Joey Schwartz '14 (main photo) put the finishing touches on a stellar effort by the Cardinal grapplers as he logged a third-period pin to lock up a 21-12 victory for Wesleyan over Springfield Sat., Jan. 28. Springfield came into the match fresh off a team victory in the NEWA Duals on its home mats and was ranked 10th nationally in Division III with an 8-1 dual-meet record. Springfield had defeated Wesleyan, 34-3, during the Duals but the Cardinals approached the rematch with resolve and made it pay off.
Wesleyan was able to put a full squad on the mats this time around after being forced to forfeit a pair of weight classes a week ago. Springfield also made some adjustments to its lineup and the Cardinals took full advantage. Wesleyan jumped ahead, 6-0, as 141-pounder Nick Scotto '13 and 149-pounder Howard Tobochnik '13 came away with decisions. Springfield won the next two matches to even the count at 6-6 before the Cardinals took the lead for good when 174-pounder Kyle Roosa '13 (photo insert upper right) won in overtime, 4-2. When Jefferson Ajayi '13 (photo insert upper left), the only Cardinal to defeat his Pride opponent during the Duals, logged another decision at 184, Wesleyan had a 12-6 edge. Ajayi was named co-Wrestler of the Week in NEWA for his hard-fought victory. Luke Erickson '12 added another decision, 8-4, at 197 pounds and Wesleyan had a 15-6 margin with three bouts remaining. Springfield secured a pair of one-point decisons to make it tight at 15-12 heading into the final bout, but Schwartz pinned his Pride rival with :50 left to make Wesleyan a winner. Tobochnik and Ajayi are tied for the team lead in dual-match wins this year, both with solid 10-3 records. Joey Schwartz is 6-1.
Wesleyan, now 7-6 on the season, had a four-way affair coming up Sat., Feb. 4, taking on Williams, Plymouth St. and Oneonta St. The opening match with Little Three rival Williams at noon is slated for a webcast and can be viewed by clicking here.