Zeke Scherl will serve as one of Harvard's two co-captains this year (Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot).
The No. 3 Harvard men's squash team begins its season Friday against Boston College at the MIT Round-Robin Tournament. Harvard is looking to build on its strong showing in 2011-12 when the squad went 16-4 and finished third at the College Squash Association Team Championships.
Harvard outlasted Cornell, 5-4, in the third-place match of the CSA Team Championships in Princeton, N.J. Ali Farag breezed to an easy victory at No. 1, while then-junior captain No. 8 Jason Michas and then-sophomore No. 2 Brandon McLaughlin both rallied from 2-0 deficits to lift Harvard past the Big Red.
Harvard returns nearly everybody from last year's squad with Will Ahmed '12 serving as the lone exception. Defending national champion Ali Farag returns for his junior season after posting an 11-0 mark at the No. 1 position and 16-0 record overall in his inaugural campaign in Cambridge. He's joined by fellow All-American Brandon McLaughlin, who finished 10-8. Overall, Harvard returns 97.6 percent (160/164) of its matches won in 2011-12.
Third is the Word
In the CSA preseason rankings, Harvard was ranked as the third best team in college squash. The Crimson sits behind No. 1 Princeton and No. 2 Trinity, who finished in those positions to conclude last season, as well.
Related Article: Men's Squash Ranked No. 3 in CSA Preseason Rankings
Six freshman will join the squad for the 2012-13 season. They are Walker Evans, Sam Goldberg, Peter Janulis, Jake Matthews, Matt Roberts and James Watkins. The sextet hails from four states (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut) and three countries (the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom).
Leading the Way
Mike Way, The Gregory Lee '87 and Russell Ball '88 Endowed Coach for Squash at Harvard University, returns for his third season at the helm of the Crimson. In two seasons, his teams have posted a combined 25-10 mark, including a 16-4 record last year. Both of his assistants, Reg Schonborn and Luke Hammond, are back for 2012-13, as well.
Related Video: Men's Squash Looks to Build on Success in 2012-13
Harvard is 55-1 in its last 56 opening matches dating back to 1956. The Crimson has won 34 consecutive lid lifters, including 26 by shutout after last year's 9-0 win against Williams, since falling to Western Ontario, 5-4, to kickoff the 1977-78 season.
About Boston College
The Eagles finished last season in the same spot as it begins 2012-13 – ranked 33rd. The Eagles won the Chaffee Cup (E Division) championship to conclude an 8-10 year. No. 1 Milo Watanabe and No. 3 Josh Ko both return from last year, while No. 2 Josh Rosenblat and No. 4 Teddy Taylor were lost to graduation.
The Harvard men will enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to action at home Nov. 28 against Dartmouth at 5 p.m.