Lions bounce back after opening loss

The College’s wrestling team broke even in the annual New York/New Jersey Duals, falling to the ninth-ranked Red Dragons of SUNY-Cortland and then bouncing back to pull out a win against Oswego State at Packer Hall on Feb. 4.

The Lions lost by a score of 20-16 to the Red Dragons, ending their five-match winning streak in dual meets and later beat Oswego State 24-13. The match between the Lions and the Dragons featured three lead changes and a pair of ties. The Red Dragons were leading 13-10 before Cortland junior Mario Schiano’s 7-5 overtime victory at 184 pounds over Lions freshman Greg Osgoodby. This proved to be the momentum changer that put Red Dragons up by a score of 16-10. Sophomore Phil Archer then secured the win for SUNY-Cortland with a 14-4 major decision at 197 pounds over Lions sophomore Brett Jankos.

Lions senior Keith Bjorhus closed the final gap to 20-16 as he pinned junior Matt Eldredge in 43 seconds at heavyweight. With the victory, Cortland gained revenge for last month when the College posted an 18-15 victory over the Red Dragons at the Budd Whitehill Dual Meet hosted by Lycoming College.

“We had to move some kids around differently,” head coach Dave Icenhower said. “They just wrestled a little better than us yesterday and unfortunately that’s the way it goes.”

Earlier in the match, the Lions received wins from senior Brian Dempsey at 125, freshman John Biango at 149 and junior Joey Galante at 157.

Against Oswego, the Lions rebounded from an early 7-6 deficit by winning five straight bouts. Galante began the run with a 15-3 victory. Sophomore Lenny Goduto followed with a 13-3 triumph at 165. The Lions continued to roll out victories as sophomore Jeff Harrington won at 174 by major decision. Osgoodby and sophomore James Tomczuck added victories at 184 and 197.

Oswego State sophomore Jake Taylor won by fall at heavyweight to close the match at 24-13.

“You have to come back from those kind of loses,” Icenhower said, about the Lions’ ability to bounce back from a difficult loss. “Hopefully it shows some character and hopefully we just do some things right.”

The College dominated the visiting Royals of the University of Scranton as they won nine of 10 weight classes in a 44-5 victory the day after the New York/New Jersey Duals. The win put the Lions at 13-2 in dual meets this season, while the Royals dropped to 1-10.

The Lions started out the match with back-to-back technical fall victories from Dempsey and sophomore Ray Sarinelli. Ranked sixth nationally in his weight class, Dempsey began the match with a 17-1 technical fall at 125 over Royals sophomore Richard Russell. The victory puts Dempsey at 26-4 on the season. Sarinelli followed with a win at 133, while freshman Chris Prihoda won by fall in 5:18 to put the College ahead 16-0.

Scranton finally got on the board as junior Donell Young, 18-0 for the season, defeated Biango with a 15-0 technical fall to cut the Lions’ lead to 16-5.

The Lions then posted six straight victories as Galante added another win at 157 pounds. He improved his individual record to 23-3 on the season with a 16-5 major decision against sophomore Steve Gray. Underclassmen Goduto, Harrington, Tomczuck and Osgoodby then pulled off victories to complete the Lions’ domination.

The Lions close out the regular season tonight for Senior Night as they host No. 30-ranked Wilkes University at 7 p.m. in Packer Hall.