Despite being edged by Rochester in the Potter Cup consolation finals, the St. Lawrence University men's squash team has concluded its phenomenal season ranked sixth in the nation, the program's highest ever finish.
The Yellowjackets slipped past the Saints, 5-4, for the second time this season with the help of key wins in the middle of the lineup. Earning victories for the Saints were Amr Khaled Khalifa, Chris Fernandez, Vir Seth and Duncan Maxwell. Khalifa swept Andres Duany at one, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 for his 10th straight victory of the season.
Fernandez earned his 13th win after dropping the first game (5-11), exhausting Xiaomin Meng in the second game, 19-17, and finishing with 11-4, 11-9 game wins at seven. At eight, Seth earned a tight 3-2 win over Will Mohr, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 13-15, 11-5, and Maxwell swept Juan Herrara at the nine spot for his 14th win of the season, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.
Ibrahim Khan won the first game of his match at two, but Rochester's Neil Cordell won the next three for the win (9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6). At five, Anderson Good put up a battle against Oscar Lopez, but ultimately fell in five games (11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6). UR's Faraz Khan and Adam Perkiomaki were winners at three and four, respectively, with Khan beating Sebestian Riedelsheimer, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9, and Perkiomaki beating Ogilvy, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6.
SEASON RECAP: St. Lawrence began the season ranked 11th nationally, making its way to the Liberty League Championship match against Rochester and was narrowly defeated, 5-4. After dropping four straight matches to some of the best programs in the country, the Saints met their stride in the second semester and won seven straight, including impressive victories over then-ranked #9 Columbia (8-1), #10 Williams (9-0), #15 Navy (9-0) and #16 Middlebury (9-0).
The Scarlet and Brown's efforts paid off as the team earned its first-ever appearance in the A Division of the CSA Team National Championships where they drew top-ranked and eventual national champion Trinity in the opening round. The Saints could not overcome the depth of the Bantams, but made their opponents work for their 8-1 win, pushing multiple games to extra points. Khalifa highlighted the match with a 3-0 sweep at the one spot to earn his team's lone score.
In the consolation bracket, the Saints rebounded from the loss to the Bantams to earn a historic victory over Cornell, their first-ever over the Big Red in eight all-time meetings.
Along with their highest ever national finish, the team tied the program's record in shutouts, blanking eight opponents during the season. The Saints also finished with the program's second-highest win percentage (.647) and the second longest win-streak after rattling off seven straight victories in the middle of the season.
St. Lawrence will now look forward to sending Saints to the CSA individual national championships, which will take place this coming weekend in Hartford, CT.