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New Coach Looking To Revive M. Booters

By Ted G. Rose, Crimson Staff Writer

He has only been the head coach of the Harvard men's soccer team for a few weeks, but don't be fooled: Steve Locker is a man with a definite plan.

"Any time a program changes coaches, it begins a new era," Locker said. "I think we're certainly looking at a new era here."

The "old era" of the Harvard men's soccer team, led by former head coach Mike Getman who resigned in February, featured inconsistent performances, low morale and disappointing win-loss records over the last three seasons.

The "new era," Locker vowed, will be much different.

"This team has had three seasons in a row at or below the .500 level," Locker said. "That's just not acceptable to me. And I don't want it to be acceptable to the players either."

Surrounded by his half-unpacked cardboard boxes and the bare, white walls of his office before the season, Locker presented his vision of a new Harvard squad: higher self-confidence and greater success on the field.

Locker injected that confidence and success into the Division III University of Rochester program where he compiled a 34-14-4 record over three years, including a 14-2 mark in 1991.

"There aren't too many schools I would have left Rochester for," said Locker, who accepted Harvard's offer in May, "but it is of paramount importance to me to work in an academic environment that isat the very top."

Now Locker hopes he can give Harvard a soccerteam that will match up to the school's academicstandards.

"Initially, we're looking for excitement aboutthe program," Locker explained. "We want to wingames, but I don't think we're going to measureour success by the number of wins and losses thatwe have."

The new coach said he'll stress communicationamong the players and between the players and thecoaching staff. He believes this "bond of trust"will translate into better team dynamics.

Locker said he also wants to stress thedevelopment of individual player's skills for bothcollegiate and post-collegiate soccer. Inaddition, he'll concentrate on attracting speedyrecruits who display a positive attitude and solidskills.

"Being big is not as important to me as havingstrength on the ball," Locker said. "Speed is alsovery important, because it's something you can'tteach. I can make a player stronger, but notfaster."

The Crimson attack, Locker promises, will be atactical one, not one that relies on luck.

This statement will be greeted warmly by someplayers who criticized Getman for lacking coachingstrategy or any skill.

"We won't preach a long ball type of game wherewe just kick it and try to muscle the ball in thegoal," Locker said.

Finally, however, the key to a focused team isfocused practices. From now on, Locker said,Harvard's training will be "extremely intense" and"extremely competitive."

If the players are willing to work, Lockerpromises that Harvard will return to the nationalcollegiate scene soon, a place it occupied for anumber of years in the mid-1980s.

"I understand by talking to last year's Captain[Brian Enge] that the team is hungry to work andto learn. That's all I need to hear," Locker saidwith a smile. "If it's true, we're going to have agood time."

MEN'S SOCCER: '92 SCHEDULE

9/19  at Columbia  11:00 a.m.9/23  Connecticut  3:00 p.m.9/27  Yale  2:00 p.m.9/30  New Hampshire  3:00 p.m.10/3  at Hartwick  2:00 p.m.10/8  Boston University  3:00 p.m.10/10  Cornell  11:00 a.m.10/13  at Maine  2:00 p.m.10/17  Hofstra  1:00 p.m.10/23  at Princeton  7:30 p.m.10/25  at Pennsylvania  1:00 p.m.10/28  at Boston College  2:30 p.m.10/31  Dartmouth  11:00 a.m.11/4  at Holy Cross  2:00 p.m.11/7  Brown  11:00 a.m.

Now Locker hopes he can give Harvard a soccerteam that will match up to the school's academicstandards.

"Initially, we're looking for excitement aboutthe program," Locker explained. "We want to wingames, but I don't think we're going to measureour success by the number of wins and losses thatwe have."

The new coach said he'll stress communicationamong the players and between the players and thecoaching staff. He believes this "bond of trust"will translate into better team dynamics.

Locker said he also wants to stress thedevelopment of individual player's skills for bothcollegiate and post-collegiate soccer. Inaddition, he'll concentrate on attracting speedyrecruits who display a positive attitude and solidskills.

"Being big is not as important to me as havingstrength on the ball," Locker said. "Speed is alsovery important, because it's something you can'tteach. I can make a player stronger, but notfaster."

The Crimson attack, Locker promises, will be atactical one, not one that relies on luck.

This statement will be greeted warmly by someplayers who criticized Getman for lacking coachingstrategy or any skill.

"We won't preach a long ball type of game wherewe just kick it and try to muscle the ball in thegoal," Locker said.

Finally, however, the key to a focused team isfocused practices. From now on, Locker said,Harvard's training will be "extremely intense" and"extremely competitive."

If the players are willing to work, Lockerpromises that Harvard will return to the nationalcollegiate scene soon, a place it occupied for anumber of years in the mid-1980s.

"I understand by talking to last year's Captain[Brian Enge] that the team is hungry to work andto learn. That's all I need to hear," Locker saidwith a smile. "If it's true, we're going to have agood time."

MEN'S SOCCER: '92 SCHEDULE

9/19  at Columbia  11:00 a.m.9/23  Connecticut  3:00 p.m.9/27  Yale  2:00 p.m.9/30  New Hampshire  3:00 p.m.10/3  at Hartwick  2:00 p.m.10/8  Boston University  3:00 p.m.10/10  Cornell  11:00 a.m.10/13  at Maine  2:00 p.m.10/17  Hofstra  1:00 p.m.10/23  at Princeton  7:30 p.m.10/25  at Pennsylvania  1:00 p.m.10/28  at Boston College  2:30 p.m.10/31  Dartmouth  11:00 a.m.11/4  at Holy Cross  2:00 p.m.11/7  Brown  11:00 a.m.

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