No. 1 Men's Fencing Seeks 11th Straight Beanpot Title

No. 1 Men's Fencing Seeks 11th Straight Beanpot Title

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After winning a share of the Ivy League Championship title last weekend, the No. 1 Harvard men's fencing team is set to take on the Beanpot this Wednesday, Feb. 14 at MIT. The Crimson has secured a 14-1 overall record, going 4-1 in Ivy play, its best record since the 2014-15 season.

Last Time Out
Harvard is coming off a very successful weekend at the Ivy League Championships, claiming a share of the title with Columbia and Penn. The Crimson finished the tournament with two members of its squad winning individual crowns. Freshman Geoffrey Tourette clinched the individual title in foil, topping all fencers across the tournament with a perfect 15-0 record and plus-46 touch differential, while junior co-captain Eli Dershwitz took home the individual crown in sabre with a 14-1 record and plus-47 touch variance.

Making History
The Crimson has set its mark in history by winning its 10th Ivy League title on the men's side, previously clinching the championship for three straight years from 2013-15. Harvard has now won five Ivy Championships in the last decade, dating back to when it first won in 1947.

All-Ivy Accolades
Four Harvard fencers were named to the All-Ivy first team after the Ivy League Championships last weekend. Eli Dershwitz and Erwin Cai topped the list at sabre, while Geoffrey Tourette and Duncan Rheingans-Yoo found a place at foil. This marks Dershwitz's third All-Ivy first team honor, while it is Cai, Rheingans-Yoo and Tourette's first.

All the Way Up
Harvard was ranked No. 1 in the College Fencing 360 poll on Feb. 8. This was the men's highest ranking since the 2007 season.

Harvard is currently on a four-bout win streak through the second half of its season and has amassed a 14-1 overall record. Starting at the Tradition Tournament back on Dec. 3 where the men picked up three wins in a row, the Crimson excelled at the St. John's Invitational on Jan. 20, sweeping the competition and adding five wins to its record.

Harvard most recently added four wins to its total at the Ivy League Championships, Feb. 10-11, defeating Brown (23-4), Yale (19-8), No. 4 Columbia (16-11) and No. 6 Princeton (18-9).

Scouting the Beanpot
At last year's Beanpot tournament, the men clinched its 10th first-place finish in program history. The Crimson took down all three of its opponents, tallying wins over MIT (22-5), Brandeis (20-7) and Boston College (22-5). Harvard has taken home the Beanpot trophy every year since the inception of the tournament in 2007.

Scouting Harvard
Freshman foil fencer Geoffrey Tourette has dominated the Crimson's line up, posting a plus-115 touch differential and a 44-4 record. Eli Dershwitz leads sabre with another high plus-85 touch variance and only two losses at 28-2. In epee, Charles Horowitz tops the squad with a plus-54 touch differential and 40-23 record. 

Last Season
Harvard finished its 2016-17 campaign with a 10-9 overall record, posting a 1-4 mark against Ivy League competitors. The Crimson sent 11 fencers to the NCAA Championships, including five members of the men's team who finished fifth overall: Albert Chien, Matthew Branman, George Haglund, Eli Dershwitz and Erwin Cai. Dershwitz captured the NCAA Championship crown, defeating Wayne State's Zaid Elsissy 15-10 in the sabre category and becoming the first men's fencing team member to clinch an individual title since 2007.

Fresh Faces
The Crimson welcomes four members to the squad representing the class of 2021: epee fencers Charles Horowitz and Adrian Thein-Sandler, foil fencer Geoffrey Tourette and sabre fencer Edward Zhao.

Dual Threat
Senior Eric Zhao and junior Eli Dershwitz will serve as captains for the 2017-18 season. Zhao returns for his second straight year as captain, finishing last season with a 41-35 overall record and placing 12th at the NCAA Regionals. Dershwitz dominated competition last year, tallying a 69-10 overall mark and capturing the titles in the NCAA Championship and the men's sabre Ivy League Championship.

At the Helm
Head coach Peter Brand is in the midst of his 19th season as head coach for the Crimson, which has posted a winning record in each of the last 16 seasons under his watch. Harvard has won eight Ivy League Championships during his tenure, while also winning the 2006 National Championship. Brand owns a 195-87 record on the men's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard.

Rio, Baby
Junior Eli Dershwitz competed for the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dershwitz is the seventh Harvard fencer to compete in the Olympics, with the last being Emily Cross '09 and Noam Mills '12 who both competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Sherborn, Mass. native was the top-ranked U.S. sabre fencer, and was the youngest fencer to compete for the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics at the age of 20.

What's Next?
Harvard will prepare for the NCAA Regionals in Waltham, Mass. on March 12.