By Josh Kestenbaum
The Lions’ winning streak came to an end on Saturday, Jan. 31 when the College hosted the annual Metro/New England Duals. The College wrestled against three teams: Bridgewater State University, 14th-ranked Roger Williams University and 27th-ranked Williams College.
The Lions came out strong with an early 45-3 win over the Bridgewater Bears. The College only lost one weight class. That class, however, was not 174, where senior Zach Zotollo continued his incredible season by extending his undefeated record to 13-0.
After taking that decisive victory, the Lions were not as successful against their two ranked opponents. Against Roger Williams University, the Lions won at 125, 149 and 174. With their wins, junior Dylan Thorsen and Zotollo each ended the day with 2-0 records.
“Losing focus should never be an issue,” Zotollo said in regards to staying focused after falling behind. “Every guy has worked hard and prepared well, so regardless of what the team score is, each wrestler’s job is to stay focused on winning their match.”
In their final match of the day, the Lions were defeated by Williams College by a score of 21-15. This match also saw two more Lions wrestlers improve to 2-0 on the day: sophomores Kevin Corrigan and Dan Wojtaszek.
The next day, the Lions were once again in action, as they took on the Springfield College Pride. The College was victorious by a score of 19-18. After all the weight classes had finished, the match was tied 18-18. This forced the match to be decided by criteria. Each team won five weight classes and each had one victory by fall. This brought the fate of the match down to total points scored, in which the Lions eked out the Pride 45-44. This gave the Lions the extra point and the win.
Freshman Ryan Budzek started off the match with a victory at 141, but the Lions proceeded to drop the next three weight classes and fall behind 9-3. However, the Lions struck back with wins at 174 and 184 by freshman Kellen Whitney and Wojtaszek, respectively, to come back and tie Springfield at 9-9.
After a pin by Springfield at 197, the College took back the lead with wins by senior Nathaniel Leer and Kevin Corrigan. The match ended with a Springfield win at 133 that tied the score and forced the match to be decided by criteria.
The Lions will be back in action on Friday, Feb. 6, when they travel to Willes-Barre, PA to take on Wilkes University.