Jan. 9, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After finding itself down three games to none, the 16th-ranked Navy squash team (20-3) rallied its way to a 5-4 upset victory over No. 11 Western Ontario on Wednesday night at the Halsey Field House International Squash Courts. The Mids have now won two in a row in the series that saw them drop the first five matches.
“This was a big win for our program at this stage of the season,” said Navy head coach Craig Dawson. “I scheduled this match because I thought it was important for us to play a quality team to begin the second half of the season. It was a true team effort and everybody played well, but I was especially pleased with the effort Hunter Bouchard showed and the example he set tonight.”
The match was eerily similar to last year’s in which the bottom half the ladder dominated and the match came down to the final bout featuring then-rookie Colin Barry (St. Louis, Mo.). A match in which Barry would win, 3-2.
In Wednesday’s match, Navy found itself in a tough position, staring down losses in each of its first three matches. The Mids, though, would fight their way back into the match by winning three straight at the bottom of the ladder once again. Rookie Mitch Bottini (New Hamburg, N.Y.) would jump start the run at the No. 8 slot where he found himself down after the first game, 14-12. He came back to win three in a row, however, to give the Mids their first win of the night. For Bottini, he pushed his season record to a team-best 22-1.
Senior Cotter Walker (Orlando, Fla.), Navy’s No. 9 player, opened up his match against Western Ontario’s Matt Sharpe with an 11-9 win, however, Sharpe pulled ahead with back-to-back wins, 11-7 and 11-6. Walker evened the match in the fourth with an 11-6 win before taking the 3-2 decision via an 11-7 win in the fifth. In his first season playing full-time with the varsity, Walker has posted a 14-1 for the Mids and is 19-1 during his career.
Navy evened the team scoring at 3-3 when freshman Bill Kacergis (Malvern, Pa.) scored a hard-fought 3-0 victory over the Mustang’s Cory Shannon at No. 7 in a match that saw every game extended outside of regulation scoring (13-11, 12-10, 12-10).
Western Ontario pushed ahead of the Mids when Albert Shoihet managed to outlast Navy sophomore Andrew McGuinness (Merion Station, Pa.) at the No. 1 slot. McGuinness took game one, 11-9, but Shoihet came storming back to take a 2-1 advantage. McGuinnes tied it up with an 11-5 game four win and he went on to have multiple chances at match point in the fifth before Shoihet took the game and match with a 12-10 victory.
At that stage of the match, the remaining two matches had two very different storylines. Playing the No. 3 spot, senior Hunter Bouchard (Greenville, Del.) found himself in a 2-0 deficit, while last year’s hero, Barry, was leading his foe, Adam Engel, 2-0. Bouchard began his rally with an 11-8 win in the third, while Barry dropped a 12-10 decision in the third, opening the door for Engel.
Bouchard utilized the momentum from his game three victory and rolled it into an 11-9 win in the fourth to even the match. With the support of his teammates and onlookers, Bouchard cruised to an 11-3 win in game five to take the match and even the team score at 4-4.
“I knew that I was in better shape than my opponent, so I felt like if I didn’t make a lot of mistakes in the third game I’d have a good chance at getting the win,” said Bouchard. “I really was intent on keeping my focus and I said to myself ‘there’s no way you’re losing this match.’ I’m glad I was able to help contribute to the team win tonight.”
While Bouchard was rolling, Barry was struggling to control his match and dropped game four, 11-6, squaring the match at two wins apiece. With both teams and spectators back in behind the remaining court, the two players battled back and forth until Barry was finally able to take the deciding game, 16-14, to clinch the match for the Mids.
Navy, who has reached the 20-win milestone seven times under Dawson’s direction including each of the last five seasons, returns to action this weekend when it travels to New York to face Fordham at 2:00 pm on Saturday and Columbia on Sunday at 11:00 am.
Navy def. Western Ontario, 5-4
1 - Albert Shoihet (WO) def. Andrew McGuinness (N), 11-9, 3-11, 5-11, 11-5, 12-10
2 - Brian Hong (WO) def. Jim Kacergis (N), 14-12, 11-7, 11-8
3 - Hunter Bouchard (N) def. Adrian Ostbye (WO), 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3
4 - Remington Hall (WO) def. Hunter Beck (N), 11-6, 11-1, 11-8
5 - Colin Barry (N) def. Adam Engel (WO), 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 6-11, 16-14
6 - Kale Wilson (WO) def. John Richey (N), 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7
7 - Bill Kacergis (N) def. Cory Shannon (WO), 13-11, 12-10, 12-10
8 - Mitch Bottini (N) def. Krishan Uwo (WO), 12-14, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8
9 - Cotter Walker (N) def. Matt Sharpe (WO), 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7
### Go Navy ###