Trailing by six points in the semifinal round, Stanford freshman fencer Alexander Massialas stormed back on Saturday at the 2013 Fencing Championships in San Antonio to claim the NCAA title in the men’s foil contest.
The San Francisco native edged past Penn State’s David Willete 15-10 in the championship match to give the Cardinal its first men’s foil title since 2000. There was an air of familiarity surrounding the match, as Massialas and Willet were training partners before prior to their collegiate careers.
“It was great as a freshman to bring back a national championship for Stanford,” Massialas told GoStanford.com. “I came in with high expectations and was able to fulfill them. I was able to come out of that bout knowing I did exactly what I wanted to do from the beginning of this tournament.”
Things didn’t look so promising in the semifinal round, in which Massialas found himself in a 12-6 hole against Notre Dame’s Gerek Meinhardt. But Massialas closed the gap to 14-13 before rattling off two straight points to secure a spot in the final round.
“[Massialas] never gave up and fought to the very end,” co-head coach Lisa Milgram told GoStanford. “He’s performed well all year—through big and small bouts—and as always, he fought like a professional.”
The Stanford men’s team finished eight place in the overall standings. Junior Turner Caldwell finished ninth in the foil, freshman Daniel Wolfson and sophomore Cameron Lindsay placed 19th and 21st, respectively, in the saber event and junior Jake Harbour and sophomore Paul Riviere came in 18th and 21st, respectively in the epée.