With an already-impressive season under its belt, the Penn men's fencing team has but one goal left -- an Ivy League championship. A victory over Columbia at this weekend's Penn State Multi-meet would provide the Quakers (11-2, 3-0 Ivy League) with their second Ivy title in the last three seasons. This recent run of success followed 16 years of championship futility leading up to the 1998-1999 campaign. Following the squad's huge win over reigning champion Princeton two weeks ago, when the team clinched at least a share of the title, the Red and Blue have been eyeing this match against their New York rival. "We've been going to practice and training hard just like usual," Penn freshman foilist Jeff Breen said. "We're going to beat Columbia just like we beat Princeton." Breen was added to the starting lineup to replace senior David Cohen, who had switched over to the sabre position. The freshman has thrived in his new role and recorded two big wins against Princeton. Breen's move rejuvenated the struggling sabre unit while producing no dropoff from the team's consistently-dominant foilists. "[The sabres] were the weak-link in the chain, but now they do what they are supposed to do," Penn senior foilist Yaron Roth said. "We expect to win the foil, but even if we don't, the sabre can rescue us now." The Lions boast a formidable foil squad that is possibly the best Penn has faced this season. The Quakers will counter with a strong squad of their own -- a squad led by sophomore sensation Yale Cohen -- in what figures to be the heavyweight matchup of this title bout. "We know Columbia has a strong foilist unit, so we're going to have our work cut out for us," Breen said. "But if we fence well we should be able to win." The Quakers also face Penn State in this weekend's multi-meet, but their main focus will be on their last unconquered league foe. "You just have to go in there and fence," Roth said. "It doesn't matter that we've beaten Princeton and they've beaten Columbia once you're in the bout." For Breen, this match and the promise of a forthcoming Ivy League championship only adds to his ambition and enthusiasm. "It's been a great experience, and fencing for the Ivy League title as a freshman leaves a lot of potential [victories] still out there," Breen said. "We could hopefully win the NCAAs one of the next three years."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.