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By CASEY OLSON
Its one of the oldest rivalries in college athletics. Harvard and Yale have been lining up against each other for nearly a century in the Ivy League.
The Craig family will get their first taste of what really goes into the Harvard-Yale rivalry today.
Brothers William and James Craig will be on opposite sidelines today when the Crimson and Bulldogs get together in both teams Ivy League soccer openers on Ohiri Field on Harvards Cambridge, Mass. campus. The pair were both star players at Decatur High School. William, a junior defender at Harvard, graduated in 2002 and James, a freshman defender for Yale, left Decatur last spring. The Craig brothers played together on the backline during the Gators two-straight Class 4A state championships in 2000 and 01.
It will be competition at Christmas when they come home, said father Ray Craig.
Todays matchup is the 91st meeting between these two historic rivals with the Harvard Crimson holding a 47-32-11 advantage.
But the first meeting between the Craig brothers might be a little one-sided today, in more ways than one.
James Yale club has struggled in their preseason schedule heading into todays Ivy League opener. The Bulldogs currently sit 1-6 overall with losses to national powers like Clemson, Southern Methodist and Tulsa. Yales first win came Wednesday over Fairfield, 3-1.
James has yet to get on the field for the Bulldogs during the first seven matches of his freshman season. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound defender was a two-time All-South Puget Sound League South first-teamer.
While James has been riding the pine, William is one of the most valuable players on Harvards roster. The Crimson sits 4-4 after their non-league schedule and have won a pair of preseason tournaments. William was named to both all-tournament teams, including the defensive Most Valuable Player at the Diadora/Spinx Furman Invitational in South Carolina. Harvard won both of the tournaments.
William was named the captain of the Crimson before the season after being one of only two players to start all 17 matches last year for the Crimson. This year he has tallied one assist from his defender position.
In other soccer news:
Kevin Popich, a junior co-captain on the Linfield University mens soccer team, has started all nine matches for the Wildcats and tallied two goals and four points. Popich, a midfielder from Federal Way High School, has led Linfield to a 2-6-1 record.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com