The Harvard matmen fell victim to the Bay State jinx again Saturday, bowing to the Springfield Chiefs, 25-14.
Each year of late, the Crimson has grappled against in-state rivals B.U., UMass, Mass Maritime and Springfield. The battles are almost always close, often hinging on a single match, but unfortunately the breaks always seem to go the other way. Over the last four years, plus two losing efforts this winter. Harvard has dropped 14 of 17 to these foes.
Going into Saturday's clash. Crimson coach Johnny Lee was sure that Springfield grapplers Matt Hawes (118 lbs.), Mike Ciarmello (177 lbs.) and Jeff Blatnick (UNL) would win their battles, but he hoped his charges could take at least six of the other seven bouts to win the war. Two disappointing setbacks spoiled that plan.
The afternoon started as expected, with Hawes pinning Harvard's Ray Dominiquez to put Springfield on top, 6-0. Then came disappointment number one, as Rick Kief (126 lbs.) got reversed at the final buzzer and lost to Chief Joe Arrante in a battle of freshmen, 6-5.
Bill Mulvihill (134 lbs.) and Tom Bixby (150 lbs.) gave Harvard two of the next three bouts, but in between. Bob Cusumano was whipped, 13-5. Cusumano hurt his knee earlier in the week, but had assured Lee that he was ready to go. It didn't work out that way.
"I didn't think the Springfield kid would be able to cope with Bob," Lee said yesterday. "But he didn't just cope, he beat him easily."
Next, just when the Crimson could least afford it, came disappointment number two. Iim Corcoran (158 lbs.) is having trouble with his defense. "He left it in Cambridge," Lee explained. "The guy from Springfield was getting takedowns from out of left field." The final takedown, at the buzzer, left Corcoran a 7-6 loser.
Springfield led, 16-8, with four bouts left and two of their unbeatables still coming up. John Franklin (167 lbs.) and Sal D'Agostino (190 lbs.) gave Harvard one-sided wins, but Ciarmello and Blatnick did their jobs to forge the final margin.
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