January 7th, 2013—This past weekend’s showdown between the top two NCAA DIII programs in Gotham City did not start the way Violet Head Coach, Bruce Haberli, dreamed it up, as he and his staff found their host NYU squad down 4-0 after the opening match of their dual against rival Hunter College. However, in the words of Seattle Seahawks’ head man, Pete Carroll, “you can’t win the game in the first quarter.” And, for the #28 Violets, by the time all was said and done, victory had been accomplished and a year’s worth of heartache had been erased as they avenged the 2012 loss to Hunter, 23-13 on Saturday afternoon.
After dropping the 125-pound bout to HC’s tightly touted true freshman, Jaydon Rice, 11-3, the student-athletes from New York University would fight back, getting their hands raised in the next five consecutive bouts to open up a 20-4 lead over the Hawks. Hunter would mount a late rally, taking three of the last four matches, but too much damage had already been done and there would be no come from behind victory for the visitors on this day.
Sweeping the action from 133-165 would be Corbin Lee (133), Richy Cruz (141), Matt DiGiovanni (149), Gabe Gleason (157), and 165 pound senior leader, David Rice. Commencing their hot streak with Lee pitching a 6-0 shutout over Kenny Albert (a wrestler who won a nail biter in last season’s victory for HC), Cruz would follow with a 2-1 victory over Chris Gogatz to give NYU their first lead of the afternoon. They would made it crystal clear that they had no intention of looking back in the next bout when DiGiovanni, who managed only a 4-3 win in 2012, really blew up the dual when he made quick work of Brady Kwong, pinning him in 24 seconds to increase the team lead to 12-4…Two more bonus point yielding efforts would follow as Gleason and Rice each earned four team points apiece with 10-0 and 16-3 major decisions over a pair of Jesses, Capello-Colon at 157 and Bader at 165.
Luke Pragdar and Musa DeReese would win back-to-back matches for the Hawks by scores of 8-5 and 3-1 over their opponents, Chris Amro and Patrick Sheehan to cut the score to 20-10. However, with only two bouts remaining in the dual, HC knew that they would need bonus points in both in order to have any shot of the miracle comeback. Any prayers, wishes, or voodoo magical spells would quickly prove unsuccessful as NYU would mathematically clinch the dual when Sam Galassi, who sat out the 2012 season, made his return the line-up count with a 4-3 decision over Dennis Melendez…With the dual outcome already decided, the big daddies, Leon Bodden and Anthony Chu would treat the fans to one last barn-burner when they had the only bout of the dual to go to extra frames (sudden victory). With match all knotted up at 3-3, Bodden would provide Hawk fans with something to cheer for on an otherwise dreary day when he hit a five-point move to emerge with the 8-3 victory, accounting for the final tally.
Note: NYU would beat the other two programs participating in the quad dual, with the Violets defeating Southern Maine, 33-12, and Scranton, 40-4…Hunter would split, beating Scranton in the 1st round of the day 41-3 before finding themselves on the other end of a 24-20 score to Southern Maine.
The 3-0 effort improves NYU’s season record to 7-1, while Hunter Falls to 2-3 in 2012/2013. NYU returns to action tomorrow for another All-Gotham showdown against the College of Mount Saint Vincent…HC will not return to the mat until this weekend when they compete at the North/South Dual at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania.
NYU (23) vs. Hunter (13)
125 Jaydon Rice (H) def. Janik Santana-Quintana (N) 11-3 major decision (4-0 HC)
133 Corbin Lee (N) def. Kenneth Albert (H) 6-0 decision (4-3 HC)
141 Richy Cruz (N) def. Chris Gogatz (H) 2-1 decision (6-4 NYU)
149 Matt DiGiovanni (N) def. Brady Kwong (H) win by fall (:24) (12-4 NYU)
157 Gabe Gleason (N) def. Jesse Capello-Colon (H) 10-0 major decision (16-4 NYU)
165 David Rice (N) def. Jesse Bader (H) 16-3 major decision (20-4 NYU)
174 Luke Pragdar (H) def. Chris Amro (N) 8-5 decision (20-7 NYU)
184 Musa DeReese (H) def. Patrick Sheehan (N) 3-1 decision (20-10 NYU)
197 Sam Galassi (N) def. Dennis Melendez (H) 4-3 decision (23-10 NYU)
HWT Leon Bodden (H) def. Anthony Chu (N) 8-3 decision (sv) (23-13 NYU)