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Harvard Men's Wrestling Faces Columbia, Hofstra with Mixed Outcomes

Harvard Wrestling competes against Penn in a 22-19 loss on Feb. 1, 2020. This weekend, they suffered a 27-3 loss to Columbia before bouncing back, 24-19, the next day against Hofstra.
Harvard Wrestling competes against Penn in a 22-19 loss on Feb. 1, 2020. This weekend, they suffered a 27-3 loss to Columbia before bouncing back, 24-19, the next day against Hofstra. By Zadoc I.N. Gee
By Ekene Chukwueke, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard men’s wrestling team faced tough competition in an Ivy League and EIWA dual meet at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium on Friday, with a crushing defeat to the hosts. Despite the challenges the team faced, there were a few positive notes for the Crimson to take away from the competition.

Against Columbia, sophomore standout Philip Conigliaro maintained his undefeated record in dual competition in the 165-pound weight class. He won his match, 5-3, over the Lions’ Joshua Ogunsanya, who’s ranked No.19 in the weight class. Conigliaro started the match with a takedown, taking a 2-1 lead towards the end of the first period. Midway through the second period, he scored an escape and a takedown to pull ahead, 5-2, through two, emerging victorious despite allowing an escape in the final frame. With his win, Conigliaro improved his total record to 14-4 for this season, adding to his team-leading point total. Ultimately, his efforts were in vain, as Harvard fell to Columbia, 27-3.

Competing in its fourth consecutive Ivy league match, the Crimson (1-5,1-5 EIWA, 0-4 Ivy) was competitive in seven of its nine losses against the Lions (3-8, 3-5 EIWA, 1-3 Ivy) in addition to Conigliaro’s win.

The Crimson showed resilience as it redeemed itself with a road win over Hofstra the next afternoon. The Crimson won six of its seven final dual matchups, including a total of four bonus points wins, ultimately squeaking past Hofstra 24-19 in an EIWA dual matchup at the Davis S. Mack Physical Education Center.

Although losing the meet’s first three matchups, the Crimson (2-5, 2-5 EIWA) rebounded with five consecutive wins as the visitors claimed six of the final seven bouts against the Pride (2-11, 1-5 EIWA), which included a fall, three major decisions, and two decisions.

The Crimson’s victory was made possible by several individual standouts, including senior Lukus Stricker, who is ranked No.12 in the 149-pound weight class. The Rootstown, Oh. native recorded his third fall of the season with a first-period pin against Mike Leandrou. Stricker improved his season record to 14-9, including 5-2 in dual competitions. He posted his eighth career fall and his third pin of the dual season. Junior Michael Jaffe gained the Crimson’s first bonus point win of the day with a 15-5 major decision at 141 pounds. Jaffe took a 6-3 lead at the end of the first period with two takedowns and a reversal. Junior Trevor Tarsi then posted a 12-3 major decision victory over Joe McGinty at 157 pounds. Tarsi tallied a pair of takedowns in the first period to earn a 4-2 lead, which he maintained over the next two periods, notching two more takedowns and a riding time point in the final frame. Sophomore Joshua Kim, ranked No. 24 at 174 pounds,-earned a major decision victory over Ericson Velasquez. Juniors Beau Bayless and Dillion Murphy each posted shutouts.

Harvard will shift its focus onto its next set of matches. One will be an away dual against Brown, and the other will be a home game versus Binghamton. The Crimson will be looking to add more wins onto its record as the season reaches its conclusion.

-Staff writer Ekene Chukwueke can be reached at ekene.chukwueke@thecrimson.com.

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