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Last fall, Emily Stauffer '98 ('99) had a new experience: watching the Harvard women's soccer team play. As a star midfielder in her freshman, sophomore, and junior years, Stauffer was typically central to the action on the field--and as one of the best players in the country, she spent precious little time riding the bench. But then Stauffer took a leave of absence because, as she says, "I wanted to give 100 percent to my brother, and with school and soccer I wouldn't have been able to do that."
Stauffer's older brother Matt, a standout midfielder himself, had captained the Williams varsity. But two years ago he fell ill with leukemia and underwent treatment at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Emily twice donated bone marrow for her brother. The first transplant stimulated a remission that allowed him to resume his studies at Williams, but the disease reappeared and in January, Matt died at 23 of complications ensuing from the second, more aggressive, transplant.
After the ordeal, Emily returned to Harvard and Eliot House for the spring term, continued her course work toward a degree in government, and in June "pretended," she says, "to graduate with my classmates--cap and gown, parties, dinners, gifts--it was great! I walked with my classmates at Commencement, but didn't get a diploma." That will come after one more semester of academic work.
Askew No More|
Murr center--the University's state-of-the-art racquets facility opposite the open end of Harvard Stadium--was ready by mid July for returning students. But in the view from the plate-glass windows of the second-story lounge, something was clearly amiss: the football field below was off-center. The culprit: a track that had encircled the field until 1982 incorporated two additional lanes for sprinters on one side. Out came the bulldozers and approximately 52,000 square feet of sod. In went a new well for irrigation (city water is expensive). One week and $55,000 later, the field was centered perfectly at its new location: 10 yards deeper within the stadium's horseshoe end and eight feet farther to the right.
Her delayed graduation is at least good news for Harvard women's soccer, since it means that this fall, Stauffer rejoins her erstwhile teammates for one last hurrah on the green pitch known as Ohiri Field. It is shaping up as a memorable campaign.
Stauffer, who hails from New Canaan, Connecticut, is one of the finest players in the history of Harvard and Ivy League soccer. She began playing at age 5, and remembers living in one house that had "this big empty room. My brother and I would go in there, put on the radio, play around with a nerf ball or a soccer ball." During high school she played for the Connecticut Omni soccer club that won a national championship, and as a high-school senior, she was one of the most heavily recruited players in the country.
At Harvard Stauffer had star quality even as a freshman. In her sophomore season she was named Ivy League Player of the Year, then repeated that honor as a junior. Both years, she led Harvard in overall scoring against Ivy and non-Ivy teams, despite being double- and even triple-teamed by opponents much of the time. She has twice been a finalist for selection as the Missouri Athletic Club Women's Collegiate Player of the Year, and once a finalist for the Hermann Award, the nation's top two honors in women's soccer. "Emily has amazing creativity," says head coach Tim Wheaton. "Playing with her you have to stay alert, because she can do things with the ball that you don't expect."
Stauffer will co-captain a powerhouse squad that has been the Ivy League champion for three years running. Striker Naomi Miller '99 has led the Ivies in scoring in league games for the past two seasons, and talented returnees like co-captain Devon Bingham '99, Ashley Berman '99, Jaime Chu '99, Jessica Larson '99, and goalkeepers Jen Burney '99 and Anne Browning '00 provide the kind of defense and firepower that bring a broad smile to Wheaton's face. Last year's team--with Stauffer on the bench--was ranked sixth in the nation; in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, they lost by a score of only 1-0 to North Carolina, the soccer juggernaut that has won the national championship in 15 of the last 17 years. "Last year was a big confidence builder for us. We can definitely play with any team in the country," Stauffer says. "We could be in the final four teams this season."
The star will be ready. This summer she played in the Adidas Summer League in Oregon, where 60 of the nation's top college players get a demanding off-season workout, with four practices and two games each week. "You're constantly on the ball," she says. "I'm back in full swing." Indeed she is. A year ago, Stauffer was committed to giving her all for her brother, but this autumn, she will direct her full energies to school and to soccer, playing with her teammates to the best of their ability. It promises to be an athletic spectacle of a high order.
~ Craig Lambert
Last year's football squad, the undefeated Ivy League champions, went 9-1 overall and put 301 points on the board, Harvard's greatest scoring outburst of this century. Nine starters graduated, but with 33 returning lettermen, coach Tim Murphy's squad looks poised for another fine run.
At quarterback, junior Rich Linden set Harvard records last year for completions (164) and total offense (2,308 yards). He completed 57 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns, and ran for 209 yards, including five rushing touchdowns. Tailback Chris Menick '00 led the Ivies in rushing with 1,207 yards, a Harvard season record. He scored 13 touchdowns and was tenth in the country in rushing. Against Princeton, Menick had a spectacular game, gaining 261 yards; he also ran for 201 yards against Holy Cross.
The graduation of Colby Shelton, holder of seven Harvard records, puts a dent in the receiving contingent, but the swift Terence Patterson '00, who made Second Team all-Ivy last year and pulled down 45 tosses for four touchdowns, will help take up the slack.
Lines on both sides of the ball took the biggest hits: two key offensive tackles graduated, along with three first Team all-Ivy defensive linesmen. Yet all three of last year's starting linebackers are ready for action, making Harvard's corps probably the best in the league. Linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski '00 led the Crimson in tackles last year with 80, and was First Team all-Ivy. In the secondary, despite the loss of free safety Jeff Compas, the only four-year starter in Harvard history, many key players return. Cornerback Glenn Jackson '99 could be the team's best all-around athlete; he snagged six interceptions last year and returned one 67 yards for a touchdown, a turning point in Harvard's 33-0 whitewash of Penn.
For information about Harvard football, check out their website at www.harvardfootball.org.
With the graduation of two First Team all-Ivy players--tenacious defender Ricky Le and forward Tom McLaughlin, the league's scoring leader--the men's side faces real challenges. Yet the Crimson is solid in goal with senior Jordan Dupuis, who shut out five sides in 1997 and posted a fine 1.18 goals-against average. Senior Lee Williams will play at sweeper in front of Dupuis for the third straight year. Captain Andrew Lundquist '99 is a top marking back who typically draws the assignment of neutralizing the opposition's best attacker. Scoring may be the biggest question mark; last year, McLaughlin accounted for 40 percent of the team's points. However, promising returnees like Nigerian native Chinezi Chijioke '00 may do some damage up front.
The men's crew capped off a superb season in early July by winning the Ladies Plate, the second most prestigious event for eight-oared boats at England's Henley Royal Regatta. In the final, Harvard vanquished a crew from Cambridge University and Star by half a length. In a semifinal race the previous day, Harvard had a particularly satisfying win in a rematch with the University of Pennsylvania. Penn won this spring's Eastern Sprints, nipping Harvard by 0.6 second. Six weeks later at Henley, the Crimson turned the tables, destroying Penn by 2 3/4 lengths on their way to the championship.
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