By Michael Mack
The wrestling team traveled to Philadelphia last Saturday to take on Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival Drexel in a battle of two highly touted coaches. Jack Childs, head coach of Drexel, leads all active coaches with 394 career wins, while Rider Head Coach Gary Taylor is third among active coaches with 357 career wins.
Taylor was able to gain a victory over Childs as the Broncs won the dual meet 27-9.
The Broncs got off on the right foot when junior Ilyass Elmsaouri defeated Michael Gomez of Drexel, who is ranked fourth in the CAA.
“Elmsaouri got the team off to a great start with a very strong and gutsy performance,” Taylor said. “He fought hard and got the win to head us in the right direction from the beginning.”
The Broncs then took two of the next three matches as junior Matt Bradley and senior Michael Kessler collected wins. After another win by junior Rob Morrison, freshman Jim Resnick defeated Drexel’s Dave Woodall by tech fall.
“I felt I wrestled really well,” Resnick said. “It gives me a lot of confidence with only a couple more matches coming up before the CAA’s.”
The Broncs added two more wins by sophomore Tyler Smith and senior Ed Bordas.
“I thought the team performed very well against Drexel,” Taylor said. “I felt that we were aggressive and went after it, and it paid off.”
Next up for the Broncs was Hofstra at home on Wednesday, Feb. 17, as Code Cranberry was in full effect.
Hofstra jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after taking the first two bouts. The momentum swung, however, when Bradley won his bout to make the score 6-3. That was followed by an impressive major decision win by Kessler, who was competing in his last dual meet at home. That win gave the Broncs a 7-6 lead.
The momentum shifted again as Hofstra took the next two bouts to take a 13-7 lead. Enter Jim Resnick. The same guy that won by a tech fall to solidify his team’s victory at Drexel found himself under pressure to perform just as well, if not better, and he did not disappoint. Resnick won by tech fall again to bring the Broncs within one at 13-12.
Hofstra took the next bout to go up 16-12, but then Smith won by injury default to give the Broncs an 18-16 lead.
Bordas clinched the victory for the Broncs by winning his match, making the final score 21-16. Next up for the Broncs is a tri-meet against Boston University and American International in Boston on Feb. 20.
By Michael Mack