February 15, 2006

Miracola Shines In Senior Season

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Along with the wrestling team’s top goal of having success at the NCAA national tournament, it also has two other important goals that it is on track to accomplish this year. One is to win the Ivy League title – something the Red will be able to do this weekend with matches against Harvard and Brown. The other is to win the EIWA title, which Cornell will have a chance to do at EIWA championships on March 3 and 4. But to win at Easterns, head coach Rob Koll is hoping for strong performances from his entire lineup.

Senior Dan Miracola is one wrestler that will be looking for victory when the EIWAs come around. And although the Wading River, N.Y., native has battled injuries for much of his collegiate career, he has broken into a regular starting role on the team this year at 174 pounds.

“He’s had a lot of injuries and he’s never quit,” said head coach Rob Koll. “Dan has the ability to go to nationals, win matches, and who knows what happens when he gets to nationals. I feel that confident about him.”

Miracola has earned an 11-10 overall record this year, competing against some tough competition and several nationally-ranked opponents. He nearly defeated No. 5 Mike Patrovich of Hofstra two weeks ago, and he lost a close 6-5 match to No. 20 Matt Herrington of Penn on Friday.

“Unfortunately, he hasn’t beaten the top guys, but he’s been really close,” Koll said. “I think by the time we get to Easterns, he’s going to find ways to beat the best kids.”

Although Miracola has mostly wrestled at 174 pounds this season, he won two matches at 184 pounds against Princeton and Rider this past weekend. His win against Rider’s Joe Maroney was key in giving the Red a decisive team lead, after a relatively difficult start to a match that Cornell eventually won 23-12.

Miracola will return to 174 pounds this weekend, when senior Joe Mazzurco comes back to the mat after tweaking his knee.

“He’s strong and in shape, and technically very solid,” Koll said of Miracola. “He’s got the confidence now