A busy schedule did not pose a problem for the wrestling team this week, as the Lions went 5-0 over a span of three events.
The team, ranked No. 20 in the most recent National Wrestling Coaches Association poll, has won its last seven dual meets and now boasts a 17-3 record this season.
“Slowly but surely we’re coming back,” head coach David Icenhower said. Prior to the current winning streak, the College had dropped two disappointing matches at the Budd Whitehill Duals.
On Saturday, the College won all three of its matches at the Metropolitan Conference/New England Duals, hosted by Roger Williams University. The Lions opened the event with a 30-9 victory over Roger Williams and then went on to beat No. 28 Williams College 24-12 before dismantling Worcester Polytechnic Institute 39-3.
Several wrestlers turned in strong performances at the meet. Junior Al Wonesh, competing at 165 and 174 pounds, won all three of his matches, pinning two of his opponents and collecting his third victory by technical fall.
“(Wonesh) moved up and came away with two pins,” Icenhower said. “He, (junior Greg) Osgoodby and (senior Ray) Sarinelli were very important to us this weekend.”
Co-captains Sarinelli (133 pounds) and senior Steve Carbone (285 pounds) each went 3-0 and recorded a pin. Sarinelli is ranked No. 9 nationally in his weight class.
The fifth-ranked Osgoodby, wrestling at 174 and 184 pounds, went 2-0, including a 9-2 decision over ninth-ranked Roger Williams junior Jared Czarneski. Other 2-0 wrestlers for the Lions were sophomore Dan DiColo (157 pounds), freshman Justin Bonitatis (165 pounds) and freshman Joe Bozzomo (197 pounds).
On Tuesday, the Lions earned a hard-fought 20-18 victory over the No. 19 Colonels of Wilkes University at Packer Hall.
Icenhower said although he thought the Lions could have performed better, it was important to beat a higher-ranked team.
Wonesh led the way for the Lions, pinning freshman James Histed in 4:54. Wonesh’s win broke open what had until then been a back-and-forth affair.
“Eventually he made a mistake and I capitalized off of it,” Wonesh said. “At first I had him in a headlock but he was squirming, so I stepped over and sunk double grapevines so he couldn’t roll back over. You can only fight for so long when you’re on your back before you get too tired and eventually let your shoulders touch.”
Wrestling up from his normal 174-pound weight class, Osgoodby (184 pounds) scored an 11-2 major decision over freshman Shawn Bradley. Osgoodby’s win, which put the Lions in front 20-9 with two bouts remaining, virtually sealed the match for the College.
Earlier, the Lions received an important 13-4 major decision from Sarinelli. Bonitatis and DiColo each added decisions to help the Lions rally from a 9-4 deficit.
“Before the match, the coaches told us to wrestle our match without thinking about the team score,” DiColo said. “We know we’re a good enough team that the team score will take care of itself if we all focus on our individual matches.”
On Sunday, the team capped its successful week with a 21-13 win at Springfield College. It was the second time the Lions have beaten the Pride this season.
Sarinelli and Osgoodby shone once again as Sarinelli won by technical fall and Osgoodby notched a 14-2 major decision. DiColo, Wonesh, Bonitatis and freshman Dan Hughes (125 pounds) each added a decision in the win.
The Lions will wrap up their dual meet schedule Saturday at 10 a.m. when they travel to Scranton to face SUNY-Oswego and the University of Scranton.