NEW YORK - The Columbia wrestling team will hit the mats twice this weekend, welcoming American to University Gym Saturday, Jan. 26 and then heading out to Long Island Sunday, Jan 27 to face Hofstra.
Saturday's match against American is the first of four home matches this season for Columbia. The Lions have garnered a 3-4 overall mark to date, including an 0-2 record in EIWA action with losses to Rutgers in November and last week at Bucknell.
Columbia put together an impressive comeback against the Bison after falling behind 15-0 after the first four matches. Senior co-captian Jake O'Hara began the rally with a major decision over Vincent Favia at 157 pounds. Josh Houldsworth (165 pounds), Stephen West (174 pounds) and Drew Rebling (184 pounds) all followed with wins of their own to bring the score to 15-14, but Bucknell would win the final two matches at 197 and 285 pounds to secure the 24-14 victory.
Fellow EIWA member American finds themselves at 4-3 overall and 1-1 in conference after a 21-19 triumph over Harvard and a 30-12 loss to Lehigh. Since the New Year, the Eagles have won three of four matches with their last victory coming on the road at North Carolina State, 24-16. Prior to Saturday's match against Columbia, American will battle Hofstra Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.
The Pride, a member of the CAA, have an overall mark of 3-12 this season, but have faced eight teams ranked in the nation's top 25. Hofstra last competed on Jan. 19 at the CAA Duals, knocking off Boston University (20-19) and George Mason (32-8) before dropping a 19-12 decision to Old Dominion.
The first coaches' panel rankings, one of the tools used to determine NCAA Division I Championship qualifiers, were released Thursday, Jan. 24 featuring three Columbia grapplers. Steve Santos (149 pounds) was the lone top-10 selection at eight, while Jake O'Hara (157 pounds) was 17th and Stephen West (174 pounds) was slotted 22nd.
125 - Penn Gottfried (5-8) vs. David Terao (American, 19-10)/No. 19/20/16 Steve Bonanno (Hofstra, 11-7)
Gottfried fell to 5-8 on the year following a 9-2 loss to Austin Miller at Bucknell last Friday. Terao has the tallied the most wins (19) this season of any American grappler. He is in the midst of a four-match win streak that includes pins over Harvard's Jeff Off and Lehigh's Alex Abreu. Bonanno, a former All-America, is ranked 19th in the first coaches' standings (20th AWN/16th Intermat). Bonanno has also won his last four matches, two by major decision, one by technical fall and a decision.
133 - Robert Dyar
(0-0 at 133 lbs., 7-3 at 125 lbs.) vs. Esteban Gomez-Rivera (American, 9-13)/No.
27 Jamie Franco (Hofstra, 9-12)
Dyar, making his first appearance at 133 pounds, last competed during the Lions trip to California, going 1-1 in his first two dual matches of the season. Gomez-Rivera, a freshman for the Eagles, has struggled since the New Year with just one win in his last six matches. His one win was a 6-0 decision over Stanford's Peter Russo Jan. 13, but he has since fallen to Lehigh's Randy Cruz and NC State's Sam Speno. Franco was slotted 27th in the first coaches' poll, but is just 9-12 on the season. Prior to his 8-2 win over George Mason's Zach Isenhour on Jan. 19, Franco had been on the losing end of three consecutive matches.
141 - Alec
Mooradian (0-0 at 141 lbs., 2-1 at 149 lbs.) vs. John Boyle (American, 10-13)/No.
17/17/17 Luke Vaith (Hofstra, 14-10)
Mooradian made his first appearance as a collegiate wrestler at the Cal Poly Duals, earning a 2-1 record in three matches at 149 pounds. Boyle is just 2-5 in dual matches as a freshman, losing three of his last four. NC State's Tyler Hunt posted a 10-1 major decision over Boyle on Jan. 18. Vaith garnered the 17th slot in the coaches' poll, identical to his AWN and Intermat rankings. At the CAA Duals, Vaith punctuated a 2-1 showing with a 21-5 technical fall over George Mason's Sahid Kargbo.
149 - No. 8/8/8
Steve Santos (16-2) vs. No. 30/-/- Kevin Tao (American, 17-8)/Cody Ruggirello
Senior co-captain Steve Santos will be back on the mat for the first time since his fourth-place finish at the Midlands on Dec. 30. Santos, following almost four weeks of time off from competition to rest and recover from a minor injury, has amassed four pins, two major decisions and a technical fall this season. Tao, a senior at American, is 6-1 in dual matches this season. Of his 17 overall wins, 12 have come via major decision or fall. Ruggirell has split time between 149 and 157 pounds, with both of his wins this season coming in the lighter weight class.
157 - No. 17/16/18
Jake O'Hara (14-3) vs. Mark Cirello (American, 4-14)/Tyler Banks (Hofstra, 2-3)
Competing for the first time since the Midlands, O'Hara knocked off Bucknell's Vincent Favia with a 10-2 major decision to improve to 3-1 in dual matches. Cirello, a redshirt sophomore, has just two dual wins over the last two seasons. He has just one win in his last 13 outings, topping Stanford's Timmy Boone with a 4-2 decision. Banks has wrestled just five times this season for the Pride, picking up decisions over Wisconsin's Alex Yde and Old Dominion's Brennan Bromley.
165 - Josh
Houldsworth (13-4) vs. Phillip Barriero (American, 11-8)/Nick Terdick (Hofstra,
Houldsworth has a team-best six wins in dual matches this season. The junior has won his last four matches, including major decisions over Cal Poly's Connor King and Bucknell's Ray Schlitt. Barreiro, a redshirt senior, is putting together his best season as an Eagle. His 11 wins are already more than any of his previous three seasons, while also compiling a 6-1 dual record. After going 4-3 to start the season, Terdick has lost 13 straight matches. Terdick's last win was a 16-5 major decision over Jonathan Conroy from Cortland on Nov. 17.
174 - No. 22/16/-
Stephen West (16-4) vs. Keithen Cast (American, 13-12)/Jermaine John (Hofstra,
West ran his win streak to four with a 4-2 decision over Stephen McPeek from Bucknell on Jan. 18. West is tied for the team-lead with five pins this season. Cast snapped a four-match losing streak when he pinned NC State's Nijel Jones on Jan. 18. It was Cast's third fall of the season as he improved his dual record to 3-4. John went 3-0 at the CAA Duals to bring his win total to 14 this season. Cast used a pin in 1:24 to take down BU's Andrew Maksimovic and then posted an 11-3 major decision over Seth Robertson from George Mason.
184 - Drew
Rebling (7-11) vs. Thomas Barriero (American, 11-12)/Victor Pozsonyi (Hofstra,
Rebling secured his second dual victory of the season with a 7-6 decision at Bucknell. His previous dual match win came over San Francisco State's Calvin Nicholls in a 5-2 decision. Barriero dropped to 3-4 in dual action this season with losses to Lehigh's Robert Hamlin and NC State's Patrick Davis. Pozsonyi has split time at 184 and 197 pounds as a freshman for Hofstra. His only win this season came in his last match, downing George Mason's Ryan Hembury with a 6-3 decision.
197 - Nick Mills
(11-8) vs. Devon Bradley (American, 1-14)/Tim Murphy (Hofstra, 3-14)
Mills dropped to 3-3 in dual matches this season with a loss to Bucknell's Tyler Lyster last week. Mills' last seven matches have been decided by three points or less, with the senior going 3-4 over that span. After losing his first 14 matches, Bradley registered his first win of the season over NC State's Bill Cook on Jan. 18. Bradley won the match with a 7-5 decision. It had been over two months since Murphy's last win when he finally defeated George Mason's Matt Meadows, 6-5, on Jan. 19.
285 - Chris Manna
(5-10) vs. Blake Herrin (American, 18-5)/No. 25/-/- Paul Snyder (Hofstra, 16-7)
Manna fell to 5-10 overall and 2-4 in dual matches when he was pinned by Bucknell's Joe Stolfi on Jan. 18. Manna has one win by major decision and another by fall this season. Herrin has compiled a perfect 7-0 dual match record this season and an 18-5 overall mark. Herrin has won seven of his last eight bouts, with six decisions and one major decision over UNC's Joshua Davis. Snyder went 3-0 at the CAA Duals to advance his win total to 16. Snyder has two major decisions and three falls up to this point in the season.