Are you sick of Harvard soccer teams that unluckily lose frustratingly close games? Relax, your cure is here. The Harvard women's soccer eleven journeys to Tufts this morning and they're "gonna win" as co-captain Julie Brynteson screamed yesterday, letting down her tactically cautious guard for just long enough to let her real confidence show through.
Having lost but four of last year's stellar 9-2-1 starting squad, having replaced them with players who are perhaps even better, and having had about three weeks of practice already, the Crimson figures to be one of the two or three most powerful squads in New England.
Coach Bob Scalise, unwilling to go out on anything but a very thick limb, did warn yesterday that other teams could be made much better with the addition of just one or two fine new players. But he went on to grudgingly admit that, "With our strong nucleus from last year we should be competitive with anybody."
Scoring machine Sue St. Louis, who manufactured 17 tallies in 1977, returns to spearhead the offense which looked even more devastating than last season's yesterday in practice. Brynteson, on the right wing, Ellen Hart playing inside with St. Louis, and Cat Ferrante, a freshman coming off two years of high school soccer plus a summer of pick-up games with neighborhood boys, make up a front line almost as intimidating as the Cosmos store-bought international front.
The defense is the only area that appeared to bother Scalise as he contemplated the season yesterday. Having lost goalie Irene Kacandes, and fullbacks Natalie Roe and Rian Smith, who are all taking the year off, the defense is somewhat disorganized, although still talented.
In goal, at least, Scalise felt the team would be "stronger than last year." Barbara Mahon, a tall, lanky freshman, played goal for four years in Lakeville, Ct. and looked both well skilled and agile as she drilled near Soldier's Field yesterday. With two solid backup goalies including a freshman, Marlene Schoffs, who is just learning the position and, according to Scalise, "potentially could be tremendous," the Crimson should have little trouble in net.
Replacing Roe and Smith are two booters just learning to play the fullback position; Sally Kingsberg, a backup striker to St. Louis last year, has had a short apprenticeship at right fullback, and Stefi Baum, a junior joining the team for the first time, is at center full.
The halfbacks Kathy Batter, Gia Johnson and Sarah Fischer, up from center fullback, are some of the best athletes on the team and need only to learn to co-ordinate their play with that of the fullbacks to weld a goal-tight shield around Mahon.
So, win-hungry Crimson soccer fans, your appetite is about to be satisfied. Figure this Harvard soccer team to win each game by about a try and a drop-kick.