The Crimson matmen yesterday dropped their fourth match of the season, 32-10, to the powerful Minutemen of the University of Massachusetts, but salvaged the day with a last-minute, 22-19 victory over the University of Connecticut Huskies.
The Minutemen had been ranked third in New England, behind the University of Rhode Island and Harvard, but they will probably move into second place on the strength of their performance yesterday at the IAB.
UMass built an early 19-0 lead with a major decision in the 118-lb. class, a regular decision in the 134-pound division and twin pins at 126 and 142.
Brian Baer momentarily stemmed the Minuteman advance with a hard-fought 9-6 decision at 150 during which he twice escaped pinning combinations.
Sean Healey's masterful performance at 158 was one of the few bright spots of the match. The Harvard sophomore managed to keep the Minutemen's talented Mike Carroll on the defensive for a total of nearly two-and-a-half minutes, but was unable to put the finishing touches on the UMass senior, settling for a 15-10 victory.
Crimson stalwart Tony Cimmarusti wrestled to a 3-3 draw at 177 and heavyweight Jim Phills also tied his opponent, but UMass got swift revenge in the form of a decision at 167 and a pin at 190.
Against the Huskies, Harvard was again hampered by early losses. But Rick Kief and Andy McNerney avenged their UMass losses with victories at 134 and 142 and the Crimson never looked back.
At 150 pounds, Alex Montgomery iced his Huskie counterpart in 5:29, and Healey became the only Crimson wrestler to record two victories on the day with his 12-9 decision at 167.
As the Crimson wrestler took the mat, his team was behind by 19-16. When the dust cleared two matches later, Harvard was on top, 22-19, due to Cooley's 15-7 win and Phills' 10-6 triumph.
The Crimson grapplers, now 15-4; resume their Ivy League schedule this Saturday when they travel to New Haven, hoping to down Yale for the first time since 1972.
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