It was the senior wrestlers who came up strong in AU’s 21-17 dual meet victory against the Bucknell Bison Feb. 16 in Bender Arena on Senior Night.
“We didn’t get started off well,” AU Head Coach Teague Moore said, “but the good thing was our seniors were the guys who came through.”
The match of the night came at 184 pounds when AU senior Thomas Barreiro squared off against Robert Marchese. After a scoreless first period, Barreiro jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before Marchese came back with two points of his own. The two wrestlers would exchange points in the third tying the match at four.
Overtime came and went with the score still tied. Following two, 30-second tiebreakers and each wrestler having recorded a point, the match remained tied at five forcing another overtime period.
After Marchese earned a quick escape to take a 5-4 lead, Barreiro took over. Barreiro dominated the rest of the extra session and tie breakers en route to a 12-6 decision.
“I knew that the way we trained the way we conditioned there was no way he was going to outlast me,” Barreiro said.
“He stayed in the fight,” Moore said of Barreiro. “That’s how he kept it close and eventually won in overtime.”
Kevin Tao also performed well in his final match at Bender. The 149 pounder scored his seventh fall of the season at the 1:03 mark over Bucknell’s Adam Healy, marking the fastest fall of his career.
Despite the two dominating performances, the Eagles found themselves up 18-17 with just the heavyweight match remaining.
A dual meet victory seemed bleak for the Eagles after AU’s Blake Herrin appeared to injure his forearm in the first period. Herrin stayed in the match but showed obvious discomfort as the heavyweight found himself down 2-0 to Bucknell’s Joe Stolfi.
Herrin eventually battled back and took control of the match to edge out a 5-4 victory and secure the Eagles dual-meet win.
AU got off to a quick 6-0 lead after David Terao secured a victory following a Bucknell forfeit. However, losses by Esteban Gomez-Rivera at 133 and John Boyle at 141 tied the meet at six. Following the victory by Tao, Mark Cirello and Phillip Barreiro dropped their matches at 174 and 184, respectively, tying the meet at 12.
The seniors honored before the match were Phillip and Thomas Barreiro, Tao and Matt Dorf.
“I couldn’t be more happy about who these seniors have become in the short time I have been with them,” Moore said of the class of 2013.
AU will head off to New Brunswick, N.J. to partake in the EIWA Championship, where they finished in third last year, Mar. 8 and 9.