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Hofstra wrestling shutout for first time in 14 years against No. 1 Cornell

By Tyler McCord, Staff Writer

After two wins in Philadelphia, Hofstra was back home on the mats to host No. 1 Cornell in the Physical Education Building on Saturday.

The Pride was missing a key component to its line-up with senior Lou Ruggirello (133 lbs.) out due to back issues, according to head coach Tom Shifflet.

With one of its best wrestlers out, Hofstra had to forfeit six points before the match even started. Those six points did not make much of a difference as Cornell rolled through Hofstra's line-up, downing the Pride 45-0.

At 125 lbs. sophomore Steve Bonanno had his hands full against No. 10 Frank Perrelli. Perrelli scored first and added an escape and takedown in the third period to beat Bonanno 5-2.

At 149 lbs. the 2010 NCAA Champion, No. 3 Kyle Dake, pinned sophomore Matt Spataro in a mere 1:33. The fall put Cornell ahead 18-0 after only four matches.

No. 11 D.J. Meagher kept the winning streak going for Cornell against sophomore Tyler Banks (157 lbs.), winning by a 9-3 decision.

When it looked like it couldn't get any worse for Hofstra, No. 14 P.J. Gillespie (165 lbs.) was cradled up and pinned by freshman Craig Eifert in 4:46. Gillespie started the match with a takedown, but was caught by Eifert, which proved to be a vital mistake for Gillespie.

"This match that he did get pinned in is going to cost him," Shifflet told WRHU after the match. "It's going to cost him a lot, probably a seed at the national tournament."

It did not get any better for the Pride with No. 16 Ryan Patrovich (174 lbs.) having to wrestle 2010 NCAA Runner-Up, No. 3 Mack Lewnes. After an impressive first period, Patrovich took the bottom position and Lewnes pinned him thirty-three seconds into the period.

With only three matches left Hofstra was trailing 33-0.

"We knew that they were going to wrestle in every position," said Shifflet. "If we didn't match their intensity, meaning to continue to wrestle in every position it was going to get where we weren't going to have a chance and that's what happened today."

Junior Ben Clymer (184 lbs.) took on No. 6 Steve Bosak, who tallied up his riding time and used a third period reversal to decision Clymer 3-0.

Freshman Matt Loew (197 lbs.) took on No. 1 Cam Simaz and Simaz quickly pinned Loew in 1:41. Then Cornell's Stryker Lane closed out the dual meet with a 4-0 victory over sophomore Paul Snyder (285 lbs.).

Hofstra's first shutout in 14 years halted its five-match winning streak and dropped the Pride to 9-4-1, while Cornell improved to 8-1.

"This obviously showed why they [Cornell] were the number one team in the country," said Shifflet. "Obviously very, very, very disappointed. As a coach you have to take a lot of this and put in on yourself because it's my job to prepare these guys for these dual meets."

The Pride responded to its bad beat days earlier at Lock Haven University, as Hofstra defeated the Bald Eagles 26-6 on Wednesday night.

Gillespie responded to his loss with a decisive 9-1 victory over Dylan Caprio and Clymer recorded a 10-3 win over Jacob Bachman.

Only two Hofstra wrestlers dropped their matches with eight members of the Pride, including Clymer and Gillespie cruising to comfortable victories. The win ups the Pride's record to 10-4-1.

Paul Snyder gives his all, but it was not enough as Hofstra was shut out 45-0 against Cornell. (Sean M. Gates/The Chronicle)

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