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Hofstra picks up win over LIU

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Hofstra won nine of the 10 weight classes, including a win by fall and two technical falls, in a 38-6 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association victory over Long island University Sunday afternoon at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.

Hofstra moved to 4-5 overall and 2-0 in EIWA competition. The Sharks of LIU fell to 2-17 overall and 0-5 in league play.

The Pride opened up with a win at 197 pounds as Trey Rogers picked up a 17-5 major decision over LIU's Mark Malico. Rogers controlled the match throughout, scoring seven takedowns while Malico scored all five of his points on escapes. Zachary Knighton-Ward followed with a dominating victory over Maguire Horl. The Hofstra 285-pounder had a takedown and a two-point nearfall in the first, an escape and a takedown in the second and then closed out the match with six takedowns in the third for a 20-5 tech fall victory.

The Pride's dominance continued at 125 pounds as Dylan Ryder jumped out to a 14-3 first period lead on Brandon Mercado and scored a pinfall victory at 3:54. The Sharks would forfeit at 133 as the Pride built a 21-0 lead in the match.

Hofstra's Vinnie Vespa and LIU's Michael Blando went back and forth at 141 pounds before Vespa scored four back points in the third period to break a 7-7 tie and rode out the rest of the match to pick up the 11-7 victory. Reece Heller and Rhise Royster had a close first period at 149 pounds. Reece Heller rallied from a 3-2 first period deficit, scoring 10 back points in the third period alone to take an 18-3 tech fall victory.

Holden Heller and Dominick Demarco wrestled a low-scoring affair at 157 pounds. Holden Heller used a first period takedown to take the lead and build a substantial riding time advantage. After Demarco had an escape in the second, the Pride sophomore scored another takedown to go up by a 4-1 score. He would add an escape in the final 20 seconds and won by a 6-1 score. The Sharks would get on the board at 165 pounds as Ryan Ferro pinned Charlie Kane. Kane was wrestling up two weight classes.

Hofstra would get back on track at 174 pounds as Sage Heller defeated James Langan in a tight contest. Sage Heller trailed, 2-1, after the first period and the match was tied at four after two. Heller started the third period on top and was able to score a late takedown. Langan reversed it to tie the score at six, but Sage Heller gained the riding time point for a 7-6 win. The Pride's Charles Small closed out the match at 184 pounds. The junior scored a first takedown and got two back points as well before earning an escape to lead, 5-0, after the opening period. The scoring slowed after the first with each wrestler picking up an escape point the rest of the way with Small posting the 6-1 decision.

The Pride returns to action Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. against Davidson. The match will take place in the David S. Mack Physical Education Center.

Notes:
-This was the first meeting between Hofstra and LIU since the Sharks moved to the Division I level.
-Hofstra has won three of its last four dual matches.
-Hofstra is 2-0 in EIWA action for the first time since joining the league in 2013-14
-The 32-point margin of victory was the most for the Pride since a 42-point margin (45-3) against Sacred Heart on Feb. 11, 2018.

Results:
197: Trey Rogers (HU) maj. dec. Mark Malico, 17-5 (LIU) 4-0
285: Zachary Knighton-Ward (HU) tech fall Maguire Horl (LIU), 20-5 (7:00) 9-0
125: Dylan Ryder (HU) wbf. Brandon Mercado (LIU), 3:54 15-0
133: Justin Hoyle (HU) wins by forfeit 21-0
141: Vinnie Vespa (HU) dec. Michael Blando (LIU), 11-7 24-0
149: Reece Heller (HU) tech fall Rhise Royster (LIU), 18-3 (7:00) 29-0
157: Holden Heller (HU) dec. Dominick Demarco (LIU), 6-1 32-0
165: Ryan Ferro (LIU) wbf. Charlie Kane (HU), 1:13 32-6
174: Sage Heller (HU) dec. James Langan (LIU), 7-6 35-6
184: Charles Small (HU) dec. Dan McClure (LIU), 6-1 38-6

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