Heller, Hughes score pinfalls in EIWA defeat
Sage Heller and Michael Hughes recorded Pride pins, but they were unable to help Hofstra roar back from its deep deficit as the wrestling team fell 31-12 to the fire-breathing Drexel Dragons. The Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) match took place at the David S. Mack Physical Education Center on Saturday afternoon.
“Highs and lows. I never get caught up in the highs but the lows bother me; today bothered me,” said Hofstra head coach Dennis Papadatos.
“They believed they were better than us and when you believe you’re better than someone its easier to execute and we still had a little bit of doubt, that’s what cost us.”
The Pride dropped to the .500 mark, and now sit at 8-8 (2-3 in EIWA) as Drexel improved to 9-3 (4-3 in conference).
Jacob Martin kicked things off for Hofstra in the closest match of the evening.
Martin went up against Tanner Shoap in a legs-churning-endlessly battle in the 125-pound match. Shoap ended up on top with a 7-6 decision.
“[He] blew it. As I told him I love him, you know how hard it is to get three takedowns to a controversial one and still lose the match, not even win the match in overtime? I’m like, ‘how do you even manage that?’ He’s got to make adjustments,” Papadatos said.
Drexel won their first six matches to jump out to a 24-0 lead before “Big Stage” Heller took the mat for Hofstra in the 174-pound match.
Heller pinned Austin Rose to record a win by fall at the 2:11 mark, his seventh pin of the season and second in the 174 weight class. He picked up six points in attempt to help mount a comeback with three matches remaining. Heller improved to 9-6 in dual matches (3-2 in EIWA) and 10-10 overall.
Anthony Alexander was next for the Pride in the 184-pound match and faced Alexander DeCiantis. DeCiantis picked up 12 points for the Dragons while Alexander recorded only three.
At 197 pounds, Nazar Haddad exerted all his energy before falling at the hand of a 6-2 decision right before the biggest match of the evening.
Hughes came running out of the stables while Hofstra held Drexel to a 25-point lead. Hughes picked up his 14th pin of the season on a fall with 4:11 remaining in the match. Hughes manhandled Vincenzo Pelusi to record his ninth consecutive win and improve to 27-2 overall while remaining undefeated in dual matches at 15-0 (5-0 in conference)
Hofstra heads to Lawrenceville, New Jersey, on Wednesday to take on Rider University at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Gymnasium.