Pride is growing within the Hofstra wrestling team after posting a 1-1 record against EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) opponents Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) and Drexel University on Saturday. Hofstra is now 6-8 overall and holds a 2-5 record in the EIWA.
The Pride started the day with a 22-21 win against the F&M Diplomats in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Freshman Jacob Martin started the day off with an exciting 3-1 overtime victory at 125 pounds over F&M’s Edgar Garcia.
F&M then gained 12 quick team points after earning a fall over Vinny Vespa at 133 pounds and a forfeit at 141 pounds.
Ryan Burkert helped out by winning the 149-pound match with a score of 2-0 and cut F&M’s team score lead down to 12-6.
F&M won the next two matches and extended their lead to 18-6.
Sage Heller stepped up big time at 174 pounds with a major victory over F&M’s James Stillerman. Heller looked dominant and wrestled a smart match, which ended up being the winning factor in the Pride’s victory.
F&M held a 21-10 lead heading into the final two matches, but two forfeits in Hofstra’s favor gave the Pride the 22-21 win over the Diplomats.
Even with the win, Hofstra’s head coach, Dennis Papadatos, was not satisfied with the score.
“I didn’t like the way we looked against F&M,” head coach Papadatos said. “We’re better than we’ve been competing.”
Hofstra came away with a hard-fought victory against the Diplomats, but they were not so fortunate against their next opponent, the Drexel Dragons.
The Pride traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday night to wrestle the Dragons. Hofstra fell to Drexel with a score of 36-2.
The Dragons won the first six bouts of the match, with one being a forfeit and three being decided by three points or less.
Jake Kaminsky lost a heart-breaking overtime bout at 157 pounds by a score of 17-15 against Drexel’s Willie Davis. Kaminsky forced a stalling call against Drexel with seven seconds remaining in the third period to tie the match and send it into overtime. Kaminsky had success with his single leg takedown throughout the match, but it was not enough as Davis earned the first takedown of overtime, which ended the match.
Nezar Haddad had the only win of the night for the Pride with a 2-1 triple overtime victory against Josh Murphy of the Dragons.
However, as time went on, Omar Haddad undid some of his brother’s hard work. After Omar Haddad’s 4-1 loss to Drexel’s Joey Goodhart, both wrestlers wanted to extend the match off the mat and had to be held back by their respective coaches. This resulted in both teams being deducted one team point.
Drexel won the final two matches of the night.
“As crazy as it sounds, we competed much better [against Drexel],” Papadatos said. “They edged us out every time except once at 197. We’ve got to find a way to win those tough matches.”
The Hofstra Pride wrestling team continues their season against Rider University on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the David S. Mack Physical Education Center.