St. John’s Fencing Goes a Near Perfect 11-1 at the Brandeis Invitational

Karolina Cieslar went 18-0 at the Brandeis Invitational
Dec. 3, 2017

WALTHAM, Mass. – Opening up the dual-meet collegiate invitational season, the Red Storm men’s fencing team went undefeated with a 6-0 record for the second-time in the last three seasons at the Brandeis Invitational. The women’s team went a near-perfect 5-1 on Sunday afternoon behind an 18-0 record on the piste from Karolina Cieslar.

Both the men’s and the women’s squad faced six programs apiece and came away with 11 victories against Boston College, MIT, Brandeis, Cornell, Brown and Yale. The only setback of the day came in the last bout of the afternoon as Yale defeated the Red Storm women’s team.

The men’s saber squad led the way for the Red Storm with a team-best 48-6 record behind a 10-1 mark by Ben Natanzon. A trio of rookie saber fencers for the Johnnies in Ferjani Fares, Sal Centanni, and Dalton Walker posted a combined 38 triumphs. Fares topped the saber team with 16 wins, while Centanni registered 14 victories.

The saber team on the women’s side also performed outstanding on the strip on Sunday afternoon with a 44-10 record. Leading the Johnnies was Cieslar with a perfect 18-0 record. Karolina Kaleta, a transfer student, tallied 14 wins in 18 bouts and the newcomer Justine Pascual picked up 12 wins to close out the day for the trio of female saber fencers.

Five different Johnnies competed in men’s epee and another rookie led the squad with a 12-3 record in Ivan Zagoruiko. The veteran Curtis McDowald recorded 11 wins in 13 bouts, while Sean White, Omari Smoak and Shomari Moore combined for 18 wins on the afternoon.

A Second-Team All-American last season, Veronika Zuikova led the women’s epee group as the senior posted a near-perfect 12-1 mark. Ally Ryf was solid on the strip with 12 triumphs and Dominique Tannous registered 11 victories to help them go 38-16 at the Brandeis Invitational.

A freshman from Stockholm, Sweden, Vincent Mindelof posted the best record of any male Red Storm fencer with a 17-1 record in men’s foil. Classmate Malcolm Jackson picked up 10 victories as the foil team registered a 32-22 record.

The next invitational for the Red Storm will be the lone home tournament of the 2017-18 season and will be held at Taffner Field House on Jan. 20, 2018. The Red Storm will also send participants to the December North American Cup in Portland, Ore., which runs from Dec. 8-11.

The rest of the complete team and individual results are listed below:


Round 1: St. John’s 18, Boston College 9
Round 2: St. John’s 23, MIT 4
Round 3: St. John’s 21, Brandeis 6
Round 4: St. John’s 24, Cornell 3
Round 5: St. John’s 17, Brown 10
Round 6: St. John’s 18, Yale 9


Round 1: St. John’s 17, Boston College 10
Round 2: St. John’s 19, MIT 8
Round 3: St. John’s 17, Brandeis 10
Round 4: St. John’s 14, Cornell 13
Round 5: St. John’s 17, Brown 10
Round 6: Yale 18, St. John’s 9


Men’s Saber (48-6)
Ferjani Fares, 16-2
Sal Centanni, 14-2
Ben Natanzon, 10-1
Dalton Walker, 8-1

Men’s Foil (32-22)
Vincent Mindelof, 17-1
Malcolm Jackson, 10-8
Andras Nemeth, 4-3
Jayson Shu, 1-10

Men’s Epee (41-13)
Ivan Zagoruiko, 12-3
Curtis McDowald, 11-2
Sean White, 8-2
Omari Smoak, 5-1
Shomari Moore, 5-5

Women’s Saber (44-10)
Karolina Cieslar, 18-0
Karolina Kaleta, 14-4
Justine Pascual, 12-6

Women’s Foil (11-43)
Kayla Soulias, 7-11
Judith Russell, 4-14
Forfeited 18 bouts

Women’s Epee (38-16)
Veronika Zuikova, 12-1
Ally Ryf, 12-6
Dominique Tannous,11-5
Melissa Gillick, 3-4




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