Hofstra splits with Brown and Harvard to wrap up regular season
The Hofstra wrestling team reached 10 dual victories for the first time in six seasons on Saturday, as the Pride edged out Brown University 24-18 before dropping the season finale to Harvard University by a 25-9 score.
Michael Hughes and Nezar Haddad each recorded a pair of victories to lead the Pride. Haddad’s first win, a 5-3 decision victory over Tucker Ziegler of Brown, would put the Pride ahead in the first bout of the day after a seesaw battle between the two Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) teams.
With the match knotted at 15-all, Haddad’s victory put the Pride ahead by three points, and allowed Hughes to find success with a pinfall victory over James Valentino to make it a 24-15 lead for the Pride with just one weight class left to compete.
Other members of the Pride earning victories included Garrett Lambert, Vinny Vespa, Ryan Burkert and Sage Heller.
The win marked Hofstra’s first time winning 10 or more dual matches in a season since the 2011-12 season and was head coach Dennis Papadatos’ first time reaching the milestone at Hofstra.
Unfortunately for the Pride, the momentum gained from knocking off the Bears didn’t roll over into Hofstra’s second match of the day, a tilt with the Crimson of Harvard.
It was Hughes and Haddad leading the way for Hofstra yet again, although instead of trying to contend for a victory, they were just trying to get the Pride on the board.
Haddad’s 7-5 decision victory over Harvard’s Rico Stormer cut the Crimson’s lead to 25-3, and Hughes pinned Angus Cowell to pick up his NCAA-leading 17th fall this season, bringing the final score to 25-9.
Hofstra wraps up the regular season with a 10-10 record and a 4-4 mark in the EIWA. The Pride will look ahead to the weekend of March 3-4, when the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex will host the EIWA Championships.