The wrestling team hosted its first home dual meet on Saturday against Army. Despite the home advantage, the Bears did not come out on top in close matches and lost the dual, 27-6.
"We couldn't get out from bottom," said Head Coach Dave Amato. "We lost four matches like that."
Riding time was a decisive factor. The matches at 141 lbs. and 197 lbs. were tied at the end of regulation, but because the Black Knights had accumulated enough riding time, they earned one extra point and therefore won the matches.
Army Assistant Coach Ryan Wilman also acknowledged the importance of the riding time in his team's victory.
"We spent a lot of time working on top (position)" in practice, Wilman said.
The first Bear to halt the Black Knights' momentum was 165-pounder Jeff Lemmer '12.
Trailing 3-2, Lemmer earned four points by twice taking down his opponent and winning the match, 6-4.
The match that drew the loudest cheers from the home crowd was between 184-pounders Bran Crudden '10 and Collin Wittmeyer of Army. Crudden was aggressive from the beginning and scored the first points with a takedown. He never let up, even when his opponent relaxed — thinking they were both out of bounds. But Crudden seized the opportunity and scored another takedown at the edge of the mat. Crudden provided the Bears' other victory, 10-5.
Though Army won the dual meet by taking eight out of the 10 weight classes, Wilman was not pleased with his team's overall performance.
"I don't think we wrestled all that well," Wilman said. "The guys got the job done winning the cheap points, but we didn't produce much offense."
Amato said the Bears improved in certain technical areas.
"We did a better job on defense on our feet, which we practiced a lot," he said.
The Bears have already been bitten by the injury bug several times this season. Two starters, Steven DeLorenzo '10 and Bryan Tracy '10, were out of Saturday's lineup due to injury, but fortunately for the Bears, both are expected to return to the mat this weekend. Amato said injury alone is not an excuse for defeat.
"You wrestle with who you have," he said. "Hopefully, this weekend will be a turnaround."
This weekend will feature four dual meets, starting Friday at noon in the Pizzitola Center, when two old rivals, Boston University and Drexel, come to town. The next day, the Bears will kick off the Ivy League season against perennial powerhouse Penn at 10 a.m., which will be followed by a meet against Princeton.