MIAMI — With the father of one of their stars an unannounced spectator in the stands, the Howard University Bisons reached their highest plateau in collegiate soccer here Tuesday night.
The Blue and White kickers ousted Harvard in the semi-final round of the NCAA tournament by a score of 1-0, and thus qualified to meet perennial champion St. Louis in the championship match here Thursday night in the Orange Bowl.
Unbeknown to them and star forward Alvin Henderson, the youngster's dad, Dr. Horace Henderson, had flown in from Trinidad and was watching the action from the pressbox.
Dr. Henderson is a World Cup referee and a member of the International Referees Association.
Defending champion St. Louis won the other semi-final, defeating San Francisco, 3-2.
The Billikens have won eight of the 12 championship games plaed and have an All-Star forward named Mike Seerey who scored two of the three St. Louis goals and set up third with an assist.
But in their win over Harvard, Howard showed a rough and tumble squad which can give—and take—with best of them, and such an unrelenting offense that much of the game was played in front of the Harvard goal.
The fans saw a smooth-working teaming of right inside Mori Diane of Guinea, Trinidadians Ian Bain and Henderson move in for the only score of the game after luring Harvard's All-American goalkeeper Shep Messing out of the line of fire for a split second.
That was no easy chore, since not only did Messing hold Howard to a single goal but he is also the goalie for the U.S. Olympic soccer team.
In a town that has gone football crazy, what with the Orange Bowl game between Nebraska and Alabama, and the NFL battle between the Dolphins and Colts set on successive days this weekend, the soccer playoffs did exceedingly well.
A crowd of 5,500 wedged its way through the twinstiles by climbing over football ticket-seekers bedded down in sleeping bags.