Women’s Fencing Travels to St. John’s Invitational

Women’s Fencing Travels to St. John’s Invitational

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's fencing team will head to Queens, N.Y. to take on the St. John's Invitational this Saturday, Jan. 20. The Crimson will see competitors from host St. John's, Columbia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State.

Last Time Out
The Crimson have dominated competition thus far in the 2017-18 season, tallying a 6-1 overall record. The women added two wins to their record on Dec. 5 when they defeated Tufts (24-3) and Wellesley (21-6) at home by wide margins.

Heading into the second half of the season, Cindy Gao tops epee fencers with a 31-5 record, Marta Lasota paces sabre at 24-12 and Natalie Yang leads foil at 29-4.

Scouting the Field
The women faced a tough battle at last year's St. John's Invitational, posting a 2-3 overall record. The Crimson posted wins over Penn State (16-11) and St. John's (19-8), including a 9-0 foil sweep against the host Red Storm. Harvard was later defeated by Columbia (11-16), Notre Dame (9-18) and Ohio State (11-16).

Last Season
Harvard finished its 2016-17 campaign with a 14-8 overall record, posting a 3-3 mark against Ivy League competitors. The Crimson sent 11 fencers to the NCAA Championships, including six members of the women's team who finished fifth overall: Gabrielle Tartakovsky, MacKenzie Lawrence, Sharon Ra and Shawn Wallace, along with graduated seniors Adrienne Jarocki and Hali Nelson. Placing fifth overall at the NCAA Championships, Harvard clinched its highest placement since the 2013-14 season.

Fresh Faces
The Crimson welcomes two members to the squad representing the class of 2021: epee fencers Cindy Gao and Saanchi Kukadia.

Dual Threat
Senior MacKenzie Lawrence and junior Sharon Ra will serve as captains for the 2017-18 season. Lawrence finished last season with 44 wins and a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Ra concluded her sophomore season with a total of 63 wins, eight of which were at the NCAA Championships. Both Lawrence and Ra appeared at the Ivy League Championships last year, helping the Crimson earn a fourth-place finish. 

At the Helm
Head coach Peter Brand enters 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 250-82 record on the women's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard. 

The Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. Learn more about the Ivy League Network by downloading the Ivy League Network app!

What's Next?
The women will return to action on Sunday, Feb. 4 hosting their second home bout of the season against NYU. The bout will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network at 1 p.m.