Fencing: Northwestern blows out Lawrence, falls to Notre Dame at home


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Northwestern records a point against Denison at last year’s NU Duals in Ryan Fieldhouse. The Wildcats had a mixed weekend, falling to Notre Dame before taking down Lawrence handedly.

Carlos Stinson-Maas, Reporter


For the past decade, Northwestern has gone unbeaten against Lawrence, but has lost every time against Notre Dame. That streak continued on Sunday.

The Wildcats started off the day against Notre Dame (10-0) in Patten Gymnasium. The Fighting Irish are undefeated this season, and have also dominated in every meet. Before play on Sunday, they hadn’t lost more than 7 bouts in a match. NU (8-6) ended that run, winning 11 bouts but falling 16-11.

“We fenced them closer than any team has so far,” coach Zach Moss said. “We took 11 bouts off them, and there were 5 or 6 other bouts that we lost by one point. If half of those go our way, we win that match.”

The second match against the Fighting Irish wasn’t as close, as the Cats lost 22-7. Moss said endurance was a major factor as NU fell behind in the second match.

“We need to continue to build that mental focus and ability to bounce back,” he said. “It can be hard so that’s gonna be an area where we’re gonna work to improve.”

Moss praised junior foil Alyssa Chen and sophomore epee Blodwen Bindas. The pair each recorded winning records against the Irish.

The Cats faced off against Lawrence (2-6) in the last two duals of the weekend. NU entered the matches as a heavy favorite, beating Lawrence by a combined 47-7 in two duals the previous weekend. The Cats did the same on Sunday, defeating Lawrence by scores of 24-3 and 23-4.

Senior foil Sofia Simontov excelled on Sunday, going 4-0 overall and now undefeated in her last nine bouts.

“We’ve been really good at being cohesive and adapting to our COVID season,” Simontov said. “It hasn’t changed a thing for us, we still share the same goals.”

NU will travel to South Bend on March 6 for the Notre Dame invitational. Moss said the team also plans to add another competition to the schedule on March 13-14.

After coming up just short several times in the past four years, Simontov said she is confident that this is the year the Cats will defeat the Irish.

“I know it’s gonna happen this season,” she said. “We are fully capable of beating them. We have that mentality where we won’t give up.”

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