The Binghamton wrestling team competed in its second tournament in a week’s span on Saturday, suiting up for the Northeast Duals sponsored by ASICS. Hosted at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, the Bearcats (1-4) rolled around with No. 22 Purdue, Northern Illinois, LIU Post and Wyoming. Despite going 1-3 on the day, BU head coach Matt Dernlan believes that putting his team in the hot seat early will pay dividends later this winter season.
“We thought it was really necessary in the first month of this season to put the guys in the fire per sé,” Dernlan said. “We knew against the three teams that we lost to this weekend, they were very senior-driven teams. They’re experienced, [and] they’ve been in a lot of big moments before.”
Binghamton opened the day with a 25-7 loss to the 22nd ranked Boilermakers (4-1). While Binghamton sported winners in 17th-ranked senior heavyweight Tyler Deuel — who posted a 13-0 major decision over Purdue’s Tyler Kral — and freshman Thierno Diallo at the 125-spot, no other Bearcat would have his arm raised over Purdue in the dual’s 10 matches. Late in the match, 174-pound freshman Steve Schenider and 184-pound junior Jack McKeever would drop matches back-to-back by one point — two losses that Dernlan feel capture his team’s room for growth.
“Our young guys competed very, very hard,” Dernlan said. “But I think what our young guys need to learn how to do is figure out how to turn those tables and win those one-point matches. And that’s part of the process with having a bunch of guys being in the starting lineup being freshman or sophomores.”
Facing NIU (7-5) on the mat next, BU would see more individual success as the team nearly doubled its previous point total in the 27-13 loss against the Huskies. Sophomore Zack Zupan recorded the first fall for BU, pinning Northern Illinois sophomore Shaun’Qae McMurtry in 2:18 for the win at the 165-slot. McKeever took a win by decision, 6-0, over freshman Quinton Rosser for his first victory of the day. Deuel continued to defend his national ranking, winning by a 10-0 major decision in his second match of the day against junior Arthur Bunce.
“We saw very good effort,” Dernlan said of his star wrestler. “Of course Tyler Deuel continues to wrestle well and lead the team. He probably set the tone for us all day long.”
In its third match, Binghamton throttled LIU Post (1-2) to the ring of 44-0. Every BU starter won his match, highlighted by a pair of pins from Zupan and Schneider at the 165- and 175-pound classes, respectively. McKeever also recorded a win by technical fall (18-0) against his opponent, while Deuel continued his hot streak with a win by forfeit in the heavyweight class.
But the tables turned against Wyoming (3-2) in BU’s final match of the day. Dropping the dual, 33-0, the Bearcats were unable to generate any team points against the Cowboys, who were ranked 24th in the national preseason poll. On the individual level, four Wyoming wrestlers were ranked in the InterMat polls, and a fifth — junior heavyweight Tanner Harms — was ranked 20th in the Amateur Wrestling Polls. Harms’ ranking is sure to go up too, after he broke Deuel’s win streak with a 9-6 decision win over the senior.
Being outscored in team play throughout the day, 85-64, albeit against some of the top programs in the nation, the Bearcats took plenty away from their trip to Troy. Mostly, that’s in their ability to execute on the mat, and walk away with the W.
“It all comes down to execution and that’s what I’ve been telling guys,” Dernlan said. “I love our attitude, I love our fight, our guys are coming out there and scrapping really really hard, putting a complete effort out there. But now what we have to do, is we have to have our execution match our fight and attitude.”
The Bearcats will begin Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association dual play Dec. 12 when they travel to Princeton. Placing in second at Saturday’s Navy Classic in Annapolis, Maryland, the matchup will be the first for both teams this season in the EIWA.
Face-off is set for 7 p.m. at Dillon Gym in Princeton, N.J.