The wrestling team split its weekend contests as it traveled to Cambridge to face Harvard and Johnson and Wales, coming away with a loss and win, respectively.
The Bears (4-9, 2-6 EIWA) competed against the Crimson (3-7, 1-6) in their first meet Saturday. The squad attained an early 6-0 lead with help from Billy Waterson ’15 in a victory by forfeit. But Harvard quickly countered with two consecutive victories and recaptured the lead, 7-6. The meet turned into a tug of war as the Bears quickly responded with a pair of victories. At 149 pounds, Steven Galiardo ’17 won via decision, earning three points for the team, while Justin Staudenmayer ’17 won via technical fall and tallied another five points onto Bruno’s lead.
Five bouts into the meet, the Bears topped Harvard 14-7. The following three bouts included two losses for the Bears, countered with a win from Ophir Bernstein ’15, putting the Bears up 17-13. But Bruno quickly relinquished the lead, as the Crimson took the meet’s final two bouts via major decision and tacked on another eight points to its lead, ultimately winning 21-17.
“We lost some close matches, which ended up hurting us,” Bernstein said. “It’s unfortunate that we lost a close dual like that, but we’re not training to beat Harvard, we’re training to be All Americans in March.”
Saturday’s follow-up meet featured a dominating performance by the Bears over the Wildcats (18-7). Bruno held a 14-6 lead over Johnson and Wales five bouts into the meet and finished with seven victorious bouts.
At 157 pounds, Staudenmayer won his second bout of the day with another technical fall. Galiardo and Anthony Finocchiaro ’16 each won their bouts via decision — but unlike the earlier 14-7 lead over Harvard, the Bears capitalized on the opportunity. At 174 pounds, Ricky McDonald ’15 won via major decision and helped the Bears to an 18-9 lead, and following McDonald’s performance, Bernstein won via fall at 184 pounds to give the squad another six points. At 197 pounds, Sebastien Levin ’15 won via a 3-0 decision. The Bears finished the meet with a 27-15 lead over the Wildcats to bring home their fourth win of the season.
“We improved in some areas, but we still have some work to do before the conference tournament,” Bernstein said.
Next up, the Bears will take on Columbia (4-5, 3-5) in their final home contest of the season on Senior Day this Saturday.
“We’re not really thinking about Senior Day, we’re just focused on beating Columbia,” Bernstein said. “For me and the rest of the seniors, we realize that we’re almost done. So we’re focused on pushing ourselves to finish the season, and our careers, with a bang and perform to the best of our abilities throughout the next month.”