Hempstead, NY - The Hofstra Wrestling team will close out its 2012-13 Colonial Athletic Association regular season schedule this Sunday, February 10 when they travel to upstate New York to face the Bearcats of Binghamton University. The match time at West Gymnasium is 2 p.m.
Since the start of 2013, the Pride has posted a 5-2 mark to improve to 5-12 on the season. Hofstra has defeated Rider (17-15), Boston University (20-19), George Mason (32-8), American (21-9) and Columbia (23-9) with losses to CAA-foe Old Dominion (19-12) and Cornell (30-15) on the slate.
Hofstra is coming off a 30-15 loss to 10th-ranked Cornell on February 2. Hofstra jumped out to a 15-3 lead after the first five matches only to see the Big Red rally with three pins, an injury default victory and a decision in the second half for the victory. Pride junior Luke Vaith posted a 5-0 victory over 10th-ranked Mike Nevinger at 141 and sophomore Cody Ruggirello had a win by fall at 149 to lead Hofstra's early success.
But the loss was even more costly when senior Paul Snyder suffered a knee injury in the final match of the day. He is expected to miss, at least, the next couple of weeks. Sophomore Zeal McGrew, who is 15-5 this season, will fill in for Snyder in his absence.
Hofstra has been led by a group of grapplers, including Snyder, who have been rolling since the new year. Seniors Steve Bonanno at 125 and Paul Snyder at 285, junior Luke Vaith at 141 and sophomore Jermaine John at 174 are all 6-1 during the Pride's recent run.
Including Snyder, Hofstra now has five wrestlers ranked in the latest national polls. Bonanno is ranked 17th by InterMat and WIN, 18th by the Wrestling Report and 20th by AWN at 125 pounds. Bonanno is the top-ranked wrestler in the CAA with a 5-0 slate and is 13-8 on the season. Vaith is ranked 13th by the Wrestling Report, 16th by Amateur Wrestling News, 17th by InterMat and 18th by WIN Magazine at 141 pounds. Vaith, who is third in the CAA at 141 pounds, is 17-10 on the season including 3-2 in conference action.
John, who is 30th by the Wrestling Report, is 16-10 overall and 5-0 in the CAA at 174 pounds. He is ranked second in the conference in that weight class. Junior Jamie Franco is the latest Pride member to join the national rankings and is ranked 31st by the Wrestling Report at 133 pounds. He is 12-12 on the season.
Snyder, who is ranked 23rd by the Wrestling Report, has a 18-8 overall record and a 5-0 mark in the CAA at 285 pounds. He climbed into the number one spot in the conference three weeks ago after defeating previous number one Kevin Innis from Boston University on January 19.
The Bearcats of Binghamton enter Sunday's match with a 5-11 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the CAA. The Bearcats have wins over Princeton (23-12), Boston University (26-13), VMI (31-13), Drexel (29-14) and George Mason (29-13). Their losses have come to Lehigh (23-16), Cornell (30-7), Army (16-15), Illinois (39-10), Rutgers (30-9), Oklahoma (31-9), Virginia Tech (32-9), North Dakota State (30-12), Rider (19-15), Old Dominion (21-18) and American (26-14).
Binghamton is ranked 18th by WIN Magazine and 19th by InterMat and the Wrestling Report.
Binghamton has two wrestlers ranked in the national Top 20 by InterMat this week. In addition, the Bearcats, who are tied for third, with Hofstra, in the CAA Wrestling Weekly Poll as of February 5, have five grapplers ranked in the Top four of their respective weight classes. Leading the way is fourth-ranked senior All-American Donnie Vinson, who is 26-1 at 149 pounds. Classmate Nate Schiedel is ranked fifth at 197 pounds and is 23-2 on the season. Both Vinson and Schiedel are the top wrestlers in the CAA in their respective weight classes. 184-pound junior Cody Reed is 13-13 on the season and ranked second in the CAA while 133-pound senior Derek Steeley is 13-11 overall and ranked third in the CAA. Sophomore Tyler Deuel is 16-14 at 285 and ranked fourth in the CAA.
Hofstra and Binghamton last met on February 12, 2012 in Hempstead with the then-19th-ranked Bearcats posting a 24-12 victory. Binghamton has won the last three encounters with the Pride since a 37-3 Hofstra win on December 12, 2008.