Hofstra wrestling splits weekend contest at home
On a cold Sunday afternoon, Hofstra wrestling alumni were honored as the Hofstra wrestling team split a doubleheader against University of Northern Colorado and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. They beat VMI 28-15 but fell to Northern Colorado 21-13. Before the match against Northern Colorado, the banner honoring alumni Nick Gallo, Hofstra’s only nation champion, was unveiled.
In the 125-pound match, Dylan Ryder would fluster Northern Colorado’s Rico Montoya by constantly pinning Montoya to the mat as he tried to escape from his grip. Ryder would score eight points back and win the match 12-3.
In the 133-pound match between Trent Olson of Hofstra and Sean Cannon of Northern Colorado, neither wrestler could gain an edge over the other throughout the match. In the end, Cannon would win 2-1 due to an escape and penalty call earlier in the match.
In both the 141-pound and 157-pound matches respectively, Garrett Lambert and Chris Mauriello would control their opponents from Northern Colorado with ease. Each took multiple single leg shots to drive their opponents into the mat to help secure their respective victories.
In the 165-pound match of Ricky Stamm vs. Macoy Flanagan, the wrestlers were an equal match for each other. Whatever one wrestler would try, the other would counter, preventing the other from scoring. The match would head into overtime and Flanagan would grab Stamm’s exposed leg, driving him to the mat to win 3-1.
The 174-pound match went in Hofstra’s favor as well. Sage Heller would dominate the whole match. Heller countered Trenton Schultz’s single leg takedown early in the first period and maintained control throughout the match. Heller would reverse a Schultz takedown later on as well to win 4-0.
The 184-pound and 197-pound matches would both go in favor of Northern Colorado as each match ended with Northern Colorado controlling riding time and the match tempo. Trey Rogers and Nezar Haddad both could not control the attacks and penetrate the defense from the Northern Colorado wrestlers.
Entering the 285-pound match, Hofstra was down 18-13 and would need a pin from Omar Haddad to win the match. Any other result meant a loss for Hofstra. Haddad and Robert Winters engaged in a back and forth affair throughout the match as each heavyweight would not give an inch. Then in the final 30 seconds, Winters would use a single leg shot to take down Haddad and win the match 3-1. The result also secured the 21-13 win for Northern Colorado.
In the second dual meet of the day, the Pride came out with vengeance after their earlier loss to defeat the VMI Keydets 28-15.
Ryder came out of the gate firing against Clifton Conway by sending Conway to the ground over and over again with single and double leg takedowns which resulted in a 15-0 technical fall win for Ryder.
In the 133-pound match, Olson jumped out to any early 6-0 lead, but Hunter Starner was able to claw his way back into the match. Starner would reverse a shot from Olson and start to score riding points. Those points helped Starner tie the match, and late in the third period, Starner would reverse another shot from Olson and win 15-8.
In the 149-pound match with Lambert and the 157-pound match with Mauriello, the Pride would dominate throughout the match. Each wrestler was able to build a big lead from the start and add to it to win the match. Each match was also a technical fall since both wrestlers won by over 15 points.
In the 174-pound match, Heller would get pinned quickly by Neal Richards and left due to medical concerns. He was seen grabbing his left hip after getting up from the mat and moving to the medical bench.
The 184-pound, 197-pound and 285-pound matches with Rogers and the Haddad brothers, respectively, were all close contests with all three wrestlers winning off a late penalty point or last-minute escape in the third period.
After the two meets, Hofstra head coach Dennis Papadatos said that he thought the team could have won both games since, “They won 11 matches out of 20 total and could have won both matches even with a forfeit loss in both matches.” He also said that the rest coming up due to finals is a well needed break for the team before their matches in January.
The Pride return to action on Friday, Jan. 4, when they travel to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. The Pride will return home on Saturday, Jan. 26, to face Rider University and Bucknell University.