PHILADELPHIA - The Sacred Heart women's fencing team, ranked 17th in the latest CollegeFencing360.com poll, went 4-2 at the Philadelphia Invitational on Saturday at Temple University.
The Pioneers defeated Duke 14-13, North Carolina 16-11, Johns Hopkins 15-12, and Haverford 16-11 while dropping matches to national powers Northwestern 24-3 and Penn 17-10. The highlight of the day was the exciting upset win over Duke. Foil went 7-2 in the match and saber pitched in for three crucial wins. This meant that the outcome rested on the ability of the epee squad to get four victories against a powerful Duke squad. The match came down to Sacred Heart needing to win two of the last three epee bouts.
Squad Captain Colleen Mason started off with an exciting 5-4 win over Duke's Sarah Collins. Natalie Rossetti then captured the match with a 5-4 win over Duke's two-time All-American Emily D'Agostino. The foil squad led the way on the day with a 33-26 record. They were paced by another strong performance by team captain Jayme Smith (10-2). Natalie Rossetti (9-4) and Megan Floyd (8-6) led the epee squad and senior saber star Elena Tringa went 12-5.
"I am so excited about our performance today", said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "We were well prepared coming off of our big win at Yale and I would have been satisfied with a 3-3 day. The win against 11th ranked Duke was fantastic. I have never had a team that is as close or fights as hard as this year's squad. They continue to believe that anything is possible. It was unfortunate that we had to sit Rossetti and Smith against Penn because of injuries. The way we were fencing today, I think that we could have pushed Penn pretty hard if they were both one hundred percent. Hopefully, we will be healthy for our rematch with Yale this Saturday. I know that we will once again give it all we have and then some."
The Pioneers are back in action on Saturday, February 2nd for a 12 p.m. start at Vassar to take on Drew, Yale and Queens College.