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No. 2 North Carolina State wins a pair, Sacred Heart drops two in Albany

Presbyterian’s Reed Douglass (top) and Sacred Heart’s Owen Ayotte battle at 174 pounds in Friday’s match in Albany. Douglass won by pin in 6:34.

ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 17, 2023 — The Sacred Heart men’s wrestling team had their annual November appointment with the No. 2 team in the country Friday night at the Arm Bar at the Armory.

For the third consecutive year, the Pioneers challenged the No. 2 team in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) poll. Two years ago, Sacred Heart visited Penn State and a year ago, the Pioneers challenged Iowa here at the Washington Avenue Armory here in Albany.

No. 2 North Carolina State had little trouble with the Pioneers with a 48-5 victory, winning three matches by pin and five by technical fall. The Wolfpack (7-0) also beat Binghamton, 35-9 with five wins by tech fall and eight victories overall.

Danbury High graduates Jakob Camacho (133) and Ryan Jack (141) each picked up a pair of victories while Danbury’s A.J. Kovacs (165) grabbed a win over Sacred Heart.

The Pioneers saw a chance to snap their long dual meet losing streak slip away, though, in a 29-21 loss to Presbyterian College, a young Division I program in their fifth season.

Sacred Heart, which has dropped 26 consecutive dual matches, led 15-13 after six of 10 bouts. But Presbyterian took a 23-13 lead with a pair of technical victories at 174 and 184 pounds. Sacred Heart’s Jake Carlucci (197) pinned George Hopkins in 21 seconds to cut the lead to two points, 23-21 and set up a winner-take-all final at 285 pounds.

However, Presbyterian’s Nathan Carnes pinned Sacred Heart’s Marc Berisha in 2:18 to secure the 29-21 victory.

Andrew Fallon (133) won by tech fall against Prebyterian while Mike McGhee (149) earned a 19-7 decision and Scott Jarosz (165) won with a pin in 2:45. Fallon had the only Sacred Heart win against North Carolina State with a 19-4 win by technical fall over Jackson Baglio.

“We’re going against the best teams in the country. Two years ago we wrestled Penn State. Last year, we wrestled Iowa. Today it was NC State. (Saturday), we will face the team (Cornell) that finished third in the country last year, so we’re trying,” Sacred Heart head coach John Clark said.

After visiting Cornell on Saturday, the Pioneers will head to Philadelphia to compete in the Keystone Classic on Sunday that will include several top 25 programs.

“We’re not afraid. We will wrestle anyone at any time,” he said. “Not the results we were hoping for today but it was a great effort from them, none the less.”

With two victories, Fallon improved to 4-0 on the year and Jarosz improved to 3-1. “Against the schedule we’re wrestling, I think that is worth noting,” Clark said.

The Pioneer bench cheers as teammate Jake Carlucci wins by pin at 197 pounds to give the Hearts a chance to win in the final match of the dual meet against Presbyterian College Friday night in Albany,

North Carolina State handled the competition with ease but the Wolfpack had other goals in mind. Friday night’s event was the second night of a back-to-back match. The Wolfpack beat Army on Thursday night, 34-6 at West Point, before a large group of wrestlers, parents and fans from Danbury to see Camacho, Jack and Kovacs compete for the No. 2 team in the country.

The trip was an opportunity to put some different combinations on the mat and make weight on consecutive days.

“At the nationals, you have to weigh in three days in a row,” North Carolina State assistant coach Kevin Jack said. “(The trip) was a good little warmup to get a feel for what you need to do. What you need to put into your body. Test out what works and what doesn’t work.”

Yes, Kevin Jack is Ryan Jack’s older brother and Kevin was a three-time All-American at North Carolina State.

The Wolfpack will be heading home. Their next match will be the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas on December 1.

The Arm Bar at the Armory is coordinated by Hall of Fame organizer Frank Popolizio of Journeyman Wrestling. Popolizio’s brother, Pat, is the head coach at North Carolina State

Former Gilbert School-Winsted wrestler Devin Matthews of Long Island University went 1-1 at 141 pounds for the Sharks with a 9-0 win over Ivan Garcia of Binghamton and a loss by technical fall against Jac Gioffre of Virginia by tech fall, 18-2 in 6:44. Fairfield’s Will Ebert (174) of Binghamton dropped a 17-5 decision to NC State’s Alex Faison. Ebert didn’t wrestle against Long Island. 

Arm Bar at the Armory
At Albany, N.Y.
(2) North Carolina State 35, Binghamton 9
Virginia 41, Long Island University 3
Northern Colorado 35, Buffalo 6
Presbyterian College 29, Sacred Heart 21
Round 2
(2) North Carolina State 48, Sacred Heart 5
Virginia 47, Buffalo 5
Northern Colorado 44, Prebyterian 5
Binghamton 31, Long Island University 7

Presbyterian College 29, Sacred Heart 21
At Albany, N.Y.
125: Trent Dominguez (P) dec. Jake Ice, 12-7
133: Andrew Fallon (SH) tech fall Rey Ortiz, 25-9, 4:41
141: Ryan Luna (P) dec. Vinny Milazzo, 12-4
149: Mike McGhee (SH) dec. Trent Donahue, 19-7
157: Elijah Holiday (P) pin Michel Ritacco, 4:33
165: Scott Jarosz (SH) pin Michael Ramirez, 2:45
174: Reed Douglass (P) pin Owen Ayotte, 6:34
184: Caleb Roe (L) Logan Michael, 6:13
197: Jake Carlucci (SH) pin George Hopkins, 0:21
285: Nathan Carnes (P) pin Marc Berisha, 2:18
Records: Sacred Heart 0-3, Presbyterian 1-1

(2) North Carolina State 48, Sacred Heart 5
At Albany, N.Y.
125: No. 3/3 Jakob Camacho (NCS) forfeit
133: Andrew Fallon (SH) tech fall Jackson Baglio, 19-4, 6:33
141: No. 7/8 Ryan Jack (NCS) pin Vinny Milazzo, 2:10
149: Tyler Tracy (NCS) pin Mike McGhee, 0:41
157: No. 9/9 Ed Scott (NCS) tech fall Michel Ritacco, 19-4, 2:27
165: A.J. Kovacs (NCS) dec. Scott Jarosz, 12-3
174: No. 22/18 Alex Faison (NCS) tech fall Nick Eboli, 20-3, 5:21
184: No. 29/27 Dylan Reinert (NCS) tech fall Logan Michael, 19-3, 2:20
197: Christian Knop (NCS) tech fall Jake Trovatom 23-5, 4:21
285: No. 12/12 Owen Trepham (NCS) pin Marc Berisha, 1:16
Records: NC State 7-0, Sacred Heart 0-4

(2) North Carolina State 35, Binghamton 9
At Albany, N.Y.
125: No. 3/3 Jakob Camacho (NCS) tech fall Carson Wagner, 22-5, 5:25
133: No. 6/4 Kai Orine (NCS) dec. Micah Roes, 11-8 OT
141: No. 7/8 Ryan Jack (NCS) tech fall Nate Lucier, 20-7, 7:00
149: No. 6/6 Jackson Arrington (NCS) tech fall Fin Nadeau, 25-10, 5:12
157: No. 9/9 Ed Scott (NCS) tech fall Carter Baer, 20-5, 4:38
165: No. 22/21 Brevin Cassella (B) dec. Derek Fields, 4-2
174: No. 21/18 Alex Faison (NCS) dec. Will Ebert, 17-5
184: No. 28/27 Dylan Fishback (NCS) dec. No. 9/13 Jacob Nolan, 3-2
197: Christian Knop (NCS) tech fall Andrew Bailey 19-4, 4:30
285: No. 20/23 Cory Day (B) pin Chase Horne, 4:10
Records: North Carolina State 6-0, Binghamton 0-1
Rankings based on FloWrestling/Intermat

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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