Hofstra clobbers Sacred Heart on Senior Day
The senior day spotlight shone bright on the storied career of Michael Hughes, who pinned his opponent in 37 seconds to help the Hofstra wrestling team outmuscle Sacred Heart 45-3 on Sunday afternoon at the David S. Mack Physical Education Center.
Hofstra evened their record at 9-9 to garner yet another .500 mark while advancing to 3-3 in EIWA play. The Pride have their most wins in a season since recording 12 in 2011.
Sacred Heart forfeited at 125 and 133 to give Jacob Martin and Garrett Lambert automatic victories and a 12-0 Pride lead.
“I was mad about them. I wished our guys had matches. We expected that our two guys would beat the two guys they had there,” said Hofstra head coach Dennis Papadatos.
A venomous Vinny Vespa opened up the meet at 141 with an overpowering 17-2 technical fall win.
Back-to-back nail-biters at 157 and 167 plated Sacred Heart’s lone victory as Chris Mauriello squandered up a 6-3 lead to fall to Paul Klee 9-8 at the last second of the third set. Similarly, Ricky Stamm squeezed out a 9-8 win within the last 10 seconds of his match.
Hofstra took a 23-3 lead with them to the bowling alley for their last four matches as three of the four ended via pin.
Sage Heller recorded a fall at 3:34 over Chris Zaccaria to tally six more points to the Pride lead. Heller recorded his ninth pin of the season to improve to 12-10 on the season.
Nezar Haddad followed up with a pin of his own two matches later at 197. Haddad recorded his fall at 2:19. Haddad improved to 16-12 with his first fall of his junior campaign.
“I was happy with his dominance and his confidence, the way he went after it. He’s coming together at the right time,” Papadatos said.
Hughes, the only active senior for the Pride, took the 285 mat with weekend plans in mind. Hughes was on the mat for less than 40 seconds as he pinned opponent John Hartnett at the 37 second mark.
“It’s going to be hard to say goodbye. He’s been a testament, keeps winning the Pride Cup for us and doing all the things right. He’s a great, great kid and we wish him the best of luck. He’ll be missed,” Papadatos said.
Hughes leads the nation in pins at 15 and remains undefeated in conference play with a 6-0 record, 29-2 overall.
The Pride finished with a 45-3 win after two forfeits and three falls.
Hofstra wraps up the regular season at home on Saturday with a 1 p.m. match against Brown University and a 6 p.m. meet with Harvard University.