BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – A last-minute takedown and four-point near fall by Gage Curry in the final bout of the match lifted American to a 20-14 victory over host Binghamton in an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association match on Friday.
The victory improved the Eagles to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in the EIWA. The Bearcats fell to 8-5 and 4-1 in the league.
The triumph included a pair of crucial wins by Eagle freshmen, as Curry finished off the dual with a come-from-behind win at 125, and Eric Hong posted his second dual-match win of the season with a 9-1 major decision victory at 157.
"This was quite a 10-man effort tonight," said AU head coach Teague Moore. "I'm very proud and happy how we came back tonight.
"Kyle Borshoff's team is very tough and very solid at every weight," Moore said of AU alumnus and former Eagle assistant coach Kyle Borshoff, who is the head coach of the Bearcats.
Curry, a redshirt freshman, recovered from a 4-1 deficit and trailed Joe Nelson, 6-4, in the third period. With 55 seconds left, he turned a single-leg shot into a takedown and near fall for six points and the match-clinching, 10-6 victory.
His win capped a three-bout winning streak that brought the Eagles back from a 14-11 deficit in the team score on the road.
Jeric Kasunic beat Alexander Melikian, 8-4, in the 197-pound bout to tie the team score, and Brett Dempsey gave AU the team lead, 17-14, by winning the heavyweight matchup, 9-2 over Sean Dee, and set up the final bout for Curry.
Kasunic's win was his 27th of the season (27-3) and his 17th straight. It moved him into eighth on AU's career list with 94 victories, and brought him into the top 20 on the single-season list in wins.
Hong earned a major decision with a 9-1 win over Tristan Rifanburg at 157, staking the Eagles to an 11-3 edge in the team score.
But two major decisions in a three-bout stretch gave the host Bearcats a 14-11 lead heading into the final three bouts.
The match opened with AU's Josh Terao scoring an 8-0 major decision over Jacob Nicholson at 133. Following a Binghamton win, Michael Sprague earned a 3-1 win over Frank Garcia at 149, setting the stage for Hong's win at 157.
American returns home for a Super Bowl-Sunday matinee with Bucknell. The Eagles and Bison take the Bender Arena mat at noon. Tickets for all AU wrestling home duals can be purchased online by clicking here.
AMERICAN 20, BINGHAMTON 14
133 - Josh Terao (AMER) over Jacob Nicholson (BIUN) (MD 8-0)
141 - Joseph Russ (BIUN) over Jack Mutchnik (AMER) (Dec 5-2)
149 - Michael Sprague (AMER) over Frank Garcia (BIUN) (Dec 3-1)
157 - Eric Hong (AMER) over Tristan Rifanburg (BIUN) (MD 9-1)
165 - Vincent DePrez (BIUN) over Anthony Wokasch (AMER) (MD 16-6)
174 - Anthony Lombardo (BIUN) over Michael Eckhart (AMER) (MD 11-1)
184 - Steven Schneider (BIUN) over Conner Allshouse (AMER) (Dec 6-2)
197 - Jeric Kasunic (AMER) over Alexander Melikian (BIUN) (Dec 8-4)
285 - Brett Dempsey (AMER) over Sean Dee (BIUN) (Dec 9-2)
125 - Gage Curry (AMER) over Joe Nelson (BIUN) (Dec 10-6)