New Haven, CT — Today’s Potter Cup matches were filled with excitement and unexpected results.
Defending champions Trinity faced Rochester in one semifinal. Historically, Rochester has two all-time victories against the Bantams, a win in 1973 and a 5-4 victory in 2015. When the two squads faced each other in Hartford in January, Trinity had the edge in a 5-4 match.
Rochester roared out of the gates, with Xiaomin Meng winning in three at number 9 and Neil Cordell winning 11-9 in the fourth at number 3. Trinity stayed close with a three-game win from Afeeq Ismail at number 6. The Yellowjackets led 2-1 at the end of the first round.
The momentum shifted in the second round. Trinity posted two more wins, catching and passing the Yellowjackets. Nku Patrick won in four at number 8, and James Evans also won in four at number 5. The Yellowjacket’s Ryosei Kobayashi won in four at number 2 to tie the score once again. Trinity and Rochester were locked at 3-all going into the final round of matches.
Omar Allaudin gave Trinity a 4-3 lead with a three-game win at number 7. Trinity won the first game of both the number 1 and number 4 matches, but in both contests, Rochester came back to take games 2 and 3.
Rochester’s Mario Yanez rallied from a blowout 1-11 loss in the first game to win the number 1 match in four, tying up the match.
Trinity’s Tom De Mulder and Rochester’s Tomotaka Endo were locked in battle, tied 9-all, then 10-all, in the fifth. Endo pulled away in the final points, winning 12-10 in the fifth. The final score was Rochester 5, Trinity 4. For the first time in 19 years, Trinity will not be in the national championship final; for the first time ever, Rochester will be.
The other semifinal match-up was Yale versus St. Lawrence. During the regular season, the Bulldogs made the trip to Canton and came home 6-3 victors. Now Yale had the home court advantage.
All three first-round matches went past three games. Yale posted the first win, as Arjun Kochhar won in four at number 9. Yale’s Sam Fenwick forced a fifth game at number 3, and St. Lawrence’s George Willis forced a fifth at number 6. It was Fenwick’s and Willis’s opponents, however, who prevailed. Ahmed Bayoumy of St. Lawrence won at number 3, and Max Martin of Yale won at number 6. Yale had a 2-1 lead.
Liam McClintock of Yale didn’t waste much time in his second round match, winning in three at number 8 to widen the Bulldog’s lead. Thomas Kingshott of Yale and Hussien Elrayes of St. Lawrences traded games in the number 5 match, all the way through the fifth. Kingshott won 11-6 in the fifth to bring Yale within one match of the final.
Like his teammate Kingshott, Pierson Broadwater also traded games with his St. Lawrence opponent, Lockie Munro. Broadwater hung on to win 11-9 in the fifth. Yale was going to compete for the Potter Cup on their home courts.
Yale won the match, 6-3.
Tomorrow’s Potter Cup and national championship match will be contested between Yale and Rochester. The match starts at 3 PM.
In the consolation semifinals, Penn defeated Columbia, 5-4, and Harvard defeated Dartmouth, 6-3. Harvard and Penn will meet in the consolation final tomorrow morning.