvard Soccer Teams Past" slipped out to Tufts yesterday afternoon to pull a few tricks on the unsuspecting Crimson.
"He" started only 30 seconds into the match when the Jumbos' Jim Wade headed in a Matt Troxell corner kick. From there he led the Crimson through a nightmare of sluggish defense and play-the-opposition's-frantic-style offense. The game was uncharacteristic of a team that almost defeated Brown just three days earlier.
"You could tell it was going to be a long day the way it started out," fullback John Sanacore said after the game. "It was like a high school game."
Coach George Ford started a makeshift lineup of mostly second team players including goalie Bill Blood in place of captain Fred Herold.
This may have explained some early rustiness but no combination of players seemed capable of generating a sustained attack.
The Crimson's best chances came in a 15-minute stretch in the second half. Mike Smith and Tom Hsiao penetrated on the right side. Alberto Villar and Andy Kronfeld found a few openings on the left wing but in every case the Tufts defense foiled the Harvard thrusts.
Tufts was getting its chaces too, using speedy wings to break through the Crimson back line. A foul on Jumbo right wing Troxell set up Tuft's second goal. Blood could not handle the free kick and Wade poked in the loose ball.
No, there is no pat answer for the Crimson's woes yesterday, Discussing the juggling of the lineup, Ford said after it was all over, "I took a gamble and it didn't pay off. You can't blame Billy [Blood] though."
The changes would seem to indicate some overconfidence on Ford's part but forward Lee Nelson discounted this. He felt that the second team was indeed better than the Tufts starting team.
Other alibis: Ford felt the forwards were sagging back too far and Sanacore said that the team couldn't seem "to put the ball down and play our game."
Whatever the case, it is clear that the backs and forwards did not work together in bringing the ball up the field and the team (4-4-4) has not notched a win in their last six games. One can only hope that the "Ghost of Harvard Soccer Teams Present" will replace his predecessor by Saturday's game with Penn.
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