Main Menu · Search · Current Issue · Contact · Archives · Centennial · Letters to the Editor · FAQs
|Top: Troy Jones '99, a strong inside runner, scoring his second touchdown against Columbia. He injured a knee against Lehigh and missed the next game. Bottom: Cornerback Glenn Jackson '99 intercepted two Columbia passes. Photographs by Jon Chase|
Was it a vision, or a waking dream? So dominant was the football team in its opening game that Stadium regulars must have been pinching themselves at halftime. At that point Harvard was leading Columbia, 38-7. When the Crimson scored again as the second half opened, coach Tim Murphy excused his starters and let the reserves get some seasoning.
The 45-7 blowout was the most decisive win in Murphy's four years as head coach. The point total was Harvard's highest since 1990. For Columbia, which had narrowly won the last two openers, it was a nightmarish regression. Last year the resurgent Lions compiled their best record since 1945 (8-2 overall, 5-2 in Ivy League play).
Columbia contributed to its own downfall, missing tackles, dropping passes, drawing ill-timed penalties, and yielding four turnovers. But Harvard's success was well-earned. The offensive and defensive units hit hard and showed confidence. Sophomore Rich Linden, now in his second season at quarterback, ran the offense well. He passed for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth. Junior halfback Troy Jones had 101 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. The defense gave up only 46 yards rushing, and picked off three Columbia passes. Cornerback Glenn Jackson '99, burned more than once in last year's game, snared two of them.
The Columbia game, alas, has never been a barometer of success for Crimson football teams. This year's squad has its merits, but the next two games showed that protecting a lead may not be one of them. Giving up four unanswered touchdowns in the final period, Harvard slouched out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a dicey 35-30 win over Lehigh. At the Stadium a week later, the team built a 20-7 lead in the opening period, then was stifled by an unbeaten Bucknell team that handed the Crimson a 24-20 defeat.
With an attack that could generate 100 points in the first three games, and 11 defensive starters back from the 1996 unit, Harvard bids fair to improve on last year's showing (4-6, 2-5 in the Ivy League). Much depends on the arm of Linden, who threw for 590 yards and eight touchdowns in the first three games. Much also depends on developing that important reflex sometimes called the killer instinct.
This year's team has to miss Eion Hu '97, who broke almost every rushing record in three years as a starter. But perhaps not as much as you'd think. Chris Menick '00, last year's number two rusher, now alternates with Troy Jones at tailback. At Lehigh he rushed for 121 yards, a career high. Jones, who played in the defensive secondary and on special teams last year, is a speedster with all-Ivy potential. His exploits in the Columbia game included two touchdowns that were nullified by holding penalties. One was a 92-yard runback that would have gone into the record book as Harvard's longest score on a punt return. With the subs in action, the sparse crowd got to see the squad's smallest and fastest back: Chuck Nwokocha, a 5-foot-6-inch, 160-pound freshman from Arlington, Texas. He scampered for 73 yards on 17 carries.
Tidbits: The narrow escape at Lehigh owed something to the Mountain Hawks' failure to convert on five point-after tries....Flanker Terence Patterson '00, who caught two touchdown passes in the Lehigh game, got to throw a 34-yarder--on a dazzling split-end reverse--that launched Harvard's fourth scoring drive. Patterson was an all-state quarterback at his Tennessee high school....Senior end Colby Skelton caught the 109th pass of his Harvard career against Bucknell, breaking a receiving record set by Pat McInally '75....Kicker Mike Giampaolo '00 earned his keep in the Columbia game. He made good on six conversion tries and a field goal, punted seven times, and averted a minor disaster when a fourth-quarter snap sailed high over his head. Outracing a pride of Lion defenders, Giampaolo snaffled the ball and gave it a left-footed whack that sent it back to the launch site.
The men's soccer team, which last year won the Ivy championship and reeled off 16 consecutive wins, started this fall's campaign with a 2-4-2 mark. Having graduated a group of talented seniors, including last year's Ivy League Player of the Year, Will Kohler '97, the Crimson has a talented side that lacks experience. A group of sophomores, who can claim only a few minutes of varsity experience among them, now patrol midfield. A more experienced Penn side shut out Harvard 1-0 in the opener, despite being outshot by the Crimson 13-8. Then, in another low-scoring game, Harvard tied Boston College 1-1, but lost junior Zach Viders, who scored the lone Crimson goal but had his collarbone broken on the play. Viders is expected to be out six weeks. Harvard posted its first win, a 1-0 whitewash of Columbia, then followed with a 2-1 victory over Providence, featuring two goals by captain Tom McLaughlin '98, who last season scored the most goals in the Ivy League. Despite two early goals (by McLaughlin and Ricky Le '98), Harvard could not hold its lead and settled for a 2-2 double-overtime tie at Yale. A tough overtime loss, 1-0, to Central Connecticut followed, as the Crimson failed to score for 101 minutes, while blanking their opponents for only 100. The goal famine continued at the Stanford/Nike tournament, where nationally ranked teams from Stanford and Berkeley shut out Harvard, 3-0 and 5-0 respectively.
The women's soccer side got off to a 5-2-2 start, though they had trouble mustering offense at the start of the year. A key reason was the absence of star midfielder Emily Stauffer '98, the Ivy League's Player of the Year for the past two seasons, who is taking this year off. Without Stauffer's playmaking, Harvard's scoring opportunities have thinned out noticeably, despite the presence of real talent up front, including forwards Keren Gudeman '98 and Naomi Miller '99. Solid goalkeeping by Jen Burney '99 and Anne Browning '00, and tight defense from four experienced backs, sophomores Gina Foster and Jessica Larson, junior Jaime Chu, and senior Rebe Glass, have also strengthened the squad. The women pulled out a 1-0 overtime win against Boston University to open their campaign, then blew out the University of New Hampshire 4-0, with both Gudeman and Miller notching goals. But then the twelfth-ranked University of Hartford dropped Harvard 2-0, as Miller battled a nagging thigh injury (she nonetheless managed a few of her trademark rocket shots). The netwomen could score only two goals in the next two games, against Columbia and Colorado, but that was enough to win both contests 1-0. The following week, however, the women tied Boston College 1-1, then fell to Yale 3-2 in overtime, despite outshooting the Eli women 24-13. That loss ended the women's 22-game unbeaten streak in the Ivy League. However, the women booters then elevated their play on a southern trip that produced a 1-1 tie with eleventh-ranked George Mason University-- sophomore Beth Zotter tied the game with just over a minute remaining. A convincing 3-1 victory over fourteenth-ranked Maryland followed.
|Forward Dominique Kalil '00 wins a ball. Photograph by Tim Morse|
The field hockey team, 4-4 in early action, began strongly with a 4-0 shellacking of Rhode Island, as sophomore Dominique Kalil and junior Tara LoSovage each scored in the final 15 minutes; the team had 22 short corners, and scored off three. The next day the Crimson went 100 scoreless minutes against the University of New Hampshire before losing 1-0 after two overtime periods and two shootouts. Vermont then shut Harvard out 1-0. This pair of losses was especially frustrating because Harvard outshot New Hampshire and Ver- mont by a combined total of 39-10, yet had no goals to show for it. The stinginess of goaltender Anya Cowan '00 helped keep the Crimson close. In the first Ivy contest, the offense broke loose against Columbia as Harvard blasted the Lions 5-0. Judy Collins '99, who had just played in the Junior World Cup in Korea, tallied two goals and an assist. Tough losses to Connecticut (3-1) and Yale (1-0, overtime), followed, but the stickwomen then turned things around by beating Boston University 2-1, and then Pennsylvania 1-0, the latter in double overtime.
The men's cross country team, led by captain Scott Muoio '99, had a good September, finishing seventh out of 12 teams at the Meet of Champions at Iona College. Muoio finished twenty-first overall, just 45 seconds behind the winner. The women's team did even better at Iona, claiming fifth place in a 16-team field. Junior Margaret Schotte took fifteenth at the meet.
Main Menu ·
Search · Current Issue · Contact · Archives · Centennial · Letters to the Editor · FAQs