Rider University 20, Drexel University 12
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ-The Avis rental car company used to advertise that because it was number two, it tried harder.
On Wednesday night, Rider head coach Gary Taylor, number two in career wins among active Division I coaches (369), led his Broncs to victory over Drexel, who is coached by Jack Childs, the current leader in Division I wins among active coaches (421).
"The match went the way a lot of our matches with Drexel have gone over the years," Taylor said. "Back-and-forth. I thought it was a good match. Coach Childs and I are always going to be battling, to try to beat each other, and when it's over we're good friends."
The Broncs won six of the 10 bouts to defeat Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association dual meet.
Rider and Drexel have now met 35 times since the series began in 1970-71 with Rider winning 27, including a 27-9 decision last year in Philadelphia. The last time Drexel defeated Rider was during the 2006-07 season.
Freshman Ramon Santiago (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville) won by tech fall to give Rider (8-10, 2-2 CAA) a 17-0 lead. Santiago was a High School All-American who placed eighth at the High School Nationals in 2009 after finishing runner-up in the New Jersey State Championships.
"Ramon is a talented young man," Taylor said of his red-shirt freshman, who was named the CAA Rookie of the Week for all competition the last week of January. "He's learning a lot this year. It is always good to have talent, but sometimes when you are just a good athlete you can depend on your athleticism too much. At this level, you cannot do that. He understands that now."
"I'm controlling my weight better," Santiago said, "and that has allowed me to focus more on my wrestling instead of losing weight. I've been wrestling a lot better since then."
"Sitting out last year definitely helped him," Taylor said.
"Sitting out last year was good because I gained some valuable experience in the wrestling room with my teammates, but it was tough because for the first time in my life I wasn't in the line-up," Santiago said. "Now there is more pressure but I'm getting used to it. The biggest difference between college and high school is here, everybody is tough. You never run into an opponent who isn't good. They are all former State place winners or State Champions."
Senior Rob Morrison (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cedar Cliff) won to improve to 4-0 in the CAA, 14-3 in duals and 23-6 overall. Morrison is ranked second in the CAA and defeated the wrestler who is ranked fourth in the conference.
Freshman Chuck Zeisloft (Woodbury Heights, N.J./Gateway) won to give Rider a 3-0 lead. Zeisloft is ranked third in the CAA and defeated the wrestler who is ranked fourth in the conference.
Sophomore Zac Cibula (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg Casco) improved to 23-10 overall, 11-6 in duals. Cibula is ranked second in the CAA and defeated the wrestler who is ranked fourth.
Junior Aaron Nestor (Transfer, Pa./Reynolds) won to give Rider a 9-0 lead. Nestor is ranked third in the CAA and defeated the wrestler who is ranked sixth in the conference. "I knew we had to get out early," Taylor said.
Junior Jimmy Kirchner (Somerville, N.J./Somerville) improved to 20-10 on the season. Kirchner is ranked third in the CAA and defeated the wrestler who is ranked fifth.
Drexel (7-15, 1-5 CAA) won at 165, 184, 197 and heavyweight. "Drexel is pretty good up top, in the heavier weights," Taylor said.
Rider travels to Hofstra for a CAA dual meet February 16. "Hofstra is a very tough team," Taylor said.
Rider will just have to try harder.
Rider 20, Drexel 12
125 - Chuck Zeisloft-R dec. Michael Gomez-D 8-3 3-0
133 - Jimmy Kirchner-R dec. Frank Cimato-D 6-0 6-0
141 - Aaron Nestor-R dec. Josh Yurasits-D 4-0 9-0
149 - Zac Cibula-R dec. Austin Sommer-D 8-2 12-0
157 - Ramon Santiago-R tech fall Charles Aungst-D 15-0 (7:00) 17-0
165 - Joe Booth-D dec. Jim Resnick-R 5-0 17-3
174 - Rob Morrison-R dec. Justin Wieller-D 4-1 20-3
184 - Shawn Fausey-D dec. James Brundage-R 5-4 20-6
197 - Brandon Palik-D dec, Joe Ferber-R 3-1 ot 20-9
285 - Jack Callender-D dec. Evan Craig-R 4-1 20-12