February 4, 2012


Dragons pull off late rally

GrappleJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland’s Jonathan Conroy controls Delaware Valley’s Donald Smith en route to an 8-7 decision win at 165 pounds.

Down by 10 points midway through the match, SUNY Cortland wrestlers came up with a remarkable comeback on Friday night.
The nationally 13th-ranked Red Dragons captured the final five weight classes to pull out a 24-16 home mat victory over 23rd-ranked Delaware Valley at Corey Gymnasium, improving to 15-2 on the season.
The Cortland comeback started in dramatic fashion when junior Jonathan Conway pulled out an 8-7 decision at 165-pounds thanks to a takedown with 12 seconds remaining, preventing the Aggies from Pennsylvania to build on their 16-6 lead.
Delaware Valley (8-9) took that early advantage by winning four of the opening five matches, starting with senior Charlie Frankel pulling off a 5-2 upset over Cortland freshman Nigel McNeil at 125 pounds. McNeil entered the match ranked third nationally in Division III. Frankel led 3-2 and sealed the decision with a takedown late in the third period.
At 133 pounds, senior Eric McCann recorded a major decision for the Aggies by virtue of earning a point on riding time to give Delaware Valley a 7-0 lead.
Cortland sophomore Brian Bistis registered a pin 35 seconds into the second period at 141 pounds to pull the Red Dragons to within 7-6. The Aggies, however, answered with a 19-4 technical fall at the seven-minute mark by senior Zak Andrews — ranked second nationally at 149 pounds — and a 14-1 major decision by fifth-ranked Emmanuel Ajagbe at 157 pounds to open up that 10-point advantage.
Conroy’s crucial victory followed. He trailed 5-2 early in the third period before he rallied for the win.
At 174 pounds, Cortland freshman Lou Puca earned a 5-0 win to make it 16-12 in favor of Delaware Valley before senior Carl Korpi recorded a narrow 2-1 decision over Aggie senior Kyle Tufts at 184 pounds. Korpi led 1-0 after a second-period escape and built up enough riding time to secure the victory after a late escape by Tufts.
Cortland took its first lead of the match, at 21-16, when nationally third-ranked junior Jared Myhrberg pinned his opponent in 3:10. The Red Dragons sealed the win on junior Corey James’ 3-2 win over freshman Mike Boardman at 285 pounds. James built a 3-0 lead into the second period on an escape and a takedown and held on after two escapes by Boardman, the second with 1:50 still remaining in the third.
Cortland returns to action tonight at 7 p.m. hosting Lycoming, while the Aggies visit Ithaca College today in another clash of ranked schools.


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