Hofstra University 17, Rider University 15
HEMPSTEAD, NY- Ali vs. Frazier, Coke vs. Pepsi, Rider vs. Hofstra.
As rivalries go in these parts, this is about as good as it gets.
Rider and Hofstra were East Coast Conference rivals in the 1970s when Hofstra won eight of nine conference titles, before Rider won 13 of the next 17 conference championships.
Now, competing in the Colonial Athletic Association, these two old rivals took to the mats for the 41st time Wednesday night.
"It has always been a strong rivalry," said Rider head coach Gary Taylor. "There have been years when they've beaten us a lot and years when we've beaten them a lot. Right now it is close matches that can go either way."
Despite winning five of the 10 bouts, the Broncs lost the CAA dual meet with arch-rival Hofstra. "It came down to bonus points tonight," Taylor said.
Hofstra, the defending CAA Champions and currently ranked 41st in the nation by W.I.N. magazine, jumped out to a 13-3 lead. "We weren't as sharp in the first five matches as we were in the last five," Taylor said. "Granted, their heavyweight is very good (ranked second in the CAA) and their 125 was an All-American (ranked 18th this year) so we were a little out-manned there."
Rider sophomore Jimmy Morris (Northport, NY/St. Anthony's) defeated the second ranked 133 in the CAA to cut the lead to 13-6. It was the 21st win of the season for Morris, who is now 9-1 in duals. "Jimmy had a very nice win," Taylor said. "He lost to Franco last year and tonight he was solid, leading the whole way through. It was impressive."
Rider junior Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville), ranked 16th in the nation, won 8-6 at 165 for his 20th win of the season for the final score. "We needed a pin there," Taylor said, "and he went out with that in mind. He was wrestling a talented kid and fell behind so he had to settle down and just concentrate on winning the match, which he did. That showed maturity on his part."
Freshman Curt Delia (Mullica Hill, NJ/Delsea) won for the 15th time this year to cut the lead to 17-9.
Sophomore Donald McNeil (Plainville, Mass./Wyoming Seminary) won at 197 to cut the Hofstra lead to 6-3. McNeil improved to 15-9.
Rider senior Zac Cibula (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg Casco) came back from an injury to defeat the second ranked 157 in the CAA to cut the lead to 17-12. "It was good to have Zac back and the kid he beat is very good," Taylor said. "That victory is important for seeding at the conference championships and for Nationals. It was a great battle. They both wrestled hard."
Cibula improved to 16-6 on the season.
Rider lost 26-9 to Hofstra last year in Lawrenceville. The last time Rider beat Hofstra was during the 2009-10 season.
Hofstra has won 13 of the last 14 meetings with Rider and leads the all-time series 24-17.
The CAA Duals are Saturday at George Mason, when Rider takes on host Mason and nationally ranked Binghamton. "Seedings for the CAA Championships are on the line this weekend," Taylor said of the CAA Duals. "We need to be ready come Saturday."
Hofstra 17, Rider 15
174: Jermaine John-H dec. James Brundage-R 3-2 3-0
165: Ramon Santiago-R dec. Nick Terdick-H 8-6 17-15