After an impressive 23-18 victory over Boston University, the Binghamton wrestling team will hope to ride its momentum into tonight’s match at Hofstra.
The Bearcats (4-10, 3-7 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) fell 23-19 in last year’s meeting and placed third — one spot behind the Pride (5-6, 3-2 EIWA) — at the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Championship.
But according to Binghamton head coach Matt Dernlan, the rivalry between the Bearcats and Hofstra — former foes in the defunct Colonial Athletic Association — transcends the wrestling mat.
“It’s a good rivalry,” Dernlan said. “It’s upstate versus Long Island, public versus private. A lot of these guys have been seeing each other [on the mat] since high school.”
In their first season in the EIWA, Binghamton and Hofstra have produced similar results. Neither team could beat Princeton, but each defeated Drexel and Boston University. And when they competed at Cornell’s New York State Championships earlier this season, Hofstra edged Binghamton by just 18 points.
The similar skill level between the two teams bodes well for a tight, hard-fought battle on Friday. The match should also serve as a gauge on Binghamton’s first season in the conference.
Against the Pride, the Bearcats will look to strike first and avoid having to work their way from behind as they did last Friday against Boston.
“[Hofstra] is a very strong team,” Dernlan said. “We have been working on building momentum for the past month, and we need to get on the attack early.”
Also, a stress for this weekend is the accumulation of “bonus points” — points given for big wins, falls (pins) or technical falls.
Looking to have a big match for BU is 125-pound junior David White. White is scheduled to match up against fifth-year senior and two-time NCAA tournament qualifier Jamie Franco, down from the 133-pound spot he held in the 2012-2013 season.
But White certainly won’t be the only one looking to have a big day.
“They all have a great opportunity,” Dernlan said. “We just need to continue with a winning mentality.”
Binghamton’s match against Hofstra is set for 7 p.m. at the Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex in Hempstead, N.Y.