After sweeping its dual meet against Drexel and Buffalo last Saturday, the Binghamton wrestling team took on No. 18 Navy and Army at home on Sunday. Binghamton concluded their doubleheader with an 18-17 win against Navy and an 22-11 loss against Army.
“Matchups make matches in wrestling,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “Navy is a better matchup for us. They are highly ranked, but it’s a better matchup for us. We kind of knew the Army duel was going to be a little tougher.”
Opening the doubleheader against Navy, the first match saw Binghamton win and take a lead of seven points while Navy sat with zero. The Bearcats and the Midshipmen each exchanged blows and fought to take control of the scoreboard. On the heels of the 157-pound matchup, the Bearcats lost their lead to Navy by one point, making the current score 8-7.
Eventually, Navy would take the lead at 14-7. However, during the 184-pound matchup, the tides turned for the Bearcats. Redshirt senior Jacob Nolan began the match gaining three points with a quick display of skill. Navy attempted to close the gap gaining two points in the second period, but Nolan took seven points in the third period and won the match. Then graduate student Lou DePrez handed out takedowns left and right to earn 19 points in his match, the highest amount of points a Bearcat scored in their bout against Navy. Upon the conclusion of this match, the score jumped to 17-15 with the Bearcats trailing behind Navy by only two points.
The final match saw redshirt senior Cory Day competing in the 285-pound matchup, and the Bearcats’ final chance to settle the score against Navy. An early takedown by Day set the Bearcats in an early lead in the first period. Navy attempted to take the advantage by gaining two points in the second period but Day didn’t let that happen. After another takedown by the redshirt senior, the score was brought to six points. With the final match now concluded, Binghamton stood strong and ended up victorious against Navy with the final score at 18-17 points.
“Toward the end when you kind of seal the victory, the emotions kind of settle in and you realize that you just won a dual meet for your team and that’s a really exciting moment,” Day said.
Binghamton’s second duel of the day was against Army. The Black Knights had the Bearcats on the ropes for the first six rounds, where Army defeated every opponent Binghamton sent their way. The Bearcats were down by 16 points and needed to close the gap with Army quickly. During the 165-pound matchup, junior Brevin Cassella bested his opponent and ended his match with a two-point lead over Army, the final score coming to 3-1.
Nolan also had a close bout in the 184-pound matchup. He gained an early lead after getting two points, but Army was quick to match him. After a stalemate, the redshirt senior pulled ahead and won the match 3-2. During the 197-pound matchup, DePrez garnered the most points against Army yet with an 18-2 win. bringing the meet score to 11-19. It would not be enough, however, with the meet’s final score being 22-11 as Binghamton fell to Army.
“These duel meets are hard,” Borshoff said. “It’s not easy to go and wrestle the Navy and Army back to back. Not a lot of people do it, but were not afraid to do that, and that’s the reason why we’re going to be successful at the end of the year.”
The Bearcats are set to face Harvard and Brown on Saturday, Jan. 27 for their final home doubleheader of the season. The first bout is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Events Center in Vestal, New York.