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Trinity Downs Harvard To Win 17th National Men's Squash Championship

Michael Craig '19 won, 3-1, in the No. 3 position
Michael Craig '19 won, 3-1, in the No. 3 position

Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College Bantams captured their 17th College Squash Association (CSA) National Men's Team Championship (Potter Trophy), sweeping the first wave of matches on their way to a 6-3 victory over the visiting Harvard University Crimson at Kellner Center this afternoon.  Trinity, which won every Potter Trophy from 1999 to 2011 and won again in 2013, 2015, and 2017 before this year, downed No. 8-seeded Princeton, 8-1, on Friday, and edged No. 4-seeded St. Lawrence, 5-4, yesterday to reach today's finals.  Harvard, seeded No. 3 in the eight-team field, finishes its year at 13-3.  Top-seeded Trinity, the host of the three-day event, closes with a 20-0 record and will enter next season in the midst of a 29-match winning streak. 

Trinity, which had beaten the Crimson, 7-2, 12 days ago in Hartford, followed a similar formula as in the regular-season victory with hard-fought wins on all three courts to start the match.  Senior tri-captain James Evans and first-year Ziad Sakr (Tanta, Egypt) both won in five games for the Bantams to give the home team a 2-0 edge.  Sakr outlasted Crimson senior Madhav Dhingra (Delhi, India) with an 11-7 win in the fifth game of the No. 6 match, and Evans rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to take the next three games, 11-6, 11-6, and, 11-5, against senior Bradley Smith (Lancashire, England) to improve to 66-1 in his collegiate career.  Trinity junior Michael Craig (Belfast, Northern Ireland) gave the Bantams a 3-0 lead, winning, 3-1, in the No. 3 spot over Harvard sophomore Sean Hughes (Newtown Square, Pa.).  Craig took the first game easily, 11-3, but lost the second, 12-10, and battled to an 11-8 win in game three and a 15-13 win in the fourth game. 

In the No. 5 match, Bantam junior Tom De Mulder (Ghent, Belgium) made quick work of Harvard freshman Sam Scherl (New York, N.Y.) with a 3-0 victory, but Harvard sophomore Tim Brownell (Belmont, Mass.) won by the same score over Trinity junior Thoboki Mohohlo (Johannesburg, South Africa) to make the score, 4-1.  Trinity sophomore Andrew Lee (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and Harvard rookie Julian Gosset (Toronto, Ontario) were battling it out in the No. 8 spot with the score tied at 2-all as the majority of the crowd that had risen to nearly 1,000 headed to their court.  Lee took control with an 11-4 win in the fifth game to clinch the match and the Bantam title while also improving his career record to 27-0.  The teams played out the third wave, and Trinity sophomore Kush Kumar (Dhampur, India) won at the top of the ladder, 3-0, over Crimson sophomore Saadeldin Abouaish (Cairo, Egypt).  Harvard added victories by David Ryan (Dublin, Ireland) and freshman Adam Corcoran (Winchester, England) to make it a 6-3 final.

"This was a dream season in that everything that you wanted to have happen for the boys did happen," said Trinity Head Coach Paul Assaiante.  "Things don't always happen the way we want them to. This is not a fairy tale. But this year everything did. Playing this at home is a huge advantage. Instead of all the extra noise getting in our way, it pushed us over the finish line."

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