The Binghamton University wrestling team has hit a bit of a speed bump lately, losing three out of its last four dual meets, with all three losses coming against nationally ranked teams. However, the Bearcats came off a lopsided win over George Mason last week, and they hoped to repeat this success last night when they traveled to Nelson Field House to face off against Bloomsburg University. Fortunately for the Bearcats, they were able to walk away with another victory against Bloomsburg, winning the meet by a score of 19-16.
Binghamton (13-6) and Bloomsburg (13-6) evenly split the 10 bouts. Binghamton led by three points going into the final two matches, but with a key victory in the second-to-last match, the Bearcats were able to wrap up the victory.
“The biggest thing for us was being able to win our close matches,” Binghamton head coach Pat Popolizio said of his team’s victory. “We won some key matches and that allowed us to move some guys around.”
The dual did not begin well for the Bearcats, as the Huskies won the first two bouts at 125 and 133 pounds. Senior Anwar Goeres got Binghamton on the board at 141 pounds with an 11-1 major decision over Derek Shingara. Sophomore Donnie Vinson’s pin at 149 pounds gave the Bearcats a 10-6 lead before junior Matt Kaylor suffered an 11-3 major decision loss to Frank Hickman, who is ranked No. 25 at 157 pounds by www.WrestlingReport.com, tying the team score at 10-10.
Binghamton found success from several of its consistent wrestlers last night. This included junior 165-pounder Justin Lister, who walked away with an 8-4 decision victory over Josh Veltre, earning his 70th career win. Senior Ryan McGarity also picked up a big win for the Bearcats at the 174-pound weight class, winning a decision by a score of 4-1 over Mike Dessino for his fourth straight dual meet victory, bringing the Bearcat lead to 16-10. Dessino is ranked No. 33 at 174 pounds by WrestlingReport.com. Sophomore John Paris lost at 184 pounds, making the team score 16-13 in favor of Binghamton.
Sophomore Nate Schiedel, ranked No. 17 at 184 pounds by InterMat, was also able to add another win to the successful season that he has been having to this point, beating out Richard Perry for a 5-4 decision victory at 197 pounds. It was his victory in the ninth match of the dual that gave Binghamton a six-point lead going into the final match. Popolizio bumped Schiedel up a weight class for this meet, along with fellow sophomore Cody Reed, but was only able to find success with Schiedel, as Reed lost the final match of the meet at 285 pounds by a decision score of 4-2. Schiedel improved his record to 29-6 overall. His 29 wins are a team-high.
“We knew that we needed to win one of our last three matches and we felt that moving Schiedel up to 197 pounds gave us our best chance at doing that,” Popolizio said of his decision to bump Schiedel up a weight class.
However, it was Vinson who shined for the Bearcats once again. The sophomore has been finding significant success at the 149-pound weight class this season, and with a first-period pinfall over Matthew Hicks last night, the No. 11 ranked wrestler (according to InterMat) improved his dual meet record to 18-1.
“The biggest key to [Vinson’s] success is belief,” Popolizio said of Vinson. “He believes in everything that he’s doing right now and it’s really showing in his matches.”
After coming off two consecutive dual meet victories, Binghamton readies itself for two more dual meets this weekend, as it is set to face off against University of North Carolina at Greensboro and fellow Colonial Athletic Association member Old Dominion University.
“Right now we need seven hard minutes of wrestling from all of our guys,” Popolizio said of his team. “The bottom line is that we have to be consistent. We need all 10 guys to be wrestling to the best of their ability. Our goal is to close out the season with all wins, and we believe we can do that.”
Binghamton is set to travel to Old Dominion on Sunday for both dual meets. The first dual against UNC-Greensboro is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start, and the second against Old Dominion is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.