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Men stumble; Cantlin lost for rest of way

Men's squash would have hoped to kick off the second half of its season in a better way, but a tight loss and the prospect of a season-ending injury marred the team's New England road trip this past weekend.

After easily putting away hosts Williams and Dartmouth, 9-0 and 9-0, the Tigers concluded their weekend trip Sunday night at Harvard. In its biggest match of the season to date, Princeton (6-1 overall, 3-1 Ivy League) dropped its first match of the season, 6-3, to the rival Crimson (5-0, 4-0). In a close contest, victories in a couple of tight matches would have swung the verdict. Sophomore No. 2 Peter Yik, senior No. 7 Pierre Bastien and junior No. 8 Gardner Lamotte recorded wins for the Tigers.

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Junior Amir Give'on played a strong match, playing at No. 1 after swapping places with the slightly injured Yik but fell in five games. Junior No. 4 Alan Cantlin, playing with a heavily taped wrist, dropped his match in five games also.

Depleted

The loss is a definite setback for a team looking to contend with defending national champion Harvard and Trinity as the nation's best, but an even greater loss may be the season-ending injury to Cantlin, who is scheduled to undergo surgery on his wrist this Friday.

Cantlin, along with Yik, Give'on and senior Ben Fishman make up one of the strongest top fours in the country, and had thus far had been a force to contend with.

"The injury to Alan really hurts," Yik said. "Losing him for the season bumps everyone up a position, and makes it a little tougher. (But) losing Alan doesn't mean we're done. We're not finished. We have a lot of seniors on our team who want to get some wins."

Movin' on up

The Tigers will have to rely on their depth to make up for Cantlin's loss. Junior Steve Lilley should move into the top nine, while seniors Ted Roosevelt, Harrison Sebring, and freshman Marshall Sebring will probably be called upon to play higher in the lineup, along with Lamotte and Bastien.

The fate of the season seems to be at a crossroads now, with the team suffering its first loss against a team that it knows it will have to beat in the Howe Cup at season's end, and also with the loss of a top player in Cantlin.

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"As I told the team after our match, we can either pack it in or improve," Fishman said. "There are two directions in which we can go, and hopefully we'll choose the right one."

The Tigers will continue to play on the road with a match at Franklin and Marshall tomorrow night, and then return home this Saturday at Jadwin to play Yale.

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