The Northeast Duals hosted by the Journeymen Wrestling Club and Asics is billed as the "Toughest Wrestling East of the Mississippi", and for good reason; featuring national powerhouses such as #5 Missouri, #3 Cornell, and #20 Oklahoma, with a host of nationally ranked wrestlers, the Buffalo Bulls were among elite company on Saturday.
The Bulls entered the duals with 3-1 record, matching their win total from last season, and left with a 4-3 record after finishing 1-2 on the day. Buffalo took down Sacred Heart for the second straight year by a score of 32-12; then dropped their final two duals to Wyoming and Rutgers by scores of 43-0 and 27-9.
The Bulls had their hands full with the Cowboys, who have several ranked wrestlers in their lineup; #12 Max Soria suffered his first defeat of the season falling in overtime 19-17 to #10 Tyler Cox. Impressive freshman Sean Peacock and Jason Estevez also dropped two close decisions, 3-2, and 10-8, at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively. Later on in the match, senior Wally Maziarz also dropped a clsoe 3-2 decision to Archie Colgan, and redshirt-freshman Joe Ariola dropped a 4-0 decision to #17 Shane Woods.
The Bulls then faced a Scarlet Knights squad that also had several ranked wrestlers and veterans throughout the lineup, that gave some of the inexperienced Bulls fits. Max Soria rebeounded from his first loss with a 5-1 decision over Josh Patrick in the first bout of the match. Then, UB dropped four straight matches to four ranked wrestlers, the closest of which being Wally Maziarz's 6-1 loss to #5 Anthony Perrotti. Rrok Ndojak, and Joe Ariola were able to put 6 more points on the board for the Bulls as they both won by decision by scores of 7-5, and 7-4.
After the dual, Max Soria sits with a 13-1 record, and freshman Sean Peacock has a 12-6 record to lead the way for the Bulls in individual wins.
Although the 1-2 record may look disappointing, the Bulls have plenty to be happy about as they begin to enter the MAC portion of their schedule. Several freshmen and redshirt-freshmen have taken hold of starting positions and have been performing admirably against stiff competition, and will only serve as valuable experience as they progress in their careers.
Some Bulls that are redshirting this year will be taking to the mat today in the Lock Haven Mat Town Open, stay tuned for updates on that. The rest of the Bulls will be off until next Saturday, December 6th, as they head home to Alumni Arena to take on MAC rival Kent State at 7 PM.