Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Men And Women Win 14-13 Thrillers At Penn State

Dec. 6, 2003

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Notre Dame and Penn State fencing teams added another classic chapter to their longstanding rivalry in Saturday’s action at the PSU White Fencing Gym – with the Irish men and women both defeating their hosts in 14-13 matches that went down to the final bout. The Penn State Duals was slated to be a six-team event but the other teams (Princeton, Rutgers, UNC and NYU) all were unable to attend due to the snowstorms that have hit most of the northeast.

The condensed schedule resulted in the men being able to fence first and then the women second – allowing for each squad to cheer for the other in a format similar to the NCAAs.

The Notre Dame men – who return just four of their six fencers from the 2003 NCAA championship team – nearly let a 12-10 lead slip through their fingers before winning the final two bouts to extend the third-longest winning streak in the program’s history to 87 dual matches (dating back to 2000). Junior epeeist Michal Sobieraj topped PSU sophomore Alexander Bruscke (5-2) to force the 13-13 tie before freshman Aaron Adjemian showed the poise of a veteran, rallying in the final minute to force overtime and then winning over junior Ryan Wangner (4-3) in OT. Adjemian fell behind 3-1 with 50 seconds left in regulation but quickly scored his second touch before tying the bout with 21 seconds remaining (Adjemian, who had lost an earlier OT bout, won the coin-flip to earn “priority” and would have picked up the win if the one-minute OT ended without a touch).

The Irish women, buoyed by a veteran core that includes four of the 2003 NCAA competitors (at the same weapons), also survived a late collapse while avenging last year’s 15-12 loss to Penn State at the Notre Dame Duals. Notre Dame raced out to a 5-1 lead and was on the verge of clinching at 13-9 before the hosts won four straight – but junior epeeist Kerry Walton defeated Case Szarwark (5-1) to complete the day’s second thrilling finish.

Two members of the women’s sabre squad – senior Destanie Milo and freshman Valerie Providenza – and junior men’s foilist Derek Snyder each went 3-0 in Saturday’s action. Five of the ND men’s fencers posted 2-1 marks, with that group including Sobieraj, two men’s foilists (senior Forest Walton and freshman Frank Bontempo) and the freshman sabre tandem of Patrick Ghattas and Matthew Stearns. Walton was one of four women’s fencers with 2-1 records, as were junior foilists Andrea Ament and Alicja Kryczalo and freshman sabre Angela Vincent.

The ND men’s current 87-match winning streak includes an earlier 14-13 match that came down to the final bout, with Sobieraj’s 4-3 overtime win over Arpad Horvath delivering that victory over St. John’s at the 2001 NYU Duals.

INSIDE THE ND-PSU MEN’S MATCH (see bout-by-bout results below)

The Notre Dame men capitalized on the absence of PSU’s NCAA veterans Non Panchan and Chris Miller, winning seven of the nine foil bouts while the Nittany Lions held a 6-3 edge in epee and 5-4 in foil. The Irish women were led by a dominant 8-1 day from the sabre squad, with PSU holding a slight edge in foil (5-4) and a 7-2 margin in epee.

The tight matches also were reflected in the one-touch bouts, with the PSU men holding a 3-2 edge in one-touch bouts (1-1 in overtime) while the ND and PSU women split six one-touch bouts (the hosts won both OT decisions). Most of the non-overtime bouts featured clear-cut victors, with the day’s action including six 5-0 bouts, 12 decided by 5-1 scores and 15 more that were 5-2 margins (only 10 were 5-3).

Snyder posted early win over fellow All-American Ian Schlaepfer (5-2) and the Irish then were close to taking a 4-1 lead, but Ghattas lost to fellow Oregon Fencing Alliance product Marten Zagunis on a controversial call that yielded the 5-4 loss. PSU rattled off four straight wins for a 5-3 team lead but Stearns then delivered a huge win over the All-American Zagunis (5-3). The score remained tight as Ghattas added another win over an Oregon Fencing Alliance alum (and his former high school classmate) Ian Farr, in a 5-2 bout that forged a 6-6 deadlock. Adjemian then had OT priority versus three-time All-American Adam Wiercioch but lost, 4-3.

Bontempo’s 5-4 win over Schlaepfer and Stearns’ clutch 5-2 bout with Farr later evened the score at 9-9 and the Irish kept rolling with four straight wins, capped by Ghattas beating All-American Amir Rahimi (5-3) as ND suddenly held an 11-9 lead.

Wiercioch stopped the rally with a 5-2 win over his Poland National teammate Sobieraj (5-2, his first win over Sobieraj in a college dual-meet or NCAA bout) but the Irish crept closer with Snyder’s 5-1 win over Ian Hamilton (for a 12-10 score). The hosts responded with three straight wins, including Joseph Brown edging Adjemian (5-4), but Sobieraj beat Brown (5-2) to produce the 13-13 tie and Adjemian completed his rally to keep the winning streak alive.

INSIDE THE ND-PSU WOMEN’S MATCH (bout-by-bout results below)

The first eight bouts included plenty of marquee matchups, with the Irish emerging on top for a 6-2 lead and the stretch that ultimately proved to be make the difference. Ament rallied from a 4-2 deficit to beat All-American Marta Grochal (5-4) while Milo (5-2) repeated her key 2003 NCAA win over All-American Heather Brosnan.

The Irish lead could have been bigger but freshman Amy Orlando dropped a 4-3 overtime bout to Szarwark – followed by Kryczalo’s 5-4 win over All-American Anna Donath (who last spring ended Kryczalo’s 48-bout win streak), Walton’s 5-2 loss to Katarzyna Trzopek in a matchup of the last two NCAA epee champs and Providenza’s 5-4 win over Brosnan.

Ament’s 5-1 win over Donath highlighted a middle stretch of bouts that went mostly as expected, with Kryczalo’s big 5-2 win over All-American Meredith Chin and Walton’s 5-1 bout with Katherine Cook yielding the 13-9 cushion. Ament had the chance to end things in the 23rd bout but Chin came up with a 5-2 win – as did Grochal over fellow Poland native Kryczalo (5-4). Orlando went to overtime again (this time with priority) but Cook posted the 2-1 win, setting up the decisive bout between Walton and Szarwark.

Notre Dame Men’s Fencing 14, at Penn State 13 (Dec. 6, 2003; sabre 4-5, foil 7-2, epee 3-6)

1-0 … Foil … Forest Walton (ND) def. Joseph Brown, 5-2

1-1 … Sabre … Amir Rahimi (PSU) def. Matthew Stearns, 5-3

2-1 … Epee … Michal Sobieraj (ND) def. Ryan Wangner, 5-1

3-1 … Foil … Derek Snyder (ND) def. Ian Schlaepfer, 5-2

3-2 … Sabre … Marten Zagunis (PSU) def. Patrick Ghattas, 5-4

3-3 … Foil … Jacob Clark (PSU) def. Frank Bontempo, 5-1

3-4 … Sabre … Ian Farr (PSU) def. Brian Dosal, 5-1

3-5 … Foil … Schlaepfer (PSU) def. Walton, 5-1

4-5 … Sabre … Stearns (ND) def. Zagunis, 5-3

5-5 … Foil … Bontempo (ND) def. Brown, 5-2

5-6 … Sabre … Rahimi (PSU) def. Dosal, 5-0

6-6 … Sabre … Ghattas (ND) def. Farr, 5-2

6-7 … Epee … Wiercioch (PSU) def. Adjemian, 4-3 (OT)

7-7 … Foil … Snyder (ND) def. Clark, 5-2

7-8 … Sabre … Zagunis (PSU) def. Nicholas Diacou (ND) 5-3

7-9 … Epee … Alexander Bruscke (PSU) def. North Carey, 5-1

8-9 … Foil … Bontempo (ND) def. Schlaepfer, 5-4

9-9 … Sabre … Stearns (ND) def. Farr, 5-2

10-9 … Foil … Walton (ND) def. Clark, 5-3

11-9 … Sabre … Ghattas (ND) def. Rahimi, 5-3

11-10 … Epee … Wiercioch (PSU) def. Sobieraj, 5-2

12-10 … Foil … Snyder (ND) def. Ian Hamilton, 5-1

12-11 … Epee … Wangner (PSU) def. Carey, 5-1

12-12 … Epee … Bruscke (PSU) def. Adjemian, 5-4

12-13 … Epee … Wiercioch (OSU) def. Patrick Gettings (ND) 5-2

13-13 … Epee … Sobieraj (ND) def. Bruscke, 5-2

14-13 … Epee … Adjemian (ND) def. Wangner, 5-2

Notre Dame Women’s Fencing 14, at Penn State 13 (Dec. 6, 2003; sabre 8-1, foil 4-5, epee 2-7)

1-0 … Sabre … Valerie Providenza (ND) def. Lindsey Clark, 5-2

2-0 … Foil … Andrea Ament (ND) def. Marta Grochal, 5-4

3-0 … Sabre … Destanie Milo (ND) def. Heather Brosnan, 5-2

3-1 … Epee … Case Szarwark (PSU) def. Amy Orlando, 4-3 (OT)

4-1 … Foil … Alicja Kryczalo (ND) def. Anna Donath, 5-4

5-1 … Sabre … Angela Vincent (ND) def. Lavinia Lindsay, 5-3

5-2 … Epee … Katarzyna Trzopek (PSU) def. Kerry Walton, 5-2

6-2 … Sabre … Providenza (ND) def. Brosnan, 5-4

6-3 … Foil … Meredith Chin (PSU) def. Maggie Jordan, 5-3

7-3 … Sabre … Vincent (ND) def. Clark, 5-3

7-4 … Epee … Katherine Cook (PSU) def. Rebecca Chimahusky, 5-1

8-4 … Sabre … Milo (ND) def. Lindsay, 5-1

9-4 … Foil … Ament (ND) def. Donath, 5-1

9-5 … Sabre … Brosnan (PSU) def. Vincent, 5-0

9-6 … Epee … Trzopek (PSU) def. Orlando, 5-1

10-6 … Sabre … Providenza (ND) def. Lindsay, 5-2

10-7 … Foil … Grochal (PSU) def. Jordan, 5-0

11-7 … Sabre … Milo (ND) def. Clark, 5-0

11-8 … Epee … Szarwark (PSU) def. Chimahusky, 5-3

12-8 … Foil … Kryczalo (ND) def. Chin, 5-2

12-9 … Foil … Donath (PSU) def. Colleen Walsh, 5-0

13-9 … Epee … Walton (ND) def. Cook, 5-1

13-10 … Foil … Chin (PSU) def. Ament, 5-2

13-11 … Epee … Trzopek (PSU) def. Chimahusky, 5-3

13-12 … Foil … Grochal (PSU) Kryczalo, 5-4

13-13 … Epee … Cook (PSU) def. Orlando, 2-1 (OT)

14-13 … Epee … Walton (ND) def. Szarwark, 5-1