The Binghamton men’s wrestling team took home two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) wins this weekend, defeating Hofstra (7-4, 2-1 EIWA) and Princeton (5-5, 3-1 EIWA) to extend its winning steak to four duals. The Bearcats kicked the weekend off with a 31-6 victory over Hofstra on Friday night, followed by a 26-12 win over Princeton on Saturday afternoon.
“We wrestled great,” said Binghamton head coach Kyle Borshoff. “It was a really dominant performance by the team. We controlled all of those matches really well. Our guys’ offense looked great. We need to continue to be offensive and score points. We can do that to a lot of teams out there. Very happy with the effort.”
Leading the way for the Bearcats against Hofstra were redshirt seniors Cory Day and Jacob Nolan, who were joined by junior Brevin Cassella in earning shutout victories in their respective 285, 184 and 165-pound matchups. The Bearcats opened the match with three straight victories, with freshman Carson Wagner starting off with an 8-2 win by decision in his 125-pound matchup. Junior Micah Roes followed with a 4-1 win by decision in his 133-pound matchup, while redshirt sophomore Nate Lucier collected a 5-2 decision win in his 141-pound matchup.
“[Day] wrestled great, majoring that guy from Hofstra is very impressive,” Borshoff said. “[Day] was just dominant this weekend. In two ranked matchups, we’re talking about a guy who’s dangerous in every position. [Wagner] wrestled really well. He did a nice job getting to his offense. I think [Roes], in a match against a sixth-year guy with a lot of experience, did a great job. This weekend, I think [Roes] continues to be a really smart wrestler. He’s doing all of the things right and he’s clicking.”
Strong performances continued on Saturday against Princeton, with graduate student Lou DePrez starting the Bearcats off with a win by major decision over his ranked opponent in the 197-pound matchup. Day followed by earning his second major decision win on the weekend in his 285-pound matchup to put Binghamton up big early. In the lighter-weight matchups, Wagner, Roes and Lucier all earned wins in their respective duals, putting Binghamton up 20-0 after the fifth matchup on Saturday.
“It’s great for [DePrez],” Borshoff said. “They had wrestled previously in the EIWA championships two years ago. It was really nice to watch [DePrez] dominate that match and really just continue to show that he’s at the top. He is and has always been one of the best guys in the country. [It’s] nice to get wins down low and not have to rely on our upper weights entirely as we’ve had to do in the past in some duals. It’s great to see those lighter guys getting good wins.”
Saturday featured a controversial 165-pound matchup between Cassella and his Princeton opponent, with challenges being thrown by both Binghamton and Princeton during the match. A controversial stalling call on Cassella, which would have given Princeton the match, was challenged by the Bearcats. The call was overturned and the match went to overtime, where Cassella took the win in the overtime tie-breaker.
“[Cassella] ran that guy all over the mat the entire match,” Borshoff said. “That guy didn’t do anything but block us. I thought it was fairly egregious. We were totally dominating the match offensively, so I wasn’t even sure why they were thinking of calling [Cassella] for stalling. It was frustrating, but I’m glad they overturned it and we got the opportunity to win.”
Following Cassella’s win, redshirt junior Dimitri Gamkrelidze collected his second win of the weekend in his 174-pound matchup to solidify the road victory over Princeton for the Bearcats. With two conference wins on the weekend, the Bearcats advanced to a 7-2 EIWA record as they prepare for their final two duals of the season before the EIWA championships on March 8.
“Team’s wrestling, right now, very well,” Borshoff said. “We head out to Northwestern for a matchup with them Friday night, then we’ve got one dual left against Cornell. Cornell’s, I think, the second-best team in the country right now. That’ll be a tough one to give us a nice challenge before the EIWA’s. I think if you look at the past four dual meets we’ve wrestled, we’re wrestling hard, we’re wrestling smart, we’re winning close matches when we need to. Overall, I’m very optimistic about what the EIWA’s is going to look like for us in March.”
The Bearcats are set to take on Northwestern on Friday, Feb. 16. First bout is set for 8 p.m. at the Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois.