Title Defense Comes to an End for Farag in CSA Semifinals
Ali Farag finished the year 16-2 (Gil Talbot).
HARFORD, Conn. – Junior Ali Farag saw his College Squash Association Individual Championship defense come to an end in the semifinals Saturday night, as the lone remaining member of the Crimson was eliminated from the Pool Trophy field.
Farag was outlasted by St. Lawrence's Amr Khalifa, 3-2, in the semifinal match to fall just short of claiming his second consecutive Pool Trophy and the 35th in program history.
The second-seeded Farag jumped out to an early lead against Khalifa, winning the first game, 11-9, before dominating the second, 11-3, to take a commanding 2-0 lead. In the third, the Saints' freshman rebounded with an 11-7 win and tied the match with an 11-6 triumph in the fourth. The final game was a back-and-forth affair that saw Farag reach match ball with a two-point advantage; however, Khalifa won the next two points and five of the final six to outlast the Crimson junior, 13-11, and take the match.
Farag reached the semifinals with a comeback of his own earlier in the day against Rochester's Andres Duany. He dropped the first game, 11-9, before rattling off three straight games, 11-1, 11-6, 11-8, to earn his second consecutive berth in the round of four.
While Farag was the only member of the Crimson in the top draw, Gary Power was in the first round consolation quarterfinals and Brandon McLaughlin was in the second round consolation round of 16. Power suffered an 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 setback at the hands of Adam Perkiomaki of Rochester, while McLaughlin fell to Dartmouth's Chris Hanson, 11-6, 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, to have both their junior seasons come to an end.
In the Molloy Division, Tommy Mullaney dropped his match to Princeton's Vivek Dinodia in the quarterfinals, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6.
Harvard will look to build on a strong 2012-13 campaign that saw the Crimson win a share of the Ivy League title for the first time since 2006 and finish as the No. 2 team in the country.