Both teams were so evenly matched throughout the lineup that points were hard to come by. Columbia won five straight matches through the middle of its lineup to secure the win.
“Our guys were up today and they were ready to wrestle,” Columbia’s Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling Zach Tanelli said. “The key today was our guys’ ability to step into the role that they needed to fill today. I give them a lot of credit and I’m so proud of a lot of our guys. Even the matches we lost, we had some fight and that’s what I want to see. If this match were flipped the other way, I’d still be okay.”
“It’s a big match, a big win, but again the key was our guys. They’re self-starters and self-motivated and that’s how the best teams win.”
After the Lions dropped the first two bouts on decisions and fell behind 6-0, Corrigan got the Lions rolling when he pinned Penn’s Grant Aronoff at the 3:22 mark in the 149-pound bout. The fall tied the match at 6-6 as Corrigan has now registered falls in two of his last three bouts.
“Cole Corrigan is really finding his groove and his confidence in 0-0 matches. He’s stingy. From watching him compete in the room, he’s a new man from the freshman that walked in here three months ago. He’s starting to recognize how powerful he can be when he believes in himself. He never gets rattled. He stays steady. He’s emerging and getting his confidence at this level.”
Senior Dan Reed gave Columbia the lead for good at 9-6 when he won a 3-2 decision after registering a takedown in the final 30 seconds to defeat Penn’s Anthony Artalona in the highly anticipated 157-pound bout. The bout was virtually even and featured a challenge from Columbia in third period.
Junior Laurence Kosoy followed with a 5-0 decision over Penn’s Evan Deluise at 165 pounds to give Columbia a commanding 12-6 lead.
Elling registered the most dramatic win of the day as he registered a fall at the 8:48 mark over Penn’s Jake Hendricks in the 174-pound bout. The match was tied at 1-1 in regulation as Hendricks stayed alive with a riding time point. But Elling made his move and eventually completed the pin before the buzzer sounded in the tiebreaker round.
“Max is a dangerous guy to wrestle,” Tanelli said. “He’s a pinner, he’s always been a pinner. He’s a senior, tomorrow is his last time wrestling in front of our fans. I’m really happy for him to go out on his terms. He wrestled a great match and it pretty much locked up the dual for us today. That was huge.”
Columbia sophomore Brian Bonino sealed the win with a gutsy near fall 7-1 sudden victory over Penn’s Robert Ng. It was Bonino’s third straight victory at 184. At 125 pounds, Joe Manchio closed down the day with a 10-2 major decision over Penn’s Blair Orr.
Columbia hosts its final home match on Sunday when it wrestles against No. 19 Princeton at 2 p.m. Columbia’s eight seniors will be honored in a pre-match ceremony. Columbia’s eight seniors include JP Ascolese, Christian Briody, Donny Donnelly, Max Elling, Tom Miers, Dan Reed, Sam Ward and Jacob Young.
133: Doug Zapf (Penn) Dec. Matt Kazimir (Col) 4-1 (3-0, Penn)
141: AJ Vindici (Penn) Dec. Danny Fongaro (Col) 10-6 (6-0, Penn)
149: Cole Corrigan (Col) Fall (3:22) Grant Aronoff (Penn) (6-6 tie score)
157: Dan Reed (Col) Dec. Anthony Artalona (Penn) 3-2 (9-6, Columbia)
165: Laurence Kosoy (Col) Dec. Evan Deluise (Penn) 5-0 (12-6, Columbia)
174: Max Elling (Col) Fall (8:48) Jake Hendricks (Penn) SV-Tiebreaker-3 (18-6, Columbia)
184: Brian Bonino (Col) NF Robert Ng (Penn) 7-1, sudden victory-1 (21-6, Columbia)
197: Greg Bensley (Penn) Dec. Sam Wustefeld (Col) 10-9 (21-9, Columbia)
HWT: Ben Goldin (Penn) Dec. Daniel Herman (Col) 3-1 (21-12, Columbia)
125: Joe Manchio (Col) MD Blair Orr (Penn) 10-2 (25-12, Columbia)