The No. 2 Crimson (5-0, 3-0 Ivy) went up to Ithaca, N.Y. this weekend and dismantled both No. 6 Cornell and No. 5 Western Ontario, not losing a single match and only dropping three games.
Two years ago, the 2002 edition of the Harvard squad made this same trip and narrowly escaped the Big Red with a 6-3 victory in a contest that included many close matches. That Crimson team finished the season with a 6-3 record and lost to Trinity in the semi-finals of the CSA Team Championships. This year, the goals are much higher.
“In the last two years there have been some great recruits,” captain Asher Hochberg said, “Especially this sophomore class has been incredible.”
“It just shows how far the program has come,” added junior Will Broadbent.
The double shutouts—which came within three hours of each other on Saturday afternoon—extend the Crimson’s streak of shutouts to five. Additionally, the team has dropped just four games all season.
“Every player on this team knows how to win,” Hochberg said.
HARVARD 9, W. ONTARIO 0
After coasting through a 9-0 drubbing of Cornell at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the Crimson faced off against Western Ontario at 4 p.m. Harvard came into the contest ready for a challenge against the No. 5 Mustangs (4-1). Western Ontario beat the Big Red soundly on Friday night and was poised to make a run at an upset over the Crimson.
But as has been the case throughout this entire season, Harvard left no doubt as to who is the better team. The Crimson may only be ranked three spots ahead of the Mustangs, but in reality, they don’t even belong on the same court.
“Western Ontario is supposed to be a really good team,” Broadbent said. “And we beat them really badly. This just shows that we’re in great shape right now. Everyone is playing so well.”
Playing at No. 2, intercollegiate No. 2 Broadbent came away with an easy three game victory. As he continues to fight his way back from a sore knee that hampered him during the fall, Broadbent is working himself into shape with every match.
The rest of Harvard’s ladder faired equally as well. With intercollegiate No. 9 sophomore Ilan Oren sitting out the second match of the day, intercollegiate No. 4 sophomore Siddharth Suchde took over at No. 1. Suchde continued his strong play, winning in three straight games. He has not lost a single game this season.
The only player to drop a game for Harvard against the Mustangs came at the No. 7 position where it took sophomore Mihir Sheth four games to dispatch of his opponent.
HARVARD 9, CORNELL 0
No. 6 Cornell looked to be an early season surprise in the Ivies this season with its impressive 7-2 victory over No. 7 Princeton, but any high hopes that the Big Red (2-3, 1-2) had of making noise on the national stage came crashing back to reality on Saturday.