January 23, 2014


Dragons give their coach a prize

WrestlingBob Ellis/staff photographer
Lou Puca of SUNY Cortland takes a hand to the face as he grabs the leg of SUNY Oneonta opponent Dan Graff. Puca won the 174-pound match.

When the nationally 10th-ranked SUNY Cortland wrestling team won 8-of-10 weight classes to handily defeat visiting Oneonta 31-6 at Corey Gymnasium, it also enabled Brad Bruhn to reach a coaching milestone at the school.
Red Dragons head coach Bruhn secured his 164th career dual-match victory with the Wednesday night win, the most in program history. Bruhn passed Gene Nighman in the Cortland record books, Nighman having won 163 matches from 1983-99.
The victorious Red Dragons improved to 8-3 on the season, while the visiting Red Dragons fell to 6-7.
Cortland opened up a 10-0 lead as freshman Mat Bradice posted an 11-1 major decision at 125 pounds and sophomore Alec Dierna was awarded a forfeit win at 133 pounds. Oneonta senior Ben Mikac improved his season record to 24-6 with a 3-2 decision at 141 pounds over sophomore Tony Battista, scoring the winning point on a third-period escape, to make it 10-3.
Nationally top-ranked sophomore Bobby Dierna recorded a pin in 6:40 at 149 pounds to improve his record to 15-3 overall and Cortland led 16-3. Cortland senior James Ondris followed with an 8-2 decision at 157 pounds to increase the home Red Dragons’ lead to 19-3.
At 165 pounds, Oneonta sophomore Shaun Gillen upped his record to 24-6 with a 6-3 decision over Joe Cataldo, trimming the Cortland lead to 19-6.
Seventh-ranked junior Lou Puca got the hosts back on track, winning an 11-4 decision for Cortland at 174 pounds to raise his record on the season to 24-7.
Freshman Jagger Rebozo registered the deciding team points in the match with an 8-2 decision at 184 pounds and Cortland led 25-6. Nationally fourth-ranked sophomore Joe Giaramita improved his record to 25-5 on the season for Cortland as he earned an 8-1 win at 197 pounds over senior Chad Obzud, who entered the match with a 22-6 record.
The night’s most exciting bout occurred at 285 pounds between Cortland junior Lance Moore and Oneonta junior Stephen Provenzano. With the score tied 1-1 and Moore holding enough time for a riding-time point, Provenzano recorded a takedown with 22 seconds remaining to grab a 3-1 lead.
Moore, out of Johnson City, quickly escaped and clinched the dramatic win with a takedown with one second on the clock for a 5-3 decision and a Cortland 31-6 win.
That was a nice way to finish off Bruhn’s 164th dual victory, this his 12th season directing perennial power Cortland after having been an assistant at his Wisconsin-La Crosse alma mater. Bruhn graduated from Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1997.
Bruhn has at least 10 dual victories in each of his 12 campaigns in Cortland, and the Red Dragons were NCAA Division III Northeast Regional champions last season before placing ninth at nationals.
Cortland’s 18-2 record a year ago with a school single-season best under Bruhn’s direction.
The Red Dragons will face Wabash out of Indiana on Saturday at Ithaca College, that match starting at noon. The Red Dragons have five additional duals left on the schedule, including a regular season-ending visit to nationally-ranked rival Ithaca on Feb. 19.


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