The College’s wrestling team proved there’s no place like home in its last two appearances at Packer Hall this season.
The Lions went 4-0 last weekend, stretching their dual meet winning streak to 10 matches and improving to 16-1 on the season. The College is currently ranked No. 8 in the Brute/National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III team rankings.
The College hosted the Metropolitan Athletic Conference/New England Duals on Saturday and won all three of its matches, which included a decisive 31-9 victory over No. 19 ranked Roger Williams College.
On Sunday, the Lions dismantled the Springfield College Pride 34-9 in the Lions’ last home match of the year.
“I’m just impressed with how our kids are handling this situation,” head coach David Icenhower said. “We’ve had injuries, but our kids that are filling in are just doing a great job.”
Sunday’s match was never in doubt. The College won the first five matches and eight of the meet’s 10 matches.
Senior co-captains Joey Galante and Mike Guenther were honored before the match. Galante scored a 16-8 major decision over senior Mark DeCiccio at 157 pounds, while Guenther did not wrestle. Galante has an overall record of 23-2, and Guenther is 22-2 and ranked No. 4 nationally at 165 pounds.
Sophomore Greg Osgoodby provided the most exciting match of the day with a 5-4 victory over senior Andre Lee at 174 pounds. Trailing 4-3 with less than 10 seconds left, Osgoodby scored a takedown as time ran out to win the match and raise his season record to 27-5. Osgoodby is ranked No. 7 nationally in his weight class.
“I got my escape at the beginning of the third (period) so I knew I was down a point and needed a takedown to win it,” Osgoodby said. “I came out of bounds and saw there was 15 seconds and knew I had to do something. So the kid shot and I blocked it off and hit a re-shot, got in deep and finished him.”
Osgoodby also reached a career milestone Saturday at the Metropolitan Athletic Conference/New England Duals. He tallied his 50th career victory with a pin in the College’s 36-12 win over Williams College.
The College also defeated the Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 35-9.
Junior Ray Sarinelli, freshman Tyler Branham and Osgoodby each went 3-0 on the day. The College only lost seven individual bouts in the three team matches, two of which were forfeits.
After trailing 3-0 to Roger Williams, the College reeled off seven consecutive victories, controlling the entire match. After a technical fall by Sarinelli, Branham scored a last-second takedown to earn a 5-3 upset over fourth-ranked senior Andrew Lacroix at 141 pounds.
“Physically, we’re winning matches at the end,” Icenhower said. “We’re taking it to people and I think that’s paying off for us.”
The Lions would not lose until a forfeit at 197 pounds, six bouts later. Galante scored a pin at 157 pounds and junior heavyweight Steve Carbone won an 8-0 major decision to help the cause.
The College won the first six bouts to secure an easy win over WPI.
Sophomore Tom Roberto started the match with a 4-1 overtime victory at 125 pounds. The win included major decisions from sophomore Chris Prihoda (149 pounds) and juniors John Dinan (157 pounds) and Carbone. Junior Lenny Goduto won by technical fall while Sarinelli won by pin.
In their final match of the competition, the Lions won six of seven bouts in the lower and middle weights to pull away and defeat Roger Williams. A technical fall by Sarinelli and a pin by Branham were followed by a major decision from Galante and pins by Osgoodby and Carbone.
Earlier in the week, the College strung together four consecutive wins en route to a 28-15 victory over Centenary College last Thursday at Phillipsburg High School. Sarinelli got the ball rolling with a 13-4 major decision over junior Ricky Redd. Sarinelli is ranked No. 7 nationally at 133 pounds with an overall record of 28-5.
After Branham’s pin and a decision by Prihoda, Galante finished the Lions’ run by pinning freshman Francisco Lopez that took just 51 seconds. At that point the College owned a 19-3 lead that it did not relinquish.
“Right now we’re 16-1 and we got three more matches coming ahead of us,” Osgoodby said. “We want to finish the season 18-1, go into conferences as a team, win that tournament as a team and send as many people as we can to nationals. The way we have been rolling off victories and big wins, if we get our team healthy we should send a good handful of guys into the national tournament.”
The College has three away dual meets remaining before coming back to Packer Hall for the Metropolitan Conference Championships on Feb. 18. The College will travel to Wilkes Barre, Pa., to wrestle No. 13 Wilkes University today at 7 p.m.