Following two impressive wins last weekend against Brown and Sacred Heart, the Binghamton wrestling team continued its winning streak with a 25-11 victory at American. With this win, the Bearcats (8-4, 8-2 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) have now won six of their last seven conference duals.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead when junior Steve Schneider, ranked No. 15 nationally at the 184-pound weight class, took down American University Eagles’ Jason Grimes in a 4-1 decision. The Eagles (3-8, 0-7 EIWA) then tied it up at the 197 pound weight class with a 6-0 decision.
In the heavyweight bout, the Bearcats regained the lead when redshirt sophomore Connor Calkins got a late third period takedown, winning 3-2, making the total score 6-3. The Eagles struck back in the 125-pound weight class when redshirt sophomore Josh Terao won by technical fall, putting the Eagles up 8-6.
The Bearcats then went on a run to gain control of the dual by winning three consecutive matches. True freshman Audey Ashkar made his dual debut, taking down Eagles freshman Angelo Barberio by a score of 10-4.
“This was his first match in the varsity lineup as a true freshman, putting on the green and black for us. For him to step up and get a win was huge,” said Bearcats head coach Matt Dernlan.
Redshirt senior Dylan Caruana followed up Barberio’s victory with a pin in the second period. Freshman Parker Kropman added three more points upon his fourth consecutive win to bring the score to 18-8 in favor of the Bearcats.
“For us, not only to get the win, but to get a pin and extra bonus points was huge,” Dernlan said.
The Eagles proceeded to take the next match with a 5-2 decision, but were unable to advance as the Bearcats rounded out the final two matches with an 8-2 decision and a 13-0 major decision.
Multiple Bearcats were battling illness over the weekend and were not at full strength. Ashkar, redshirt freshman Jake Einbinder and redshirt sophomore Anthony Lombardo were all inserted into the lineup and had crucial wins that helped Binghamton secure victory over American.
“We were just ravaged with the flu all week, to the point where we weren’t really able to practice that much and prepare too much,” Dernlan said. “So leading into the match, we were really challenging the guys to test our metal, really test our spirit, were going to have to collectively dig deep as individuals and as a team, we did that today, and I couldn’t be prouder of the guys.”
With four duals remaining, two of which are against conference opponents, the Bearcats are in a good position for the EIWA Championships.
Binghamton is set to continue conference play this Friday at Bucknell. The bout is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Davis Gym in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.