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Expecting to dominate, American cruises to 41-3 win over SHU

Sacred Heart fell to visiting American University, 41-3 on Wednesday in an EIWA match in Fairfield. (Photo courtesy Sacred Heart Athletics)

Posting the most team points in seven years, the American University wrestling team cruised to a 41-3 victory over EIWA foe Sacred Heart in Fairfield on Wednesday afternoon.

The Eagles (3-4) came away with nine victories including four pins and two major decisions against the Pioneers (0-7), who have lost 16 consecutive dual meets, the second-longest losing streak in team history.

The victory marked quite a turnaround from a year ago, when the Eagles lost 17-16 to Sacred Heart at home in their season opener. That was the most recent victory for Sacred Heart.

The Eagles’ four pins came from sophomore Maximilian Leete (125), freshman Raymond Lopez (141), redshirt freshman Lucas White (174) and redshirt junior Will Jarrell (285).

It was the fifth pin of the season for Leete, who set the tone with his win over Benny Herrerra in 3:28. He already had a 5-0 lead at the time.

“It felt like the first time this year that we acted and demonstrated the expectation to dominate, and that’s so important,” American coach Jason Borrelli said. “We’ve thought we could win, and we’ve hoped to win (and have won a couple), but this trip the attitude has been a lot different. We showed a lot of passion and enthusiasm and we expected to dominate.

“When you have that mindset, and the energy is high, you can get that result. Our guys had a bad taste in their mouth for the past year after losing to Sacred Heart at home when we shouldn’t have, and they really wanted to send the right message today,” Morelli said.

“This was the first time I’ve really felt this kind of energy since coaching here,” Morelli said. “On this road trip, the guys have been doing all the little things right, and when you’re doing the little things, you can execute the big things. We talk about being an exciting team and we were that team today.”

American sophomore Jack Maida (133) had the unique challenge of facing a former teammate in Andy Fallon, who transferred to Sacred Heart prior to the season. Maida and Fallon each scored just one escape in regulation and were scoreless in sudden victory. Finally, in the first tiebreaker, Maida got a second escape point and held strong to come away with a 2-1 victory.

Competing two weight classes higher than his usual 125, and one above his weigh-in, Lopez had no trouble with the Pioneers’ Seth Brown, pinning the grad student in 2:12 after an early takedown.

The only loss of the day for AU was a hard-fought one by sophomore Antonio Segura at 149 pounds, as he took SHU senior Matt Laurie of Wethersfield to overtime before falling 5-3.

Redshirt sophomore Jack Nies (157) got three more points for AU with an 8-4 come-from-behind victory over grad student Nick Palumbo. Nies trailed 3-1 after two periods, but scored a reversal, penalty and got four near fall points in the third.

Three takedowns and a four-point near fall got freshman Caleb Campos an easy victory at 165 pounds as he took down Brandon Teresa by a score of 13-1 for a major decision.

White made quick work of junior Ryan Bolletino, earning his second pin of the season in 2:04 when he already had a 4-0 lead.

Grad student Colin Shannon put AU over 30 points with a 15-2 major decision against Hunter Perez at 184 pounds. Shannon scored three takedowns, a reversal, four near fall points and had well over five minutes of riding time.The Eagles kept it rolling with a win by redshirt junior Connor Bourne at 197, as he took down Nick Copley by a score of 7-2.

In the final bout of the day at heavyweight, Jarrell posted his fourth pin of the season in less than two minutes, defeating Matthew Walker in 1:56 after already leading 6-0.

Sacred Heart returns to action on Friday, January 6 at the David Lehman Open in Lancaster, Pa. The next dual meet will be against Virginia Military Institute on Sunday, Jan. 15 in Fairfield at 1 p.m.

American University 41, Sacred Heart 3
At Fairfield
125: Maximilian Leete (AU) pin Benny Herrerra, 3:28
133: Jack Maida (AU) dec. Andy Fallon, 2-1, 2 OT
141: Raymond Lopez (AU) pin Seth Brown, 2:12
149: Matt Laurie (SHU) dec. Antonio Segura, 5-3, OT
157: Jack Nies (AU) dec. Nick Palumbo, 8-4
165: Caleb Campos (AU) major dec. Brandon Teresa 13-1
174: Lucas White (AU) pin Ryan Bolletino, 2:04
184: Colin Shannon (AU) major dec. Hunter Perez, 15-2
197: Connor Bourne (AU) dec. Nick Copley, 7-2
285: Will Jarrell (AU) pin Matthew Walker, 1:56
Records: American 3-4, 1-0 EIWA; Sacred Heart 0-7, 0-3 EIWA

Extra Countable Matches
149: Patrick Ryan (AU) tech. fall Dakota Asuncion (SHU), 17-2 (5:40)
184: Carsten Rawls (AU) pin Owen Ayotte (SHU), 3:45
165: Breon Phifer (AU) pin Michel Ritacco (SHU), 3:14

Information from American University sports information included in this report

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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