Eighth-ranked Lions feast on Royals and Lakers

The College’s wrestling team finished its regular season with three wins last week to cement its record at 19-1 and push its winning streak to 13 matches.

The Lions are ranked No. 8 in the Brute/National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III team rankings.

The College swept a dual meet Saturday by crushing the University of Scranton Royals 51-0 and then outlasting the Lakers of Oswego State 22-19.

Three Lions wrestlers had two wins Saturday: sophomore Tom Roberto (125 pounds), senior Mike Guenther (165 pounds) and junior Jim Tomczuk (183 pounds).

The College’s domination of Scranton resulted in 10 bouts won by major decision, technical fall or pin. Freshman Will Dodd (133 pounds), sophomores Chris Prihoda (149 pounds) and Ryan McCabe (174 pounds), and junior Shawn Vanwingerden (197 pounds) all scored pins in the victory.

With the match never in doubt, head coach David Icenhower chose to rest many of his best wrestlers.

The same domination was not present in the Lions’ close win over Oswego State. Trailing 10-3 after the first four bouts, the Lions looked to three of their stronger wrestlers to turn the tide.

They did not disappoint.

Senior Joey Galante pinned senior Eric DiCapua at 157 pounds with 11 seconds remaining in the first period. Guenther returned from injury Saturday and delivered a win by technical fall. Sophomore Greg Osgoodby followed with a technical fall of sophomore Craig Becker and Tomczuk finished the Lions’ run with a decision over junior Ron Williams at 184 pounds.

The College held a 22-10 advantage after the 19-point run and was mathematically assured of the win after Tomczuk’s decision.

Osgoodby’s technical fall was his 30th victory of the season, becoming the second Lion to hit that mark this year along with freshman Tyler Branham, who is 33-9. Osgoodby is 30-5 on the year and ranked No. 7 in the nation.

Despite splitting the match’s 10 bouts, the College’s ability to score major decisions proved vital in the win.

On Jan. 31, the College held off an upset bid from No. 13 Wilkes University to down the Colonels 21-16. With the outcome in doubt heading into the last bout, junior heavyweight Steve Carbone notched a 2-0 decision to seal the win.

Junior Ray Sarinelli and Branham won matches at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, but after splitting the first four bouts Wilkes held a 7-6 lead.

Branham’s win was especially hard-fought, scoring a 1-0 win over Colonels’ sophomore Peter George.

“I would have liked to have opened up my match and scored some more points, but sometimes you find yourself in a really close match like that, with not much scoring,” Branham said. “It’s important to just stay focused and not get frustrated in those types of matches to be able to win them.”

After losing the 149-pound match, the College reeled off three wins to build an 18-7 lead.

After Galante won a medical default, junior Lenny Goduto notched a 7-5 overtime victory over Colonels freshman Frank Heffernan. Osgoodby followed with a 3-1 decision before Wilkes won the next two bouts to set up Carbone’s heroics.

“We have some great wrestlers in the weights behind me,” Branham said. “I think that is what makes our team successful. There is always someone else there to pick you up if something goes wrong.”

With the regular season finished, the College will host the Metropolitan Conference Championships on Sunday, Feb. 18.

“Last year as a team we finished second in the conference tournament to York,” Branham said. “So this year we would definitely like to turn that around and take home the conference team title and send as many guys to nationals as possible.”