Patriots fencer Tatianna Zafft (right) in her match against Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s Phoebe Coleman. Photo by Bruce Hack

Patriots fencing sweeps Cambridge Rindge and Latin 

By Bruce Hack Correspondent
February 8, 2024

The Concord-Carlisle co-ed fencing team won all five matches against the Cambridge Rindge and Latin Falcons on January 30. 

The Patriots had seven fencers go 3-0 on the night. In women’s saber, senior Catherine Fann and sophomore Melani Sleder swept their matches.  

Senior Azlan Shahzad went 3-0 in men’s saber. Senior Wesley McIlwain and sophomore James Feinberg each went 3-0 in men’s epee. Ninth-grader Elliott Goodman was 3-0 in men’s foil.  

Senior Tatiana Zafft also swept in women’s epee to stay undefeated for the season. Her third win of the night came against CRL’s Phoebe Coleman, the top Falcons fencer, who was ranked 15th in the country at the time of the match. Zafft won 5-1 in points to go with her two 5-0 wins in her earlier bouts. 

A fencing meet consists of three fencers in each category, foil, epee and saber. Each fencer will fence three times, once against each opponent in the category. If a team only has two fencers in a particular category, the team will start down 3-0 in that category.

For CC, that happened in women’s epee. Down 3-0, the Patriots needed senior Adrianna Marciante to win two of her matches for CC to win epee. After losing to Cambridge’s Chisholm in her first match, Marciante came back and won her next two matches to go along with Zafft’s sweep and give CC a 5-4 win in women’s epee. 

“Adrianna winning the two close bouts was key to us winning,” said Head Coach Michael Marx, a five-time Olympian.  

“She is aggressive and has fun fencing,” Marx added.  

Fencing consists of three different weapons. 

The foil is a lighter thrusting weapon. To earn points in a match, a fencer can only hit the opponent with the tip of the blade and only strikes to the torso, neck, groin and back count for points.  

The epee is the heaviest weapon. Only the tip may be used to score points and the entire body is a target, and both fencers may score simultaneously in a match.  

The saber is a cutting and thrusting weapon derived from the cavalry sword. A fencer can use both the saber tip and blade to score points, but a strike below the waist does not count.  

The Patriots have a multi-team meet scheduled for February 10 at Brooks School. On February 24, they’re at the state meet at Cambridge Rindge and Latin.