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February 16, 2014

Harvard Steamrolls to CSA Men's National Championship

Final CSA Men's Team Championship Brackets

Portions of story and photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The No. 1-ranked Harvard men's squash team solidified itself as the best in the nation on Sunday as the Crimson captured its 31st national championship by taking down No. 2 Trinity, 9-0.

Harvard claimed the 2014 Potter Cup thanks to a 3-2 win from senior captain Brandon McLaughlin on court No. 2 to put the Crimson up 5-0 over the defending national champions.

The Crimson can call itself a national champion for the first time since 1998, and the first time under coach Mike Way. With the win, Harvard wraps up the season a perfect 18-0, after having clinched the Ivy League title a week prior.

The win avenged a loss to Trinity in the Potter Cup's title match last year, 6-3. It is the second time in three years that an Ivy League squad has won the men's national title. Princeton dethroned Trinity in 2012, ending a 13-year title run. 

Harvard jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind Dylan Murray, who downed Vrishab Kotian in the No. 3 position, while Bryan Koh posted a 3-0 win over Zeyad Elshorafy in the sixth position.

Tyler Olson extended his team's lead to three as he outlasted Matthew Mackin to earn a 3-2 victory in the ninth spot. Nigel Koh swept his opponent to give the Crimson a four-game advantage. Tom Mullaney (No. 8), Ali Farag (No. 1) and Nick Hopcroft (No. 7) each earned wins to cap off the day.

Farag was awarded the 2014 Skillman Award prior to the start of the match.  The honor is given annually to a senior men's squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. The senior is 15-0 this season in the top position for the Crimson.

With the win, the Crimson recorded its 12th shutout of the season, tying the program record for shutouts in a single season.

Yale finished third in the Potter Cup draw with a 7-2 win over Franklin & Marshall. The Bulldogs beat Rochester to open play on Friday before falling to Trinity in the semifinals on Saturday. 

Cornell finished sixth in the Potter Cup, falling to St. Lawrence on Sunday, while Penn finished eighth in the Potter Cup after suffering its third-straight loss.

Princeton won three straight matches to claim the Hoehn Cup. The Tigers finished off the weekend with a 5-4 win over League-rival Columbia on Sunday.  Dartmouth won its match on Sunday over Western Ontario to finish third in the Hoehn Cup and 11th overall. 

Brown lost in the final of the Summers Cup on Sunday, dropping a 5-4 decision to Middlebury to finish 17th overall.