Rider University 26, Drexel University 12
LAWRENCEVILLE- You never forget your first. Whether it is your first love, your first car, or your first pin.
Rider freshman Curt Delia (Mullica Hill, NJ/Delsea) won by fall in 3:24 to give Rider a 9-8 lead in the Broncs' Colonial Athletic Association dual meet victory over Drexel Sunday afternoon. It was Delia's first collegiate pin.
"It felt good," said Delia, who compiled 141 wins at Delsea High School. "Getting a big pin for the team is a great feeling. On the collegiate level getting a pin is great, but so hard to do. It is exciting. You work so hard to go out and perform. Today was one of the highlights of my career so far."
"Curt was aggressive today," said Rider head coach Gary Taylor, who picked up his 390th career victory, "and that's what we needed. We needed him to be aggressive and we were pleased about that. His opponent was fighting hard but Curt stayed with it and got it. That was exciting and good to see."
With the victory Delia improves to 18-9 as a true freshman. "I love the coaches here and it really feels like home," said Delia, who also starred in baseball in high school, catching on the Tri-County Championship team. "I do love baseball as well and thought about pursuing that career, but I feel I am more suited toward wrestling."
The Broncs won seven bouts to defeat Drexel in the Colonial Athletic Association dual meet. "I thought it went pretty well today," Taylor said. "We expected it to be a tough match. I thought both teams wrestled hard. Fortunately we were able to get the victories we thought we would get. We were pleased today with the way our kids wrestled."
For Rider (10-6, 3-2 CAA), junior Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville), ranked 16th in the nation, won a major decision to give Rider a 16-8 lead over Drexel.
Rider junior James Brundage (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining) won a major decision to give Rider a 20-8 lead.
"Ramon and James have been wrestling well and have been consistent all year," Taylor said.
Brundage improved to 17-9 overall and Santiago improved to 26-6 overall, 5-0 in the CAA. "I wasn't surprised with their majors today. They are both in their junior year and getting to understand their role. They know they need to step up for the team and they did that."
Rider senior Zac Cibula (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg Casco) used a late take down and riding time to win at 157.
Rider sophomore Jimmy Morris (Northport, NY/St. Anthony's) won 6-2 at 133 to tie the score at 3-3.
Rider freshman Ryan Wolfe (New Castle, Del./Caravel), the top ranked 184 in the CAA, also won, improving to 21-9.
Rider freshman Greg Velasco (Union Beach, NJ/Keyport) won in overtime for the final score.
For Drexel (7-10, 3-3 CAA) Brandon Palik (21-3, 13-2 duals), who is ranked 20th in the nation by AWN, won a major decision at 197 to cut the lead to 23-12.
The top ranked 141 in the CAA, Frank Cimato, who is ranked 20th in the nation by W.I.N. Magazine and is 27-6 overall and 6-0 in the CAA, won by tech fall at 141 to give the Dragons an 8-3 lead.
Jacob Goodwin, the reigning CAA Rookie of the Week, won at 125 to give Drexel a 3-0 lead.
Rider travels to Penn State University for a dual meet with the Nittany Lions February 17. "That's going to be a tough trip," Taylor admitted, "but we're excited though. For Penn State to give us that opportunity and gain some exposure for our program, I am thankful to their coaching staff. It helps a program like ours to compete in that environment. It is a very special environment and it is going to be sold out and lively."
Rider beat Drexel 19-18 last year in Philadelphia. Rider and Drexel have now met 37 times since the series began in 1970-71 with Rider winning 29. The last time Drexel defeated Rider was during the 2006-07 season.
Rider 26, Drexel 12
125: Jacob Goodwin-D dec. Patrick Skinner-R 9-7 0-3
133: Jimmy Morris-R dec. Jordan Hart-D 6-2 3-3
141: Frank Cimato-D tech fall Rob Cigna-R 17-2 3-8
149: Curt Delia-R wbf Josh Yurasits-D 3:24 9-8
157: Zac Cibula-R dec. Austin Sommer-D 7-4 12-8
165: Ramon Santiago-R major dec. Connor Moran-D 9-0 16-8
174: James Brundage-R major dec. Kevin Matyas-D 14-6 20-8
184: Ryan Wolfe-R dec. Bryan Sternlieb-D 10-5 23-8
197: Brandon Palik-D major dec. Don McNeil-R 11-2 23-12
285: Greg Velasco-R dec, Jon Max Wright-D 2-1 ot 26-12