PHILADELPHIA - Clifford Fishler was called upon in the biggest moment of the young fencing season, and the sophomore kept his cool and handed Penn a 14-13 victory over Sacred Heart in the Quakers' opening match of the Philadelphia Invitational. For that, Fishler has earned the title of Primetime Performer from CollegeFencing360.com.
Although sabre staked Penn to an early 6-3 lead over the Pioneers, SHU struck back with a 5-4 edge in foil.Ahead 10-8 entering epee, Penn needed four wins out of the nine bouts to attain an important early win. When theQuakers took two out of the first three, including a win from Fishler,to pull ahead by a score of 12-9, Penn appeared firmly in command. Fighting to the finish, Sacred Heart raked in four offive to knot the proceedingsat 13-13 and set up the dramatic confrontation between Fishler and SHU senior Justin Dion.
The first to five touches is the winner of each individual point in fencing, and naturally, Fishler and Dion found themselves tied up at four apiece. With the other matches around them completed, the two found themselves at the complete center of attention from a packed Hutchinson Gym. Fishler's winning touch sparked a joyous celebration from his Penn teammates and sent the Quakers on their way to a 6-0 day.
Fishler was a team-best 37-17 (.685)in epee last season as a freshman, and with a 10-3 (.769) start as a sophomore, appears well on his way to eclipsing his mark of a year ago.