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Jason Luzak's Harvard life is incomplete.
He will not comment on whether he has visited the Widener stacks with carnal intent. Nobody will testify to his temporary presence on John Harvard's lap.
But that's not what leaves him empty inside.
In the senior captain's first three years in Cambridge, the Harvard men's soccer team (1-0-0 Ivy, 2-0-0 overall) has not vanquished Yale, falling 1-0 in `89, 2-0 in `90, and 3-1 (in overtime) last year.
This history of losses has Luzak grasping for a short-term goal (Beat Yale!) en route to a grander challenge (the Ivy title).
Luzak's last chance comes tomorrow, as the Elis (0-1-0 Ivy, 2-1-0 overall) come to Cambridge for the 78th meeting between the two Ivy rivals (2 p.m. at Ohiri Field).
Yale, the Ivy League champ and a NCAA quarterfinalist one year ago, appears vulnerable. Although the New Haven team thumped Rhode Island, 3-0, on Tuesday to pick up its second win, last weekend's shocking 3-2 loss to Brown alerted every Ivy school that the Elis are not quite at the top of their game.
Injuries to seniors Marco Bonaccorsi (last year's second-leading scorer), forward Rick Fullerton and defender Rich Desmarais have hobbled Yale--which lost only two of 12 players to graduation--in its opening contests.
"We have had a very disrupted training because of injuries, and have not really gotten ourselves organized," Yale Coach Steve Griggs said.
Still, one defeat does not an Ivy season ruin.
The eventual Ivy champion often has at least one league loss.
Yale's injury problem, moreover, may have cleared up, as Desmarais and Bonaccorsi are listed as probable for tomorrow's contest.
"I can guarantee they will come in here Sunday breathing fire," predicted Harvard Coach Steve Locker. "Yale was a bit upset by that particular game [the loss to Brown], and now they must win all their league games."
Despite his professed "cautious optimism," first-year coach Locker must be impressed with his team's initial performances. For Harvard, a middle-rank performer over the past three years, the times, they are a changing.
Two victories grasped in the final moments buoy Harvard hopes for its first 3-0 start since 1972.
Experience and Youth
Columbia and Connecticut both fell to a striking combination of experience and youth, as Luzak (2 goals, 2 assists), freshman Chris Wojik (1 goals, 2 assists) and sophomore Derrick Swaim (2 goals) found their scoring touch as time expired. Columbia was toppled in overtime, and Swaim's score at 89:24 of the Huskies game stunned Connecticut.
"We always says the most dangerous times in games are in the first and last five minutes of each period," Locker said. "It's obvious our guys have the willingness to work to the end."
This offensive lightning, despite its tendency to wait for the final storm, leaves the Crimson confident it can win any contest--even, or maybe especially, against Yale.
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