By Jason Siegel — SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
The Hofstra Pride wrestling team came away empty from their contests against the Kent State Golden Flashes and Purdue Boilermakers, dropping both matches at the Northeast Duals on Saturday afternoon.
The day started off on a high note for the Pride as sophomore Jacob Martin opened the first match of the day against Kent State with 6-0 victory on a forfeit at the 125-pound weight class.
However, the Golden Flashes won the next eight matches en route to a 26-12 victory over the Pride.
Kent State won two major decisions over that span, including an 11-2 major decision victory by Tim Rooney over Hofstra redshirt sophomore Connor Burkert at 141 pounds. Two matches later at 157 pounds 18th-ranked Casey Sparkman won a 16-7 major decision over Hofstra redshirt freshman, Ricky Stamm.
At 184 pounds, redshirt junior Cory Damiana put up a good fight for the Pride, but was ultimately defeated by a score of 6-5 by Kent State’s Colin McCracken.
Michael Hughes ended the match against Kent State with a positive result for the Pride by pinning Devin Nye in the first period.
Hofstra could not carry the momentum from Hughes’ contest into their second match against Purdue. The Boilermakers (3-0) were victorious in the first three matches against Hofstra, all via tech falls, leading to a 33-7 win over the Pride.
With his team trailing 15-0, Hofstra junior Ryan Burkert eked out a 2-0 decision over Austin Nash at 149, but the Boilermakers responded by winning the next five matches, including a major decision at 184 when Cory Damiana was defeated by Max Lyon, 11-3.
The Boilermakers won on the fourth tech fall of the match when Jacob Morrissey defeated Sage Heller at 165.
Hughes again provided the Pride with a strong finish by winning a major decision over Purdue’s Shawn Streck, 8-0 at 285.
With his two match victories on the day, Hughes stayed undefeated and improved to 3-0 in his matches this season.
Hughes returns to the Pride as a redshirt senior after missing the conference schedule last season. He is now 79-41 in his career as a member of the Pride.
Hughes is picking up where he left off last season when he went 29-2 as an independent.
As the only senior on Hofstra’s wrestling team for the 2017-2018 season, head coach Dennis Papadatos will be looking to Hughes for leadership both on and off the mat.
The Pride will look to find a way to earn a win on the road, as they have two more matches away from home before returning to the Mack Center Sports Complex Dec. 3.