March 6, 2006
History repeated itself this past weekend as the wrestling team finished runner-up to Lehigh for the second year in a row at the EIWA championships in Bethlehem, Pa. The Red trailed the Mountain Hawks by three and half points going into yesterday’s action and couldn’t leapfrog the host school on the final day of competition, losing 129-114.5. Penn finished third with 113 points.
“I can’t tell you that I’m overly excited that we got second,” said head coach Rob Koll. “We say that we want to wrestle for the national championships, but I think the guys took that speech a little too literally.”
Freshman Troy Nickerson was the only wrestler to win an EIWA title. Although the Red was unable to win the team EIWA title, there were still a lot of positives that came out of the weekend’s festivities.
Thanks to strong tournament showings, the Red will send eight wrestlers to the NCAA national tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., which is set to take place in two weeks. Freshman Troy Nickerson, sophomore Steve Anceravage, junior Jerry Rinaldi, senior Dustin Manotti and senior Joe Mazzurco all punched their tickets to nationals on Saturday by finishing in the top-3 in their respected weight classes. Junior Keith Dickey, senior Mike Mormile and senior Dan Miracola all received wild card at-large berths last night.
Nickerson went undefeated at 125 pounds, edging out Lehigh’s Matt Fisk by a score of 2-1 in the championship match. Nickerson gained momentum early in the tournament as he pinned Ricky Ringel of Rutgers in his first post-season action in a Cornell singlet. He went on to beat Navy’s Alex Usztics by major decision and Army’s William Simpson on his way to his first-ever EIWA individual championship.
Senior Mike Mormile wrestled at 133 pounds and finished in fourth place. After winning his first two matches, he was then scheduled to face Harvard’s Robbie Preston – a wrestler Mormile has a history of losing to, although Mormile did beat Preston in dual action earlier in the season. Despite tying the match at 3 late in the third period, Mormile lost because of riding time advantage. After attempts to fight back through the consolation bracket, Mormile eventually lost to Navy’s Joseph Baker by a score of 8-5.
At 141, junior Matt Easter received a tough draw, dropping his first match to the tournament’s No. 3 seed Steve Adamcsik of Rutgers. Easter then wrestled Brown’s Mark Savino and took him to sudden death overtime after Savino was penalized a point for stalling. Savino eventually scored a takedown in the extra period en route to a 4-2 victory.
Dickey had a spirited run at the 149-pound title but fell short, eventually finishing fourth. After winning his first two bouts, Dickey kept the ball rolling as he pulled off a major upset against the tournament’s No. 2 seed Pat Simpson of Army. Despite wrestling with a bloody nose, Dickey scored a late takedown to hold on for the 5-2 decision. He eventually lost to Lehigh’s Trevor Chinn in the semi-finals and then faced Simpson again for third place. Simpson made the necessary adjustments and defeated Dickey by a score of 10-3.
Manotti finished second in the 157-pound weight class, losing to Harvard’s Andrew Flanagan by injury default. Manotti breezed his way through the early portion of the tournament, defeating Mark Smith of ESU, 13-4, and Army’s Brian Rowan, 11-3.
“Dustin just got knocked out,” Koll said. “He had the guy right where he wanted, went for the double leg and the next thing you know he’s on the ground with his eyes closed for 30 seconds.”
Anceravage earned his first trip to nationals as he came in second at 165 pounds. He fell to American’s Muzffar Abdurokhmanov in the finals, 9-3. Anceravage got to the final match by beating Lehigh’s Troy Letters, who has been fighting an injury all year long. Anceravage went the distance with Letters, who won a national title in 2004, but the Policy Analysis and Management major had the last laugh as Anceravage scored an escape and a takedown late in the third period on his way to the 5-3 victory.
Senior Dan Miracola finished in fifth place in the 174-pound weight class. After losing in his first match to the No. 4 seed Matthew Stolpinski of Navy, he fought his way back through the consolation bracket only to lose to Columbia’s Matt Palmer. Palmer is ranked No. 10 in the nation.
Mazzurco couldn’t muster any momentum in the finals of the 184-pound bracket as he finished second to American’s Josh Glenn, 4-0. After winning by a score of 19-6 against Brown’s Branden Stearns in his first match, Mazzurco then edged out Navy’s Jon Kane and Columbia’s Justin Barent on his way to the final match.
“Joe [Mazzurco] got beat by the number one guy in the country,” Koll said. “Its unfortunate because we all think Joe is the number one guy in the country.”
Jerry Rinaldi followed Mazzurco’s example as he finished second at 197 pounds. He was defeated by Lehigh’s Matt Cassidy in the finals by a score of 4-2.
Sophomore Zach Hammond finished fifth in the heavyweight division. The Galloway, N.J., native started the tournament off dropping a 6-2 decision to the No. 3 seed Adam LoPiccolo of American. The two met up again in the consolation bracket as LoPiccolo won again by a score of 1-0. Hammond defeated Army’s Michael Sprigg in the fifth place match by a score of 5-2.
With the count down clock to nationals winding down inside the Friedman Wrestling Center, only one thing is for certain.
“We have to wrestle better if we want to place in the top five at nationals,” Koll said. “We’re taking eight guys and that’s about how many we thought we’d have. I guess we have to be happy about that.”
Archived article by Tim Kuhls Sun Assistant Sports Editor
March 6, 2006
The men’s basketball team showcased both its outgoing veterans and its rising stars, closing out its 2005-2006 season with the Red’s only road sweep of the year – thrashing Harvard, 71-44, on Friday and holding on, 64-60, against Dartmouth Saturday.
Freshman Adam Gore drained five 3-pointers on the weekend, setting a new Cornell single-season record for 3s with 83 treys in his rookie year, while senior tri-captain Lenny Collins put up 20 points in his final game with Cornell (13-15, 8-6 Ivy), leading the Red past Dartmouth (6-21, 4-10).
“[Gore has] had a tremendous season and I think he can get a whole lot better,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “He worked extremely hard on offense and did a good job on the defensive end. He had a tremendous year.”
After barely beating the Crimson (13-14, 5-9) in the final seconds of the two teams’ last meeting on Feb. 4, Cornell quickly put Harvard away the second time around, leading from start to finish.
Gore paced the Red with 16 points and three assists, while freshman Brian Kreefer knocked down four 3s on his way to scoring 14 points.
Senior tri-captain David Lisle also added 10.
Cornell held Harvard’s shooters to only single-digit scoring, with Matt Stehle, Brian Cusworth and Michael Beal each contributing nine points in the effort.
Opening the game with five straight 3s, the Red quickly pulled out to a 15-5 lead just five minutes into the game.
While Cornell’s shooting cooled after the opening barrage, Harvard remained ice-cold from floor, scoring only nine points in the first 13 minutes of the game.
A driving layup from Lisle put the Red up 30-11 with 4:20 left in the half.
Kreefer’s third trey of the half gave Cornell a 37-20 lead with four seconds to play in the stanza, but Harvard’s Drew Housman hit a running jumper as time expired to cut the Red’s lead to 15 at the break.
Cornell started the second half in similar fashion, scoring the first six points, and never looked back. An 8-0 run from the Red, including five points from Gore in the span of 21 seconds pushed Cornell’s lead to 59-34 with 9:03 to play. A free throw from junior Jason Mitchell at the 2:15 mark of the second half gave the cagers their largest lead of the game, 71-42, as the Red cruised on to victory.
Cornell forced 20 turnovers and limited the Crimson to only 28 percent shooting from the floor.
“I thought we were very active in the half court,” Donahue said. “We did an excellent job really swarming [Jim] Goffredo and Stehle. We played very good team defense for most of the game.”
Cornell’s second game of the weekend proved to be a more challenging contest, as the Red held on for the 64-60 win.
Junior Andrew Naeve led Cornell on the boards with eight caroms, including five offensive rebounds.
The Green’s Mike Lang and Leon Pattman had 15 and 13 points, respectively, while Alex Barnett added 10 points off the bench.
Cornell took a 6-2 lead off a pair of freethrows from Collins, but a steal and easy layup by Lang knotted the score at 6-6 at the 16:49 mark.
Lang would hit a 3-pointer less than two minutes later to put Dartmouth up 13-11.
The lead proved to be the Green’s last of the game as a jumper from Rourke put Cornell up for good, 15-13 at the 11:56 mark.
A layup from Collins in the final minute of the half gave Cornell an 11-point lead, but Dartmouth’s Paul Bode would cut Cornell’s margin to single digits, spotting up a jumper to make the score 34-25 at the half.
“I thought we came out of the gate and were really ready to go,” Donahue said.
Cornell maintained a comfortable lead for most of the second half, but the Red turned cold from the floor after a layup from Lisle at the 7:57 mark gave Cornell a 13-point lead.
However, the Red went scoreless for the next six minutes, allowing Dartmouth to pull within one, before a pair of free throws from Gore broke the Red’s scoring drought with 1:57 left to play.
A dunk by Barnett made it 61-60 with nine seconds to play, but foul shots from Gore and Lisle sealed the victory for Cornell.
“I think we really struggled with the ball and they got a lot of confidence,” Donahue said. “I thought it was our defensive stops that really made a difference down the stretch. I thought we did a good job guarding the three and then we made our foul shots down the stretch.”
Cornell finishes its season in sole possession of third place in the Ivy League, matching both its overall and conference win totals from last year.
Archived article by Paul Testa Sun Assistant Sports Editor