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When the Ivy League schools--with the exception of Columbia--gather for the women's soccer tournament banquet on Friday night at the Cronkhite Graduate Center. Harvard coach Bob Scalise will be at a ceremony in Providence, R.I.
That night, Scalise will be inducted into the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding undergraduate lacrosse career.
If this is a Bruin plot to make Scalise feel guilty about having coached his team to a 3-0 drubbing of his alma mater in last year's championship so that the Crimson will ease up this year, it won't work.
"I love beating Brown," Scalise said recently.
Seeded number one, Harvard received a "bye" in the first round of single elimination and must dispose of either Princeton or Dartmouth in order to get a shot at the Bruins in the final.
The fifth-seeded Big Green and the fourth-seeded Tigers dropped 2-1 and 4-0 dual matches, respectively, to Harvard this season. Despite the discrepancies in the scores, Princeton and Dartmouth are evenly matched, even though the Big Green's aggressiveness may overpower the Tigers' skillful play. Be prepared for a close, hard-fought match today at 3 p.m. at Soldiers Field.
In a match-up that would make a Harvard-Alabama game look even, Brown should have no trouble disposing of Pennsylvania today. A first-year club team, the Quakers have yet to win a game this season, and nothing short of a miracle will change that fact.
Third-seeded Yale also should have an easy time entering the second round after meeting the two-year-old Cornell squad.
If you're looking for an upset, this Saturday's Yale-Brown match might be the one. Although Brown soundly beat Yale, 5-0, in regular season play, the Elis are a scrappy team with a 6-2 record and a coach full of tricks, making them a definite contender.
No Underdog Here
Brown, however, should not be underrated. The Crimson barely edged the Bruins in a nailbiting 1-0 game under the lights at Aldrich Dexter field in Providence earlier this season.
Since that game the five starting Bruin freshmen have gained some valuable experience, and the offensive line has increased its attack.
Also, since the final will be played on the men's soccer field at the Business School, the Crimson won't have a home field advantage.
Still, Harvard has the psychological edge, having topped Brown in the teams' past four encounters. And although the Crimson registered its first loss of the season Tuesday in a thrilling, 4-3 overtime game against Massachusetts, the Minutemen had previously embarrassed Brown, 3-0.
While Scalise may love beating Brown, Brown coach Phil Pincince had mixed feelings about playing Harvard: "We want a crack at Harvard, but we wouldn't mind it if Princeton or Dartmouth win."
Yet neither Harvard or Brown will get the last laugh this weekend since, regardless of the outcome of the Ivies, the two teams are scheduled to meet again at the Eastern Championships to be held next weekend at Brown.
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