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Whoever said experience wins games obviously hasn't watched Harvard athletics this fall. For three teams this season--field hockey, and both men's and women's soccer--youth has been served in goal. All three teams are enjoying incredible success this year complete with national rankings.
Sophomore Jordan DuPuis and freshman Anne Browning for the soccer teams, and Anya Cowan for the field hockey team, solidify their respective defenses and exhibit leadership on the field beyond what is to be expected of such an inexperienced group.
Anne Browning has stepped up this year for a women's soccer team (7-0, 3-0 Ivy) that is enjoying its best season ever, ranked 12th in the nation in the most recent women's soccer poll. Anne has quickly developed into a force to be dealt with in goal.
"She's become more and more vocal...and is taking control of the defense," co-captain Rachel Chernikoff said.
Browning certainly is in a "must succeed" position for the team and has overcome obstacles and performed well for the undefeated Crimson.
"She's had a 'trial by fire' this year," Chernikoff said. "You can see at times that she hasn't had the experience, but she hasn't played like a...freshman. She's gotten more comfortable [as the season has progressed]...and is an intimidating presence on the field."
Browning understands the demands placed on her, but feels that the rest of the team has been nothing but positive.
"The transition to the new structure of defense [has been difficult]," Browning said. "But most of the pressure I put on myself. The best part of the team is the atmosphere."
The six-foot Browning has fit in with the team well, earning the nickname "Sweet Pea" for her soft-spoken and considerate manner despite her aggressive, vocal soccer persona on the field.
Jordan DuPuis has grown along with the rest of the men's soccer team. As a sophomore this year, he was here for last season's dismal 6-8-3 campaign. However, this has been a completely new year for the Crimson (7-1, 3-1 Ivy), who now enjoys a seven game winning streak.
"It's been very positive this year," DuPuis said of the '96 campaign. "There has been an overall change from last year".
For Dupuis individually, it has been his "attitude" that is different this year, an attitude that he worked to change in the offseason.
And, although DuPuis feels some pressure from the team's success, the atmosphere around the team has been a great source of inspiration.
"As we keep winning, the pressure grows, especially in not really big games," DuPuis said. "But that's changing now that we're ranked. [The positive attitude] builds on the team from game to game".
But despite the success of the above, it may be Anya Cowan who has had the biggest impact on her team. Cowan, another freshman keeper, has played every minute of every game for the 16th ranked field hockey team(5-3, 2-0 Ivy).
Cowan, an Ivy League Rookie of the Week, has exhibited a talent and temperament that has made her an anchor for the team.
"We're never concerned that she's not going to be there for us," captain Daphne Clark said. "She adds great stability to the defense."
Cowan too has had to deal with the pressure that comes with playing the most visible position on the field and with being the last line of defense for a very successful team.
But those around her have already begun to look to her for leadership, as her experience grows quickly with all the playing time she receives.
"She's very calm, and very sure of herself," Clark said. "She deals with the pressure well, and doesn't play as a freshman...I can't say enough about her.
The men's and women's soccer teams and the field hockey team all appear to have the foundations for winning seasons this fall and for
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