After the final bout in last night's women's fencing meet against MIT at the IAB. Harvard captain Nancy Cooper sat on the sideline muttering expletives, and teammates Debbie Sze and Cathy Lowry sat near her, expressing similar feelings of frustrated discontent. You see, Harvard only won by a score of 9-7.
Earlier this season the Crimson had eviscerated the same MIT team 13-3 in a match in which Cooper, Sze and Lowry had each gone 4-0. Thus after last night's match the trio felt much less than content with their respective 3-1, 3-1 and 2-2 records, which included their first losses of the year.
The blemish on Cooper's slate came in her final bout against MIT's Jeannette (not Isadora) Wing. In her previous three bouts Cooper had breezed past her opponents 5-1, 5-0,5-0, relying primarily on her favorite tactic of waiting for her opponent to attack, then parrying and counter-attacking for the touch. But against Wing this tactic could not be used as Wing held back forcing Cooper forward. Down 3-0 with only a minute left to fence, Cooper tried two last deparate attacks which ended in touches for Wing and a 5-0 loss for the Crimson captain.
In the very next bout, Debbie Sze fell to one of her personal arch-rivals Michelle Prettyman. Ahead 4-3, Prettyman gained the final touch on a lange, as Sze missed the attempted parry.
Lowry's two losses came against Wing and Meredith Boice. In both bouts Lowry fenced over-cautiously, seeming to be, in Cooper's words, "afraid to lunge" as she frequently came up inches short of her opponent on her attacks.
This Saturday the women's fencing team faces Dartmouth and the Big Green may suffer the consequences of the anger pent up inside the Crimson after last night's close victory. Indeed Lowry predicted Harvard "is gonna kill Dartmouth this weekend. Everybody's mad."
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