The Binghamton wrestling team hosted No. 20 ranked Lehigh on Sunday for its third Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) dual meet of the season. Four Bearcats picked up victories in their respective individual bouts but — despite leading early — the hosts were eventually defeated by the Mountain Hawks 26-12.
“We competed well,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “Got a couple of good quality wins in. The team competed hard, and at the end of the day you can point to two egregious errors or mistakes we made that cost us the match. It was certainly a tighter dual than the score indicated.”
In the first bout of the dual, redshirt junior Cory Day battled in the 285-pound weight class. The No. 21 ranked Bearcat secured a 3-1 decision over his opponent to give BU (2-9, 1-2 EIWA) an early 3-0 lead over Lehigh (5-6, 2-1 EIWA).
“[Day] won the mat wrestling, which is what he’s been doing all year long,” Borshoff said. “If he continues to do that, he’ll be a dangerous person to wrestle for anyone in the country. So he’s doing a great job on top, he’s doing a great job on bottom and he’s competing well on his feet. He’s not getting scored on, and he did a really great job of controlling his opponent.”
Sophomore Ivan Garcia picked up Binghamton’s second win of the day at 133 pounds. His bout was knotted at one late in the third period, but with a reversal, Garcia took a 3-1 advantage. This secured his victory via decision and gave the Bearcats a 6-3 lead.
Despite going ahead at the start of the dual, BU went on to drop the next two bouts by way of fall, falling behind 14-6. However, sophomores Conner Decker and Brevin Cassella picked up back-to-back wins by decision to narrow the deficit to just two points.
“For [Decker] to come out and compete and win takes a lot of guts,” Borshoff said. “You have to have a real short memory of watching your teammate the match before and just focusing on your individual matchup. [Decker] was able to do that and come away with the win.”
Decker earned his first career dual win in sudden victory during the 157-pound bout. The Bearcat scored a double-leg takedown to secure a 3-1 decision. Next, in the 165-pound bout, Cassella earned a 7-2 decision with a first-period takedown, four near-fall points and 2:24 of riding time.
“[Cassella] had limited matchups this season, but he’s starting to get back into a nice rhythm with his offense,” Borshoff said. “Looking forward to his progress over the next few weeks before the conference championships.”
Binghamton went on to lose the last three bouts of the dual to lose 26-12. Although the Bearcats have a 2-9 record overall, Borshoff is still confident in his team’s ability to compete. Five of their opponents this season are nationally ranked programs.
“We’re competitive against the best teams in the country,” Borshoff said. “We’ve wrestled a lot of good teams. Our record is not great, but as you go through and look at the teams we’ve wrestled, pretty much everyone is a nationally ranked team or ranked highly in the mid-major poll. So we just have to continue to get better and make sure that we put ourselves in the best position for EIWA’s to qualify guys to the NCAA Championships.”
BU will return to action against Harvard on Saturday, Jan. 21. First bout is scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Malkin Athletic Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.