What: #19 Hofstra University vs. Binghamton
When: Friday December 12th, 2008
Time: 7pm EST
Where: David S. Mack Sports And Exhibition Complex
Coverage: Live Text (Courtesy of LighthouseWrestling.com)
The Matchup: Steve Bonanno (HU) vs. Andrew Bloss (BU)
Synopsis: Thus far, if there has been one surprise for the Pride this season, it has been the quick emergence of true freshman, Steve Bonanno, to the collegiate level. Entering the dual this Friday with an overall record of 11-6, the 2008 NYS Champion from Wantagh, NY has already shown that he is capable of getting the best of some of the nation’s finest. Already, Bonanno has posted wins over highly touted wrestlers such as Brad Pataky of Penn State and Troy Dolan of Missouri. Two week ago, The Pride freshman finished third at the Mat Town Classic, with his only loss coming to 2007 NCAA Champion, Paul Donahoe. In the few times that I’ve seen Steve Bonanno this season, he has stuck me as an individual that epitomizes the term “third period wrestler”. In other words, as the match goes longer, the former Warrior great grows stronger….Bloss, who won the section IX title in 2007, has been one of the Bearcats hottest wrestlers of late, winning three of his last four dual bouts, including a 7-6 decision over Lehigh standout freshman, Connor McDonald. Tyler Malmberg could also see action at this weight class.
Prediction: Bonanno Wins By Decision
Projected Team Score: 3-0 Hofstra
Result: Bonanno (HU) Maj Dec Malmberg (BU), 17-3
The Matchup: #10 Lou Ruggirello (HU) vs. Robert Slavin (BU)
Synopsis: In the last bout that he competed in, the talented Pride Junior found himself the victim of a rare loss, 4-2 to Ray Stevens of Lindenwood (#1 ranked wrestler in the NAIA). Therefore, since the result of the loss was a slight drop in the national rankings, I am sure that “the King” will be anxious to get back on the mat and display the form that permitted him to begin the year 9-0 with eight pins. If Ruggirello is able to secure a quick takedown, look for him to apply his trademark double bars to earn the quick fall. As is the case with almost all of his opponents, for Slavin to avoid bonus points, he is going to need to keep the match on the feet as long and as often as possible. As soon as the former 3x NYS Champions gets on top, the slap of the mat will surely not be far behind….Slavin will come into this bout sporting a 4-3 record in duals on the year (7-7 overall), but has shown a tendency to struggle as evident by his loss by fall to Iowa’s #11 ranked Daniel Dennis. Mike Kleeman is also a possibility to step in and compete at this weight class. Thus far, Kleeman has been winless in two dual meet appearances in 2008/2009.
Prediction: Ruggirello Wins By Fall
Projected Team Score: 9-0 Hofstra
Result: Ruggirello (HU) Pinned Slavin (BU) 1:11
The Matchup: Justin Accordino (HU) vs. Anwar Goeres (BU)
Synopsis: The 141-pound weight class expects to be one of most anticipated bouts of the evening. In one corner, we have RS freshman, Justin Accordino, who thus far in his young HU career has been nothing if not extremely clutch for the Pride in dual meets this season. Having already defeated one top-25 wrestler this season (Missouri’s Marcus Hoehm), Accordino will look to break into double digits in the wins category with a victory over the more experienced Bearcat sophomore, Anwar Goeres. If the same Accordino that earned a major decision over Penn State’s Frank Molinaro, shows up at the Mack Sports Complex on the 12th, it could turn out to be a very tough day for Goeres, the former NYS DII Champion….Early on in ’08-’09, Goeres has seemingly struggled to demonstrate the ability that allowed him to win 17 wins in 2007/2008, culminating with a fourth place finish at the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. If the man that defeated the current #2 wrestler in the nation, Harvard’s Corey Jantzen, while both were in high school, shows his face, this bout could very well swing the way of BU and put an end to any hopes the Pride might have of laying a goose egg on their CAA rival.
Prediction: Accordino Wins by Decision
Projected Team Score: 12-0 Hofstra
Result: Accordino (HU) Maj Dec Goeres (BU), 14-3
The Matchup: P.J. Gillespie (HU) vs. Matt Kaylor (BU)
Synopsis: A rematch of the 2007 145-pound NYS semifinal, Gillespie will hope to experience a pinch of deja vu, having won the aforementioned meeting 5-2 in route to an eventual State title. Despite a very formidable 11-6 record, Gillespie’s performance has been somewhat up and down to begin his RS freshman year. At times, he has looked fantastic, as evident by his narrow loss to #2 ranked Bubba Jenkins during the Pride upset victory over Penn State. Unfortunately, at other moments, the product of Long Beach High School has found himself on the wrong end of bouts that on paper, he could have and perhaps should have won, as was the case about Andrew Sherry of Missouri. If the true namesake of Paul Gillespie takes the mat on Friday, there is no reason to believe the result will be any different than it was less than two years ago….Despite posting only a 4-3 (13-7 overall) dual record heading into the match, Kaylor has more than shown himself capable to hanging in with elite level wrestlers. In a Bearcat loss to Lehigh as a part of the NE Duals, the redshirt freshman from Ballston Spa, NY dropped the narrowest of decisions to #11 Trevor Chinn, 3-2. If Kaylor displays the same high caliber of defense, he could easily emerge with the decision in an extremely closely contested bout. Justin Lister is also a viable option for BU at 149.
Prediction:Gillespie Wins By Decision
Projected Team Score: 15-0 Hofstra
Result: Gillespie (HU) Dec Kaylor (BU), 4-1
The Matchup: Jon Bonilla-Bowman (HU) vs. Nate Patterson (BU)
Synopsis: When the 2008/2009 season began, a lot of Hofstra fans felt that JBB’s chances of earning All-American honors were extremely good. However, now a month or so into the season and if you ask the majority of Pride fans, they will tell you that they no longer know if Jon is even going to qualify for the national tournament. In much the same way that last season started, JBB finds himself a position where he seemingly is incapable of winning any match. No words were ever truer than when JBB was defeated by Missouri’s third stringer in the Mizzou Open a few weeks ago. For a Pride team that features so much youth and inexperience, I am sure the last thing the coaching staff needed was for one of their veterans to drop the ball. If HU has any hopes of making noise during the second half of the year, they will need the Ramapo, NY product to channel into the Mid-March version of himself. The question becomes, will this Friday be the day that JBB morphs into this incredible hulk….For Binghamton, there have been very few wrestlers more consistent and reliable than the Patterson brothers. Nate, the older of the duo led the Bearcats in wins last season with 27, earning himself a third place finish at last season’s conference tournament. On the few occasions that I’ve had the opportunity to watch him compete, the former Wayne Central legend has always stuck me as being extremely dangerous from the top position. Should he strike first from the feet, I could very much see Patterson putting on a display of turns and tilts, as well as piling up the riding time advantage….If JBB thinks that he can wrestle his usual style, falling behind early then rallying late, and still win against Patterson, then he is in for a rude awakening. I am calling for Patterson to get BU on the board with a high scoring decision victory.
Prediction: Patterson Wins By Decision
Projected Team Score: 15-3 Hofstra
Result: Bonilla-Bowman (HU) TF Kaloust (BU), 26-9