The wrestling team wrapped up its dual meet schedule Saturday with a pair of wins, doubling up SUNY-Oswego 26-13 before steamrolling the University of Scranton 53-0.
With the wins, the No. 20 Lions finished the regular season 19-3 and extended their winning streak to nine. The Lakers of Oswego State dropped to 3-10-1 while the Royals of Scranton remained winless at 0-12.
“We knew we could handle both these teams, but everybody (used) these matches as tune-ups for (the Metropolitan Conference Championships, METs),” senior co-captain Ray Sarinelli (133 pounds) said. “It’s good to know we’re going into conferences with the right attitude.”
Sarinelli helped set the pace early against Oswego State, following up freshman 125-pounder Dan Hughes’ pin with one of his own in the meet’s second bout. Freshman John Barnett (149 pounds) and sophomore Dan DiColo (157 pounds) each followed up with decisions.
In the 165-pound bout, junior Al Wonesh overcame an early deficit to notch a 4-2 decision, forcing overtime with a ride point at the end of the third period.
“We train so hard in the room and gym that I was extremely comfortable going into overtime,” Wonesh said. “With about 20 seconds left, I baited him with my right leg and let him get in on a deep high crotch. I just simply sat by, boot-scooted him and ended up scooting behind him for a takedown to win.”
Junior Greg Osgoodby (174 pounds) and senior Jim Tomczuk (184 pounds) rounded out the scoring for the Lions, each winning by decision.
Against Scranton, the College showcased a relentless offensive barrage.
Sophomore Danny Franke (125 pounds), freshman Joe Bozzomo (184 pounds), freshman Mike Denver (197 pounds) and senior co-captain Steve Carbone (285 pounds) all had pins for the Lions.
Osgoodby, junior John Dinan (157 pounds) and freshman Justin Bonitatis (165 pounds) won by technical fall, while Barnett and junior Chris Prihoda (141 pounds) added wins by major decision.
“The team is where we want it to be right now,” Sarinelli said. “Everyone is showing a lot of hustle in their matches, pushing their opponent, running back to the center. These are things we weren’t doing a couple weeks ago, breaking our opponents’ will. We’ve gotten back to our style of wrestling and it shows.”
With the regular season finished, the Lions will turn their attention toward the METs, to be held at Wilkes University at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24.
The Lions hope to repeat as METs champions and send several wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Championships. The winner of each weight class at the METs, as well as seven wild cards, will earn an automatic bid in the NCAAs, which will take place at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 7-8.
Last year, Osgoodby and sophomore Tyler Branham (149 pounds) won METs crowns, while Sarinelli earned a wild card spot at the NCAAs as a runner-up. Carbone was also a runner-up in last year’s METs.