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Eagles duel Bearcats for wrestling’s senior day

American couldn’t overcome early losses and fell to Binghamton

The American University wrestling team (7-11) lost to the Binghamton Bearcats (5-12) in their Feb. 17 dual at Bender Arena (19-13). Before the meet, the team honored its five seniors and graduate students in their final home dual of the season. The supporter crowd was large at 350 attendees, likely thanks to the raffle for SZA concert tickets. 

Sophomore 125-pounder Maximilian Leete kicked off the dual for American. Leete and his opponent, Binghamton’s Micah Roes, were tied after the first period, but Roes took the advantage and ended up coming out on top by a score of 3-2. Roes’ victory secured the first 3 points of the dual for the Bearcats.

The second bout featured AU sophomore 133-pounder Jack Maida, who secured the first point of the matchup, but Ivan Garcia quickly evened it up for Binghamton. The two finished the third period tied, and so they entered overtime where Maida emerged victorious after a drawn-out takedown. Maida’s bout win evened up the overall dual at 3-3. 

Redshirt sophomore 141-pounder Ethan Szerencsits took to the mat next. Binghamton’s Nate Lucier took the 2-0 lead quickly, but Szerencsits did not give up and got 2 points for himself. He then achieved a takedown to take the lead. His lead would not stand, however, as Lucier scored the winning takedown late in the third period. Lucier maintained control and won the bout for the Bearcats 6-5. 

In the fourth bout of the day, redshirt senior 149-pounder Patrick Ryan took on Michael Zarif. Zarif dominated, achieving a takedown in each period. He was unhindered by his unnecessary roughness penalty and defeated Ryan 8-3. At this point in the dual, the Bearcats were in the lead overall by a score of 9-3. 

Next, redshirt sophomore 157-pounder Jack Nies battled Conner Decker. Nies answered Zarif’s performance with an even more dominant match of his own. After a quiet first period, Nies scored 8 points in the second period, including 4 points from a near-fall. Nies’ commanding second period won him the bout by a score of 8-0 in American’s best match of the day. 

The bouts paused while American honored their alumni, including Binghamton head coach and 2023 Stafford H. “Pop” Cassell Hall of Fame inductee Kyle Borshoff and Binghamton assistant coach Phillip Barreiro

Freshman 165-pounder Caleb Campos commenced the second half of the dual with Brevin Cassella, who is ranked #31 in the country. Cassella took a strong lead with a takedown in the second and third periods, which was enough to hold off Campos’ 3-point rally and win 4-3.

In the 174-pound matchup, redshirt freshman Lucas White fell behind to Sam DePrez quickly. DePrez led by a score of 4-1 by the end of the first period. White earned 4 more points, but it was too little too late as DePrez won 7-5. 

Next in the eighth bout of the day, graduate student 184-pounder Colin Shannon matched up against Jacob Nolan, who is ranked #20 in the nation. Shannon was no match for Nolan as he scored two takedowns in the first period. Then in the second period, he made a 6-point move on his way to earning a major decision by a score of 13-3. 

In the penultimate match of the dual, redshirt junior 197-pounder Connor Bourne faced off against Dimitri Gamkrelidze. Bourne’s early takedown and escape in the third were just enough to hold off Gamkrelidze and win 3-2. 

The final bout featured redshirt junior heavyweight Will Jarrell and Binghamton heavyweight Charlie Tibbitts. Jarrell scored two takedowns on his way to winning the bout 6-2. The wins in the last two bouts were not enough to pull the Eagles ahead, and they fell to the Bearcats by a score of 19-13. Close losses were what took down the Eagles, as they lost three bouts by just 1 point, and another by just 2. 

“Technically we’re struggling still. I would say we probably haven’t progressed technically as much as I would like even though we spend a lot of time there, but we have grown by leaps and bounds mentally. So I think that’s actually exciting, because as we get more time with them now that they bought in and their mindset is right, I think we’ll get a lot better technically,” head coach Jason Borrelli said. “But you know, our biggest thing is we just want to be the most improved team in the country by all kinds of different metrics and we’ve seen that in a lot of ways.”

The Eagles fell to the University of Pennsylvania Quakers and defeated the Drexel University Dragons on Sunday, Feb. 19 in Philadelphia. They will compete next at the EIWA Championships on March 4 and 5 in Philadelphia. 

This article was edited by Delaney Hoke and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Natasha LaChac.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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