The AU wrestling team lost another tough match Jan. 26 to Columbia University 24-13 in New York, N.Y. The match concluded a rough weekend for the Eagles, who were coming off a loss to Hofstra on Jan. 25.
AU headed into its matchup with Columbia, an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association rival, looking to bounce back after their 21-9 defeat at the hands of Hofstra University the night before. The Eagles won four matches and had a number of close losses, but Columbia came out on top 24-13.
Columbia’s Josh Houldsworth handled AU’s Phillip Barreiro, 13-2, to put Columbia up 4-0 early after the 165 lbs. match, the first of the day. Stephen West followed up for Columbia with another major decision over AU’s Keithen Cast 11-2, to put Columbia up 8-0.
Thomas Barreiro finally got AU on the board in the 184 lbs. match, defeating Columbia’s Drew Rebling 5-2, making the score 8-3. Barreiro also won his match against Hofstra on Jan. 25 and has been a leader for the Eagles.
“He worked very hard this week to make positive corrections from the North Carolina State dual,” AU Head Coach Teague Moore told aueagles.com. “His effort and energy paid off, and I’m very happy for him and proud of his effort.”
At 197 lbs., Nick Mills of Columbia pinned AU’s Devon Bradley after 3:12 to put Columbia up 14-2. Bradley was subsequently cited for unsportsmanlike conduct and AU was docked a team point.
AU’s Blake Herrin made a statement in the heavyweights, gaining a major decision over Columbia’s Chris Manna, 12-3, to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 14-6. Esteban Gomez-Rivera later won a major decision for AU at 133 lbs. to diminish the Lions lead to 14-13 with three bouts left.
Columbia narrowly won the last three matches to win the meet.
At 141 lbs., Columbia’s Alec Mooradian beat AU’s John Boyle, 3-1, to push Columbia’s overall lead to 17-13. At 149 lbs., Columbia’s Steve Santos, ranked eighth in the country, beat AU’s Kevin Tao, 4-3, to push their lead to 20-13. At 157 lbs., 18th ranked Jake O’Hara of Columbia beat AU’s Mark Cirello, 12-3, to secure a victory for the Lions.
“Our four wins were exciting matches,” Moore said. “Blake and Esteban dominated their opponents while David and Tom showed great poise while in control of their victories. We fell short in some other matches because our opponents executed early, but we can learn from these losses.”
Like the Hofstra match from the previous day, a few victories one way or the other in close matches could have swung the overall bout to the Eagles. AU will continue their dual meet schedule with a home match Feb 3. at noon against Binghamton University.