January 27, 2014


Puca’s key pin ignites Cortland matmen

ITHACA — Nationally seventh-ranked SUNY Cortland junior Lou Puca recorded a key pin over the nation’s fifth-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds and the 10th-ranked Red Dragons sealed a 27-14 victory over fifth-ranked Wabash College by earning wins in the final two weight classes Saturday afternoon at Ithaca College.
With Cortland (9-3) holding a slim 12-10 advantage, Puca turned a second-period reversal into a pin at 4:29 over Wabash’s Conner Lefever, who had entered the match with a 24-1 record.
The fall gave Cortland an 18-10 lead with three weight classes remaining.
With the pin, his team-high seventh of the season, Puca improved to 25-7 on the season. The Little Giants (10-3) pulled to within 18-14 in the next bout as nationally third-ranked Riley Lefever raised his record to 25-0 with a 16-2 major decision at 184 pounds.
Sophomore Joe Giaramita, ranked fourth at 197 pounds, earned the deciding team points with a 3-2 decision, securing the win on a third-period escape, to improve his record to 26-5 as Cortland increased its lead to 21-14. Ninth-ranked junior Lance Moore capped off the match for the Red Dragons when a late takedown in the first period led to a pin in 2:53 for the final of 27-14. Moore raised his record to 21-3 with the win.
Wabash took an early 3-0 lead on Tommy Poynter’s 6-5 decision at 125 pounds. Poynter won the bout with a third-period escape and riding time. After Cortland sophomore Alec Dierna was awarded a forfeit win at 133 pounds, Cortland senior Brian Bistis recorded a 5-0 decision at 141 pounds in his first action in over a month.
Top-ranked Red Dragon sophomore Bobby Dierna followed with a 9-3 decision at 149 pounds to improve to 16-3 on the season as Cortland led 12-3.
Wabash won the next two weight classes to set up the closing bouts. At 157 pounds, third-ranked Reece Lefever registered a 9-2 decision to improve to 25-1, and eighth-ranked Josh Sampson recorded a 14-2 major decision at 165 pounds to raise his record to 24-3.
Men’s Hockey: Cortland battled back from a 3-1 first period deficit to finish with a 3-3 overtime tie at Fredonia State in Saturday’s SUNY Athletic Conference game.
Three defensemen tallied goals for the Red Dragons (3-6-2 SUNYAC, 4-12-3 overall) — senior Stephen Nardi, sophomores Kyle Herring and soph Ryan Wagner.
After a scoreless second period left Cortland trailing by two goals, Wagner netted an unassisted short-handed goal at 10:45 of the third. Nardi then tied the game at 15:05 to send the game to overtime. In the extra five minutes, the Red Dragons were able to kill off a Fredonia State power play to keep the game tied and earn the point on the road and snap a six-game losing skid.
Women’s Hockey: Buffalo State completed a weekend sweep of Cortland with a 3-2 victory on Saturday in an ECAC West skate.
Jeyna Minnick had a goal and an assist for the Bengals, who came into the weekend 0-15 on the season. Megan Niesyty scored what proved to be the winning goal 2:11 before the end of the second period.
Sophomores Niamh O’Connor and Katie Gili scored for the Red Dragons (1-8-1 ECAC West, 2-12-2 overall). Sophomore Corey Temple picked up a pair of assists and freshman goalie Kelly Farinella turned aside 22 shots.
With 50 seconds remaining in the third period, Cortland pulled Farinella for an extra skater. Eleven seconds later the Red Dragons went on the power play but could not net the equalizer.
Women’s Gymnastics: Division I Cornell was a 189.75-181.65 winner over the Red Dragons in a Corey Gymnasium dual meet on Saturday.
Cortland sophomore Marley Bender tied for first place on floor exercise with a 9.70 and finished third on vault with a 9.525, both career highs. Senior Courtney Mangini placed third on floor with a 9.675 and fourth on balance beam with a 9.45.
Sophomore Meghan Goyden tied for fourth place on vault (9.50), while sophomore Maddy Scozzie finished fifth on balance beam (9.375). Scozzie was also second in the all-around with a career-best score of 36.90.
Indoor Track: Freshman Connor Christopherson’s school record showing in the heptathlon was among the Cortland highlights at the Cornell University Upstate Challenge held Saturday at Barton Hall in Ithaca. The Red Dragons were one of two Division III teams in the eight-school field.
Christopherson finished seventh in the heptathlon with 4,288 points, breaking the previous mark of 4,277 points by Jake Zanetti in 2006. His score will actually be converted to 4,312 points for NCAA qualifying purposes since his time in the 1,000 meters will be converted from his time on Cornell’s flat track to a banked-track time — nationals being held this year on a banked track. He also had an ECAC qualifying distance of 22 feet-1.75 inches in the long jump portion of the heptathlon.
Cortland also had sophomore Jerel Williams place fourth in the 400m(50.56), junior Conner Ten Eyck fourth in the pole vault (15-3), senior Melique Garcia fifth in the 200m (22.67) and senior Tyler Prendergast fifth in the eight throw (51-5.75).
For Cortland women, senior Sarah Bonnell out of Norwich was fourth in the long jump (17-7.5) and junior Taylor Hudson fourth in the pentathlon (3,009 points).


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