By Maximillian C. Burgos
The College’s wrestling team fell 23-10 on Nov. 18 on the road against York College of Pennsylvania. The Lions came out strong, accumulating a 10-0 lead to start off the match, but York College proved to be too much for the Lions through the upper weights.
“We were competitive in a lot of those matches,” said head coach Joe Galante. “There was a heated overtime match and a lot of matches were decided by a takedown. Our guys train really hard and I expect them to make the necessary adjustments to compete a little harder and get those victories.”
Freshman Jacob Falleni kicked off the match with a win at 125 in his first collegiate bout. Falleni faced off against stiff competition. He managed to edge out his opponent, 5-4, in a back-and-forth match. With the win, the Lions started with a 3-0 lead.
“Jacob wrestled really well,” Galante said. “At the end of every period he was able to score points. He was fierce and he was poised. He didn’t let anything rattle him. He did a really great job.”
Freshman Jake Giordano also wrestled hard for the Lions at 133. He won his match 4-2, earning his first collegiate win.
“Giordano knows how to wrestle a match,” Galante said. “He knows how to compete. He’s slick and getting tougher by the day. I really like the way he is adding up.”
Veteran junior Ryan Erwin had the best match of the day for the Lions at 141. Erwin wiped the floor with his opponent coming in two points shy of a tech. With Erwin’s 18-5 major decision victory, the Lions advanced to a 10-0 lead.
“Erwin is pretty steady,” Galante said. “He is low and forward all the time. With wrestling and in life he is always focused and hardworking. He is a pleasure to coach. I think if he keeps working hard good things will happen.”
The rest of match proved far different for the Lions. They dropped each of the remaining bouts. The team struggled with their ranked opponents both at the 184-pound and heavyweight bouts.
Sophomore Dan Kilroy, the 2017 All-American, lost an intense match at 184 against York’s Frankie Krauss. Kilroy ultimately lost his match, 11-6.
Senior heavyweight Kyle Cocozza also had a rough match against Stefanos Karpontinis. Cocozza fought hard against the Trenton native, but lost 11-5, concluding the match. The Lions lost the match 23-10, which dropped their record to 0-2.
“I sent the guys a text about the Eagles being 10-1, but they have never won a Super Bowl,” Galante said. “They are 10-1 for the fourth time in franchise history, but have still never won a Super Bowl. It just goes to show you, it’s not about how you start but about how you finish. I think that the captains will step it up now and help right the ship. These guys are ready to get things done.”