With many injuries still plaguing the College’s wrestling team early in the season, senior Nick Vinciguerra is proving his worth as co-captain.
Vinciguerra, ranked sixth in the nation, won his third title in as many weeks and remains unbeaten on the season at 197 pounds. He defeated sophomore Matt Loesch of Muhlenberg College 6-2 in the championship match at the Ursinus College Fall Brawl.
Once again, Vinciguerra was the only Lion to capture a title, but injuries have prevented many of the College’s top wrestlers from competing early on.
“The young kids look up to him,” head coach David Icenhower said.
“I try to keep them focused and be a good role model,” Vinciguerra said. “I want them to do more wrestling than talking.”
The younger wrestlers have taken notice and placed well. Freshman Mike Somma took second place at 174 pounds after being pinned in the finals by Ursinus sophomore Kyle Capella. Freshman Jeff Harrington also placed second at 165 after dropping the championship bout 6-3 to seventh-ranked senior Scott Roesch of Ursinus.
Harrington was not disappointed with the effort, losing to a nationally ranked senior. He said he believes it will only serve as needed experience for the rest of the season.
“After the match in the finals I am very confident I can wrestle with some of the best guys in the country, so it really boosted my confidence to be so close to a fifth-year senior,” Harrington said. “I think I can wrestle with anyone now, especially with the competition I have in the wrestling room.”
The Lions also had second-place finishes by junior Brian Dempsey and senior Pat Lavin. Lavin took second in the 184-pound weight division while teammate freshman James Tomczuk, took third.
Dempsey, ranked seventh at 125 pounds, dropped a 3-1 decision in the finals to junior Eddie Murray of Ursinus.
Icenhower said he believes his team had a good chance to win more championships, but he knows injuries have hampered the team. Icenhower was more pleased that the younger wrestlers had a chance to grow on the mat.
“You try not to dwell on the past because it’s a good time for the younger guys to gain experience on the mat,” Icenhower said. “We expect the freshmen to fill in and win at a high level.”
Until the Lions can get all of their upperclassmen healthy and wrestling, the freshmen will be seeing more time on the mat. Harrington said the freshmen are ready for the challenge.
“With a lot of plaguing injuries this season, the freshmen are really expected to step it up on the mat for the team and come through in close matches,” Harrington said. “We need to do well for the team.”
The only other Lion to place was sophomore Joey Galante, who took third at 157 pounds.
Vinciguerra said the results were not as favorable as the team expected, but that its members know it is early and more important matches are ahead.
“I thought we would have more champions, but this is mostly preseason – everything comes to Nationals,” he said.
The Lions look to build momentum toward Nationals today when they travel to New York City. First they will travel to Hunter College to take on the Hawks.
Later on in the day, the Lions will stay in the area and travel to New York University for the College’s second meet of the day.
On Saturday, the men will travel to Chapel Hill to compete in the Rubbermaid Tournament at the University of North Carolina.