Lehigh 197 lber Michael Beard (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
As the season is winding down, we saw Penn defeat Drexel in the Battle of Philadelphia and Mason Leiphart earned his 13th tech fall of the season. With so much depth in the conference, there are many seeding implications occurring every week. The conference tournament may be the best we’ve seen in years!
This week’s OW is Ben Pasiuk of Army. His win over fifth-ranked Mickey O’Malley of Drexel has brought his career record to 2-0 against the former round of 12 Dragon wrestler. Pasiuk is now the 17th-ranked wrestler at 174 lbs. In terms of seeding, this may have solidified him into the 2 or 3 seed at conferences, opposite of nationally fourth-ranked Chris Foca. From a team perspective, this was a pivotal win in the dual meet to help propel Army over Drexel.
The Eagles hosted Lock Haven and Air Force, dropping both matches (24-9 to LHU, and 28-13 to AFA). The match against Lock Haven saw wins from Raymond Lopez – wrestling up at 141 lbs. Caleb Campos (165 lbs) earned a major decision. The team’s third win came at 197 lbs, with Connor Bourne’s injury default victory. Interestingly, Bourne had an injury default against Lock Haven as well. The dual with Lock Haven had nine decisions, with American winning one of them. At 157 lbs, Jack Nies beat a tough Ashton Eyler. At 165 lbs, Campos lost in overtime to #32 Avery Bassett. Although the score indicates a dominant win by Lock Haven - it was quite the opposite. The largest deficit in a loss was five points. Max Leete wrestled #11 Anthony Noto to a tough 5-2 loss - which I feel is notable. This team is wrestling tough. It looks like Lopez has found a spot at 141 lbs, beefing up from 125 lbs – where he saw action earlier in the year. This week, American will host Binghamton for Senior Day. They will then wrestle at Penn and Drexel Sunday to conclude the dual meet season.
Army West Point
The Black Knights took a trip to Drexel, ending the Dragons’ six-match win streak, winning 20-12. Nate Lukez started the match at 157 lbs, earning a major. The two upsets occurred at 174 lbs and 184 lbs. Ben Pasiuk (#18 @ 174 lbs) handed returning EIWA champ and fifth-ranked Mickey O’Malley his first loss of the year. At 184 lbs, Sahm Abdulrazzaq upset #25 Brian Bonino 2-1 in tiebreakers. Ethan Berginc (#30 @ 125 lbs) worked for a major decision to pull Army ahead. To close out the dual, Julian Sanchez (141 lbs) and Trae McDaniel (149 lbs) each had wins. McDaniel defeated #30 Nichter, as he continues to stay hot. Expect him in the rankings soon. This team is looking very good at the right time. The last dual of the season is the all-important Army vs Navy dual, hosted by Army on Sunday afternoon.
The Bearcats took on #5 Cornell at Hilton High School in New York. This was the high school of Binghamton’s Collin Burns, plus Sam and Lou DePrez (along with Yianni and Greg Diakomihalis). The Bearcats earned a win at 125 lbs by Micah Roes. At 165 lbs, #31 Brevin Cassella also earned a win. BU had a fall from Jacob Nolan (#22 @ 184 lbs). The match of the night (at least on paper) was at heavyweight. Cory Day (#27) won over Brendan Furman (#30). This week’s duals include matches at American and Maryland on Friday. Head Coach Kyle Borshoff will be inducted into the American Athletics Hall of Fame due to his success as an athlete during the match.
The Bears had two conference matches this weekend, beating LIU 27-18 and losing to Columbia 36-3. Hunter Adrian went 2-0 on the weekend, including an overtime win against Angelo Rini of Columbia. At 149 lbs, Blake Saito won his lone bout over a game Drew Witham of LIU. Sam McMonagle performed well in his win over Rhise Royster of LIU at 157 lbs. The Bears saw two falls over the Sharks of LIU. Drew Clearie (174 lbs) and Aaron Wolk (197 lbs) were responsible for the pins. With another bonus point win, James Araneo (184 lbs) won via tech fall. The Columbia score looked lopsided, due to a forfeit at 125 lbs, and an injury default at 174 lbs. Besides one fall for Columbia, each match went the distance - and were even regular decisions. Coach Leen has shown this team’s steady improvement since taking over. The future is bright in Providence. If you need a dark horse candidate for the EIWA tournament, keep an eye on Hunter Adrian at 133 lbs. He has been rolling along nicely since his placing performance at Midlands.
The Bison hosted EIWA powerhouse, Lehigh. They fell to the Mountain Hawks 32-6. The match started off with a huge overtime win from Dylan Chappell at 149 lbs over Manzona Bryant. This win is impressive for two reasons. First, Bryant has been in the rankings this season. He’s very talented, so this was a great win by Dylan. Secondly, Chappell started the season at 133 lbs and has continued into the 141 lbs class. Now, he’s found a home at 149 lbs. Give him some time to develop into somewhat of a full-sized 149 lb wrestler and he can make some noise at EIWAs. Lehigh outmatched Bucknell in most of the lineup. The final bout was a great one at 141 lbs. Darren Miller (#32) took out a red-hot Malyke Hines (#23) to close out the dual. This team has talent in multiple weight classes. They will keep things interesting at conferences. This week's dual will be their final one. They host Princeton Friday night.
The Lions hosted Harvard on Friday night - losing in an 18-17 thriller. The next day, they defeated Brown 36-3. At 197 lbs, Jack Wehmeyer was 2-0 on the weekend - earning one fall and a major. Matt Kazimir (#25 @ 141 lbs) was 2-0 in his two bouts as well. Danny Fongaro (149 lbs) and Cesar Alvan (#23 @ 157 lbs) both went undefeated over the weekend. We saw Josh Ogunsanya (#16 @ 165 lbs) wrestle one match, earning a win over Josh Kim of Harvard. Andrew Garr made an appearance at 165 lbs against Brown, defeating his opponent. Columbia is a good team, and they’ve improved since the beginning of the year. Keep them in mind when contemplating who will finish top-five in team standings at EIWAs. Columbia will host Maryland on Sunday for their final dual meet. This is a great opportunity to earn a team win to gain momentum for conferences.
Fifth-ranked Cornell wrestled Binghamton at Hilton High School in New York. This was the high school of Yianni and Greg Diakomihalis (along with Binghamton’s Collin Burns, plus Sam and Lou DePrez). Highly ranked Vito Arujau (#3 @ 133 lbs) and Yianni Diakomihalis (#1 @ 149 lbs) each earned bonus point wins. Same for Jacob Cardenas (#14 @ 197 lbs), who made quick work with a first-period fall. Ethan Fernandez filled in at 141 lbs, earning a win. Newly acquainted 157 lber, Cole Handlovic earned another win. Lastly, #4 Chris Foca was a winner by major at 174 lbs. The Big Red will travel to Tampa this week to take on #6 Ohio State. This may be the best match of the week across the entire country.
The Dragons hosted Army and Penn this weekend, dropping both matches. This ended their six-match win streak coming into the weekend. Army’s loss was 20-12, while Penn’s was 28-6. Mr. Consistency for the Dragons was 2-0 on the weekend. Evan Barczak (#16 @ 165 lbs) avenged three losses a season ago to Lucas Revano of Penn in the process. The other victory against Penn came from Brian Bonino (#25) at 184 lbs over #22 Max Hale. The upperweights in Sean O’Malley (197 lbs) and Santino Marina (285 lbs) each had pivotal wins over Army. Getting an appearance at 133 lbs for Drexel was Jaxon Maroney. He had a win over Army. The Dragons seem to be coming along as of late. Two minor hiccups this weekend do not change that. This weekend, they’ll have three bouts against Cleveland State and Rider at Rider. Sunday’s finale will be against American.
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats hosted local D2 rival in Millersville. They competed for the Rupp Cup, winning the dual 29-12. Mason Leiphart earned another tech fall, making that 13 on the year and three in a row. At 157 lbs, Nick Alvarez won via decision. Noah Fox won via tech fall at 174 lbs before F&M saw pins from both James Conway (184 lbs) and John Crawford (197 lbs). It was nice to see heavyweight Cenzo Pelusi put up points and earn a major decision. This team is done with dual meets for the season. Expect them to make some noise at EIWAs.
The Crimson went 2-0 in action his weekend. They earned wins over Columbia (19-18) and Hofstra (25-11). They had Diego Sotelo (#18 @ 125 lbs) earn two wins, as did Philip Conigliaro (#20 @ 174 lbs) and Yara Slavikouski (#8 @ 285 lbs). One key win over Columbia came at 184 lbs, when Leo Tarantino won in overtime. The biggest win came at 133 lbs when Dante Frinzi pinned Angelo Rini in a huge swing match. Against Hofstra, The Crimson swept 141 lbs through 157 with wins by Joe Cangro, Jack Crook, and Trevor Tarsi. Harvard’s final dual is this weekend against Brown - at home. This team’s talent is young but starting to come to life. They have wins over Princeton and Columbia this season. I am excited to see them compete at EIWAs.
The Pride lost to Harvard 25-11 before beating Sacred Heart 43-6. Trey Rogers (#29 @ 197lbs) balled out with a tech and fall in two matches. At 184 lbs, #Jacob Ferreira was 2-0 on the week, as was Chase Liardi at 133 lbs. Hofstra scored two tech falls against SHU from Michael Leandrou (149 lbs) and Ross McFarland (174 lbs). At 141 lbs, Justin Hoyle earned a quick pin over Sacred Heart. Zachary Knighton-Ward’s match ended early with an injury default. Hofstra, unfortunately, fell victim to a hot Harvard squad. Their dominating win over Sacred Heart is a promising sign they are ready for EIWAs. They have a handful of wrestlers expected to place, but also have some bracket-buster-type of dudes as well. It will be an entertaining conference tournament with many of these guys wrestling as underdogs. This week’s final dual of the season is a home match against California Baptist.
The Mountain Hawks were 2-0 this weekend with wins over Bucknell (32-6) and Princeton (24-12). Back in action at 157 lbs, Josh Humphreys (#4) earned a major decision and fall on the weekend. Transfer-additions Tate Samuelson (#18 @ 184 lbs) and Michael Beard (#2 @ 197 lbs) each won both matches. Heavyweight, Nathan Taylor (#27) was victorious over two ranked opponents in Crosby (#29) of Bucknell and Stefanik (#30). It was a great weekend for him late in the season. Freshman Ryan Crookham took the win over #26 Kurtis Phipps of Bucknell, as he got the nod in one of the matches at 133 lbs. At 149 lbs, Max Brignola (#31) defeated NCAA qualifier Marshall Keller of Princeton. This team will compete for the EIWA title, along with Cornell and Penn. There are no more duals for them, so they will focus on peaking for March.
The Sharks traveled to Brown, dropping their dual 27-18. They had a forfeit by Robbie Sagaris (125 lbs) and a pin by Blake Bahna at 165 lbs, but still came up short. Devin Matthews had a close win at 141 lbs. At 285 lbs, the Sharks saw a win from Aeden Begue to close out the dual. LIU had a lead heading into the 174 lbs match. Long Island has surprised many this year. Slow and steady progress has been their weekly talking point, it appears. Newly added coach, Jesse Dellavecchia, has made a huge impact on the middleweights. The EIWA’s newest team will be climbing rankings in no time. This week’s dual is at Sacred Heart. LIU won their matchup in November 18-17, coming down to the final bout. Let’s hope this one is just as exciting.
The Midshipmen were off this weekend. They prepare for their important battle away at Army.
The Quakers had themselves a nice weekend beating Princeton 19-15, and Drexel 28-6. At 133 lbs, Michael Colaiocco (#7) was 2-0 on the weekend. Carmen Ferrante (141 lbs) and Doug Zapf (#10 @ 149 lbs) both won two matches as well. Nick Incontrera (#13 @ 174 lbs) defeated Mickey O’Malley of Drexel (#5) in a revenge match from last year’s EIWA final. This team is clicking at the right time. They wrestle hard and are always working to score points. This week’s final dual of the season will be against American, at home.
The Tigers had a tough weekend on the mats, falling to Penn 19-15 and then Lehigh 24-12. Patrick Glory was back at 125 lbs, earning two wins over tough opponents. NCAA runner-up, Quincy Monday, (#4 @ 165 lbs) was 2-0 on the weekend as well, with two wins over NCAA qualifiers. Kole Mulhauser had an impressive pin over Jake Logan of Lehigh. Against Penn, both Luke Stout (#19 @ 197lbs) and Travis Stefanik (#31 @ 285lbs) had wins over ranked opponents. The Tigers are one of the best teams in the conference. Do they have enough firepower to knock off Cornell? Probably not… But they’ll be in the race for second again. This week’s final dual will be at Bucknell Friday night.
The Pioneers were on the wrong side of a 43-6 loss to Hofstra. This was, overall, just a bad matchup. Hofstra’s strengths align with Sacred Heart’s; and proved to be a little stronger in this one. The middle of the line-up saw wins from Nick Palumbo (157 lbs) and Aidan Zarrella (165 lbs). Palumbo’s return from injury is a good sign for the team. He has been hit by the injury bug a little this season, but do not be shocked to see him quietly make a run at EIWAs. He’s already a conference runner-up, and NCAA qualifier. Zarrella has won three in a row. That’s good momentum to have last in the season. They will square off with LIU in a rematch won by LIU 19-18 in November. The following day, Brown comes to town.