By Tyler McCord, Staff Writer
The Hofstra Pride wrestling team defeated the Rider Broncs in a CAA dual 25-12 for its third straight win. The Pride improved its record to 12-4-1 (5-1 CAA), while Rider dropped to 8-11 (2-3 CAA).
"I have mixed feelings", said Hofstra head coach Tom Shifflet. "There were some ups and there were some downs."
One of the ups was the start the Pride got from its 125 and 133 pounders. Redshirt-sophomore Steve Bonanno (125 lbs.) started the dual meet taking on Rider's Chuck Zeisloft. After a dull first period, Bonanno managed to score several takedowns in the following periods winning by major decision, 12-3. Following the major decision senior Lou Ruggirello (133 lbs.) notched his team-leading tenth pin of the season with a 1:21 fall over Jimmy Kirchner.
Junior Vince Varela (141 lbs.) lost by fall in 5:30. "Within probably 15, 20 seconds we [Varela] got elevated twice and the second time we ended up getting pinned," said Shifflet. Rider added three more points to the scoreboard with Zac Cibula's 4-0 decision over red-shirt freshman Zac Clemente (149 lbs.). "The downside was some of our guys not being aggressive on their feet," said Shifflet. "If we want to score points we have to get in on the legs and that's the disappointing part to me. I wanted to see us be more aggressive."
Tyler Banks (157 lbs.) stopped the bleeding with a 5-4 decision over Ramon Santiago. Santiago took Banks down twice, but a late rally proved to be the difference. "Tyler Banks got a little more aggressive on his feet," said Shifflet. "He had some leg attacks and was able to win the match because he was shooting and offensive."
Junior P.J. Gillespie (165 lbs.) edged no. 24 Jim Resnick 3-1. Rob Morrison of Rider took down senior Ryan Patrovich (174 lbs.) within the first few seconds of overtime to give Morrison a 6-4 win. "I think he was exhausted", said Shifflet. "Normally when Ryan wrestles that pace and hand fights hard he can wear guys down." Morrison's win brought the team score to 16-12 in favor of Hofstra with three matches left.
Junior Ben Clymer (184 lbs.) avenged an early 4-0 deficit to come back and win by decision, 6-5. Clymer's opponent, James Brundage, slammed Clymer to his back and after a quick count by the official the match was stopped for injury. "I didn't say anything to him," said Shifflet. "He's been in that situation earlier on in the season when we went out to Missouri and he hurt his foot. I think he learned from that match. He had to fight through some adversity and he did a great job."
Freshman Matt Loew (197 lbs.) followed Clymer's win with an exciting 6-5 decision of his own. Down by one point Loew reversed his opponent with just four seconds left in the third and final period and held on for the decision. "He wrestled for the full seven minutes and kept the pressure on the kid," said Shifflet. "He did a nice job pulling out the victory." That victory extended his three-match win streak. After Loew clinched the victory for the Pride, sophomore Paul Snyder (285 lbs.) won by decision 3-1 to end the dual match.