Any hopes the Harvard men's lacrosse team might have entertained about coasting through the 1981 season on the wings of victory were squashed last week as the Crimson started its campaign off with three straight spring-break losses.
The Crimson, ranked 11th nationwide in a preseason coaches' poll, was blown away, 13-2, by Cornell Saturday, after falling 17-4 and 12-9 to Johns Hopkins and Delaware respectively earlier in this week.
At least two of the losses might have been expected--Hopkins was ranked first in the preseason poll and Cornell was sixth--but what is surprising is the relative ease with which all three teams did away with the Crimson.
Gotta Get In to Get Out
"We were never really in any of the games," coach Bob Scalise said after the Cornell contest. "Not even the Delaware game was close--at one point they had us, 12-3."
Scalise said that in the future the Crimson will try to slow down its pace. "We've been playing too fast and have had too many turnovers--we're going to play a much more controlled kind of game from now on."
At least as disappointing to the team as the three losses last week were injuries suffered by two key players. Brendan Meagher and Norm Forbush.
Meagher, a high scoring middie on last year's seventh-ranked Crimson squad and one of the country's finest face-off men, suffered torn knee ligaments during the opening minute of play against Hopkins and is not expected to return this season.
Forbush, who separated his shoulder at Cornell, will not be back for at least a week.
"The players are very down right now, especially because we had such high expectations going into the season." Scalise said. "The losses and the injuries have really shaken the team up."
He added that lack of practice time was a big reason for Harvard's poor performances in the opening games. "Hopkins and Delaware each had a seven-game fall schedule, and Cornell has much better facilities for winter workouts."