Without the services of ace goalie Tom Bagnoli, the varsity soccer squad will meet a high-scoring Princeton eleven here this morning at 10:30 a.m. The Crimson must win to stay in contention for the Ivy League championship and this will prove to be a man-sized task.
Bagnoli suffered a fractured right hand when he fell out of bed early this week. He will dress for the game, but coach Bruce Munro does not want his goalie to risk further injury. Still, Bagnoli may get into the fray if the situation becomes desperate.
Bob Forbush will open in place of Bagnoli. Forbush is extremely competent in the nets, but he lacks Bagnoli's field generalship and experience. The rapid, hard-shooting Tiger line will give him plenty of opportunities to prove himself. As Munro put it, "We'll know in the first quarter whether Forbush can handle the job."
The Crimson will be hampered by other injuries to key personnel. Center halfback Bill Rapp has a severe charley-horse, but he will probably start. Fullback Lanny Keyes' badly bruised instep should not keep him out of the contest, and John Mudd and Tadgh Sweeney--the first-line insides--may be bothered considerably by ankle ailments.
In the event that either Mudd or Sweeney is unable to play, right wing John McIntosh will probably go to inside, and Sam Rodd will take over McIntosh's post. Larry Ekpebu will definitely be at left wing, and John Hedreen will open at center forward.
Besides Rapp, the halfback line is in good shape, and Marsh McCall and Charlie Steele will be in top shape this morning. Pete Savage will fill in for Rapp, if the need arises; Tim Morgan will team with Keyes at fullback.
Princeton's hard-charging line is led by center forward Tom Baskett and left wing Jim Hicks. The Tigers use an attack similar to the Crimson's, with short, accurate passes and emphasis on ball control. However, Princeton relies on its wings to a greater extent than the varsity.
The Tigers have a big, fast, and rangy halfback line, led by John McBride and intercollegiate squash champion Steve Vehslage. Princeton's fullbacks, however, are not impressive, and goalie Mickey Michel is just fair.
It seems certain that the Crimson, with its revamped lineup and "opened out" attack, should get its share of goals against the weak Tiger defense. But even the magnificent play of Keyes and Morgan may not be enough to stave off the Princeton offense, without Bagnoli to guard the nets.
At the same time that the varsity is meeting Princeton, Yale will be facing Penn at Philadelphia. It is the Bulldogs' turn to struggle with the problems the Penn field presents to visitors, and they will be up against a vengeful Quaker eleven. Furthermore, Penn captain and center half John Jerbasi should be back in action.
Here in Cambridge, though, the pressure is squarely on Forbush. The Ivy title could rest on his performance.