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Harvard's Division I play brings down men's soccer

By Shawn Mastrian

The MIT men's soccer team began its season Wednesday with a 4-0 loss to Harvard University. The Crimson, a Division I team, used superior ball handling and sharp passing to pressure the Engineers' defense and score twice in each half.

The MIT defenders did well in resisting the Harvard attack at the start of the game. No shots were taken by either team until the 24:05 mark when a Crimson attacker rolled a weak shot towards the net. This was saved easily by goaltender John Olsen '91. Harvard had had a number of previous opportunities to score, but a spirited Tech defense kept them at bay.

The Crimson broke the deadlock at the 28:43 mark when a redirected corner kick found the back of the net.

The Engineers finally got their first shot on goal about a minute later, but for the rest of the game, their scoring opportunities were few and far between. Nevertheless, MIT kept their quicker opponents at bay. A slide tackle by Nabil Istafanous '90 thwarted one excellent scoring opportunity, and Olsen stopped a few shots otherwise destined to score.

Despite these efforts and those of the rest of the team, Harvard managed to break through for another goal just before the half. A Crimson forward broke through the defense and slipped an impossible-angle shot into the goal.

Shortly after intermission, sharp passing led to another Harvard goal. The Crimson worked the ball in towards the goal and scored as one of the attackers golfed a shot into the upper left corner of the net.

The notoriously slow game picked up a little as Willie Scruggs '92 earned himself a yellow-card at the 63:54 mark. Unlike a green card, given to those wanting to be citizens, Willie got his yellow card because he was not being a good citizen. Words were exchanged, but play resumed without incident.

Harvard iced the game with a final goal at 82:22.

Head Coach Walter Alessi praised his team's effort, stating that Harvard definitely had the faster team. He noted that there were a few "breakdowns," but attributed some of that to the fact that three to four key players had just come off injured reserve after missing the pre-season. Overall, Alessi had a positive outlook for the team' future.