The young varsity lacrosse team turned in a surprisingly strong performance over the spring recess, sweeping past its first three opponents before bowing to fifth-ranked Hofstra, 11-7.
Harvard began its season on the first Saturday morning of the vacation, meeting Mass Maritime on the Business School Field. The Buccaneers struck for the first two tallies of the contest. But goals by sophomore Hank Leophold and co-captain Kevin McCall tied the score.
Another score by McCall put the Crimson in front, and the Harvard stickmen never looked back, dashing off to a 19-4 triumph.
Coach Bob Scalise's charges completely dominated the stickplay, outshooting the visitors 51-15 in the first three quarters. Sophomore attackman Steve Martin was the leading scorer for the day, notching four goals and three assists. Fellow attack man Bill Tennis passed for five assists, and Leopold finished the game with a hat trick.
Long Island Accent
The team then left for Long Island where it clashed with C.W. Post, destroying the Pioneers by a 13-7 score. Scalise rotated four different midfields against the Pioneers, who earlier this year earned a win overperennially strong Army.
Four different players each tallied three points: Leopold, Tennis, sophomore middie Bobby Mellen, and Bill MacKenzie--last year's leading scorer.
Harvard continued its winning ways on Wednesday, edging Adelphi in a tense contest, 11-9. The Crimson charged to a 7-4 lead on the strength of three goals from Tennis and a pair from Mellen. Stevie Martin remained the team's quarterback, tossing the ball off for assists on four of those scores.
But the Panthers came charging back, reeling off four straight goals to take a third-quarter lead. Mellen and Tennis each connected again to give Harvard a 9-8 advantage, but Adelphi tied the game again early in the final quarter.
Harvard came through in the clutch, however. Andy Gellis gave the Crimson a slim 10-9 lead, and the stickmen clung to the margin as time ran out. In the final minute of play, in a man-up situation, Mellen turned a fine pass from Kevin McCall into his fourth goal of the day, and Harvard triumphed, 11-9.
The undefeated stickmen met Hofstra under the lights Friday night before over 2000 people on an astroturf surface with which Harvard had had little experience.
The bounce shot is an important weapon in lacrosse, so it took a little time for the Crimson stickmen to adjust to the new surface. Scalise said yesterday that the young squad--more than half the team members are freshmen or sophomores--might have been a little nervous early in the game.
Whatever the reason, the Flying Dutchmen cruised to an early 5-0 lead before Harvard could start its engines. By early in the second half the Crimson had whittled the margin to 5-3. However, when the Harvard stickmen failed minutes later to take advantage of a man-up situation, they seemed to lose momentum. Hofstra sported to an 8-3 lead.
The two teams traded goals in the final quarter on the way to Hofstra's 11-7 victory. Bill Tennis shouldered the offensive burden alone, firing 19 of the team's 45 shots and connecting for five goals.
After four games, the senior attackman is the leading scorer for Harvard with 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points. He is trailed by Steve Martin (4-10-14), Bobby Mellen (9-1-10) and Bill MacKenzie (6-3-9).
Jim Michelson has given the team solid goaltending, and the center middies have combined to win 68 of 96 faceoffs.
Coach Scalise said yesterday he is very pleased with the way the inexperienced squad has come along. He said he remembers that he still has three regulars out with injuries. Missing are Scott Mead, Greg Jackmanh, and Bruce Bruckmann, a co-captain and last year's leading midfield scorer. "I just can't wait to see how good we'll be when those three come back," Scalise said