SEASON RECAP: Crimson Struggles To Compete For Most of Season

Eight-game winless streak results in fifth-place Ivy League finish

Joseph L. Abel

Junior Charles Altcheck was an unstoppable offensive force, tallying 11 goals to lead the Ivy League by four goals and earning the Ivy League Player of the Year award.

Junior Charles Altcheck of the Harvard men’s soccer team brought home some hardware—the 2006 Ivy League Player of the Year trophy—but the rest of the Crimson did not. After struggling in 2005 with a 6-8-2 record and a 2-4-1 mark in the Ancient Eight, Harvard stayed home while Brown and Yale represented the league in the NCAA Tournament.

From the Crimson’s first Ivy League game on, Harvard was mired in an eight-game winless streak that buried its hopes for postseason play.

The run was capped by a disappointing loss to Rhode Island in which the Crimson held a 3-0 lead 35 minutes into the game. After two goals by freshman John Stamatis helped build the lead, the defense and senior goalie Ryan Johnson surrendered four tallies to lose five minutes into overtime.

“It’s hard work to track players, and some of our guys weren’t willing to do that—and we paid the price,” said Harvard coach John Kerr after the game.

The other six losses of the Crimson’s painful streak included four other Ivy League matches.

The first of those losses was to Cornell.

After Harvard came back to tie the game at two, the Big Red was able to score in the last 37 seconds for the win.

The Crimson then failed to score against Brown, losing 2-0 for its fifth straight loss.

Harvard made another valiant effort to end its winless streak when it played Princeton, ending the game not in a loss but a 1-1 tie.

Harvard was able to draw first blood in its game against Dartmouth when Altchek scored a goal early in the game, but the Crimson could not hold on and lost 2-1.

The end of the season brought a number of positives, with a 1-0 win over Columbia and a 3-2 victory over Penn: the Crimson’s only two wins in the Ivy League.

“Maybe it was not the best timing for it all to come together now at the end,” Kerr said. “But that’s life. It absolutely helps the morale of the team going forward into next season.”

Altchek took League Player of Year award honors with a statistically dominant season. He scored 11 goals, the most in the league by four, and led the Ivies in all scoring categories.

—Staff writer Abigail M. Baird can be reached at