PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Norwich University wrestling team competed in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Dual Championships on Saturday at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The Cadets finished the day with a shutout in its final match to claim 15th place.
Norwich came into the duals as the 15th seed and therefore faced the second-seed Coast Guard Academy who was ranked #10 in the nation.
The Cadets had some close battles in its opening match, but Coast Guard prevailed across each weight class to move on while sending Norwich to the consolation side of the bracket.
A second-round matchup against 10th seeded New England College resulted in a narrow 32-24 loss. The Pilgrims sprinted out to a 23-0 lead through the first four bouts of the match. The Cadets started to turn the tide at 157 pounds as Tyler Barker netted the Cadets' first win of the day as his opponent could not continue after an injury mid-bout. Blaise Bressler doubled the Cadets' output by pinning his opponent at 165 pounds. A pair of forfeits at 174 and 184 pounds gave Norwich a slim 24-23 lead heading into the final two bouts of the match. However, the Pilgrims clinched the match with victories in both weight classes.
In its subsequent match against the 14th seeded Trinity (Conn.) squad, the Cadets took an early 6-0 lead as Cameron Wooldridge earned a win by forfeit at 133 pounds. After losses in the next three bouts, Norwich brought the deficit down to one, trailing 10-9 as Brandon DesFosses claimed a 10-3 decision at 165 pounds. Curran earned the team's second win due to forfeit at 184 pounds to make it 16-15, but the Bantams claimed wins in the final two weight classes to win 28-15.
In the final match of the day, Norwich scored a clean sweep (50-0) against 16th seeded Plymouth St. Barker (157 pounds), Bressler (174 pounds.), Curran (197 pounds.) and Michael Kennedy (285 pounds.) each had first period pins. For Kennedy, the win was the first of his career. Drake Troyer pinned his opponent in the third period at 141 pounds. Ben Forsman ousted his opponent at 149 pounds in a sudden-victory win while DesFosses nabbed a victory at 165 pounds with a tech fall. Wooldridge and Niko Chitty benefitted from wins due to forfeit.
Norwich will next be in action when it takes part in the All-Academy Championships set for next Saturday in Colorado.