With the Binghamton wrestling team down by three, redshirt junior Joe Nelson looked as though he would tie it up in the last bout against American, as he held a 6-4 edge. Nelson went for a single leg shot with only 56 seconds remaining to try and ice the bout, but American’s redshirt freshman Gage Curry rotated and got the takedown, followed by four back points to secure the 20-14 win for American. Binghamton bounced back with a dominant 38-6 win over Sacred Heart.
The Bearcats now sit at 9-5 overall, and 6-1 in Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association play.
Starting in the 133-pound weight class, American redshirt junior Josh Terao — who is ranked No. 10 in the nation — put American (6-5, 3-2 EIWA) up 4-0 with a major decision victory. Binghamton quickly responded in the 141-pound weight class with redshirt junior Joe Russ notching three points for the Bearcats. The Eagles then took two matches in a row to go up 11-3 over BU.
Binghamton came back strong as redshirt junior Vincent DePrez appeared to be toying with his opponent, notching seven takedowns in the 165-pound bout. He ended up winning his match 16-6, securing four points and cutting the Eagles’ lead in half.
Fellow redshirt junior Anthony Lombardo also dominated his match with over five minutes of ride time, taking a 12-1 major decision to tie the score up at 11 apiece. The Bearcats notched their final win of the day from senior Steve Schneider with a 6-2 victory in the 184-pound weight class. This would mark the Bearcats’ first and only lead of the day at 14-11.
Binghamton went on to lose its bouts in the 197- and 285-pound weight classes to two top 25-ranked American opponents before Nelson ultimately lost a close match to Curry.
“The dual came down to the last match and we came up a bit short,” said BU acting head coach Kyle Borshoff. “The effort was there, but we executed poorly in a couple of technical situations and that cost us. We will learn from this dual as we move forward toward the postseason.”
As the Bearcats internalized Friday’s loss, they also had to prepare for their next dual on Saturday against Sacred Heart.
“They were still feeling a little down this morning when we were doing our warmup,” Borshoff said. “We went through our warmup, and they started feeling a bit better.”
Clearly, the team was able to shake off the loss, as after a forfeit at the 125-pound weight class put them up 6-0, the team only lost two individual duals. After a 10-4 loss at 133, Russ displayed another strong performance as he put freshman Shaun Williams of Sacred Heart in a cradle pin with just 34 seconds left in the first period.
Now, with a 12-3 lead, redshirt sophomore Frankie Garcia and redshirt freshman Dylan Wood each won their matches, with Wood earning a bonus point for a major decision.
DePrez earned his second win of the weekend with a pin just a minute and a half into the first period, putting the score at 25-3. Lombardo dominated his opponent, notching seven takedowns on his way to a 19-5 victory.
Schneider at one point dragged his opponent by his leg into the middle of the mat to prevent him from going out of bounds on his way to an early pin.
“We talk about scoring bonus points all the time — pins, tech falls, major decisions, and for them to go out and do that today, that’s what we ask of them,” Borshoff said. “They went out [today] and dictated the pace, they wrestled the match on their terms and they were able to come away with the falls.”
Binghamton is scheduled to return to the mat on Feb. 9 against Northern Illinois at 7 p.m. The dual will take place from the West Gym in Vestal, New York.