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March 28, 1908 – Haverford Wins, 1 to 0, at Soccer Football

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Harvard played its first official intercollegiate match three years earlier, losing, 1-0, to Haverford at Soldiers Field on April 1, 1905. At the turn of the century, “association football” (soccer) and American football were both being played in New England. Games were referred to as “football”/”foot ball,” which could have meant soccer or American football; in 1905, “soccer football” was used to distinguish the codes. Soccer seemed to be favored by The Boston Globe, judging by this editorial in Oct. 5 1888 editions about “foot ball” (in this case, soccer):

“Now, we have loved foot ball from of old. It is a beautiful, exciting game and is one of the few games now popular which combine a vigorous use of the muscles with good judgment and activity … Now and then we hear of a man getting hurt in the ‘rush,’ but, as far as brutality is concerned, foot ball is as free from the charge as is base ball or lawn tennis or bicycling. … Every healthy boy who goes to school loves foot ball. The lads with the hollow cheeks and small necks and narrow shoulders may prefer croquet and cigarettes to exercise, but every college graduate who has made his mark in the world and paid for his schooling by extra ability has been a lover of sport, and as a true sportsman, must have had a liking for foot ball. … the only way an active, healthy citizen should ‘kick’ at foot ball is at the ball on the open field and not at the game. We are glad the season is at hand and hope the interest will grow every year.”

TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY

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