FAIRFAX, Va. -- The Columbia wrestling team came away with a pair of dual wins Thursday at George Mason, first topping Cleveland State 34-12, before besting the home team, 24-21. With the result, the Lions are now 4-0 in duals, with another one up at American at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.
"I'm proud of the way these men competed today," said the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling Zach Tanelli. "There was a lot of adversity that we had to overcome and they did that and then some. Up and down the lineup in both wins and losses we competed with a purpose. It was inspiring to coach."
At 4-0, Columbia is off to its best start since 2006-07, when the Lions also won their first four dual matches. The last time a Columbia team started 5-0 was during the 1998-99 season, when the team won its first eight matches.
Columbia 34, Cleveland State 12
In a dual that started at 165 pounds, the Lions took a commanding lead over Cleveland State with three straight wins, before taking five out of the first six matches.
Junior Laurence Kosoy improved to 15-5 overall with a 7-2 win against Ryan Ford at 165, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead. That edge was tripled, as Max Elling topped Dimitri Williams, 2-0 at 174, before Joe Franzese got by Chris Morrow, 6-2, at 184.
The Vikings got six points back with a pin at 197, but Danny Conley gave Columbia six points with a pin of his own in the heavyweight bout to make it a 15-6 match.
When the match rolled over back to 125, Joe Manchio kept the falls coming, putting Cameron Lathem on his back in the second period for his second pin of the season, pushing the lead to 21-6. Cleveland State won via forfeit in the 133-pound match, before Danny Fongaro and Cole Corrigan posted back-to-back bonus point wins at 141 and 149. Dan Reed ended the match at 157 with a 6-1 win over Nico O'Dor, helping the Lions to improve to 3-1 with the 34-12 win.
The three pins in a dual were the most since a 46-0 win last January over Sacred Heart that also included a trio of falls for the Lions.
165: Laurence Kosoy dec. Ryan Ford, 7-2 | 3-0, Columbia
174: Max Elling dec. Dimitri Williams, 2-0 | 6-0, Columbia
184: Joe Franzese dec. Chris Morrow, 6-2 | 9-0, Columbia
197: Ben Smith Fall (6:23) Michael Bulkin | 9-6, Columbia
HWT: Danny Conley Fall (4:30) Collin Kelly | 15-6, Columbia
125: Joe Manchio Fall (4:28) Cameron Lathem | 21-6, Columbia
133: Armando Torres wins by forfeit | 21-12, Columbia
141: Danny Fongaro MD Mike Santillo, 14-4 | 25-12, Columbia
149: Cole Corrigan Fall (3:38) Brady Barnett | 31-12, Columbia
157: Dan Reed dec. Nico O'Dor, 6-1 | 34-12, Columbia
Columbia 24, George Mason, 21
Although Columbia trailed throughout the entirety of the dual, a late comeback helped the Lions get by George Mason, 24-21.
After a pin at 165 and a decision victory at 174, the Patriots took a 9-0 lead into the 184-pound bout. Sophomore Brian Bonino came back and posted a major decision at 184, beating Paul Pierce by a 13-4 margin. Rookie Sam Wustefeld then cut the lead in the team scoring to 9-7, posting a 5-1 decision against Alex Donahue.
Matthew Voss gave the Patriots a 12-7 lead when he edged Daniel Herman, 3-2 in the heavyweight bout. Shortly thereafter, the Lions tied the team score, as Joe Manchio impressed with a tech fall against Talha Farooq, 17-2, for his second win of the day coming with bonus points.
With a forfeit in the 133-pound match, the Lions had some ground to make up trailing by six with only three bouts remaining. First-year Danny Fongaro would once again tie up the score, pinning Julio Alegria in the first period of the 141-pound bout, making it 18-18.
At 149, Tejon Anthony posted a 5-2 decision against Riley Jacops, giving the lead back to the home team with just the 157-pound match left. Dan Reed was taking down in the first and trailed 2-1, but Kolby Ho was forced to default due to injury, giving Columbia a 24-21 win in the team scoring.
165: Colston DiBlasi Fall (7:00) Laurence Kosoy | 6-0, GMU
174: Neil Schuster dec. Max Elling, 4-2 | 9-0, GMU
184: Brian Bonino MD Paul Pierce, 13-4 | 9-4, GMU
197: Sam Wustefeld dec. Alex Donahue, 5-1 | 9-7, GMU
HWT: Matthew Voss dec. Daniel Herman, 3-2 | 12-7, GMU
125: Joe Manchio TF Talha Farooq, 17-2 (4:29) | 12-12, tied
133: Spencer Reed wins via forfeit | 18-12, GMU
141: Danny Fongaro Fall (1:33) Julio Alegria | 18-18, tied
149: Tejon Anthony dec. Riley Jacops 5-2 | 21-18, GMU
157: Dan Reed wins via inj. default Kolby Ho | 24-21, Columbia