NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – The Sacred Heart men's fencing team opened up the 2019-20 season on Saturday at the NEIFC Fall Invitational held at Smith College. The Pioneers turned in several outstanding performances with Lawrence Tan's gold medal in the foil being the standout moment of the day. Bennett Cohen and Troy Kapitzke picked up bronze medals in the epee event while Lucas Wetmore placed sixth in the foil.
Tan dominated his pool in the foil, owning a +22 touch advantage as he advanced to the single-elimination tournament along with teammates Stephen Clarke (+6), Trent Miller (+5), Frank Riccio (+19), Mark Sharkey (+9), Westmore (+25), Tomas Koeck (+18) and Massimo Bacchiocchi (-1).
In the main table of the foil, both Sharkey and Riccio advantage to play one another in the round of 32 with Riccio winning the teammate duel with a 15-3 score. Another SHU dual came in the round of 32 as Tan defeated Clarke by a score of 15-1. The list of Pioneers advancing to at least the round of 16 included Tan, Riccio, Wetmore and Koeck.
Tan continued on into the finals as he scored victories over Justin Herman of Boston College (15-11) in the quarterfinals and Brian Wang (15-8) in the semifinals. Facing off against Ian Quin of Brandeis in the finals, Tan claimed gold with a resounding 15-10 victory. In the six matches he competed, Tan out touched his opposition by a combined score of 90-44 (+46).
SHU fielded five competitors in the epee, with all five seeded in the Top 28 out of the 64 that advantage to the single-elimination tournament from pool play. Both Cohen and Kapitzke advanced to the semifinal round before falling in a pair of close matches. Cohen dropped a 15-11 decision to Thomas Park of Boston College while Kapitzke fell to Josh Shuster of Brandeis by a score of 15-13. Cohen and Kapitzke claimed bronze medals for their third place finish.