Tim Caplan-Circulation Manager
The Rhode Island College wrestling team ended their dual meet season at home on Friday. The team faced NEWA (New England Wrestling Association) rivals Trinity College and Bridgewater State University.
RIC’s first match against Trinity began with two forfeits in the 125 and 133-pound weight classes. RIC started the match with an advantage of 12 points, but they could not hold on to the win as they went 1-5 in matches. Freshman Nicholas Coppola of Wantagh, New York picked up the Anchormen’s only win at 184 pounds against Trinity’s Enrique Loya of San Juan Capistrano, California.
Francisco Roman of Sayerville, New Jersey and Richard Brown of North Kingstown, Rhode Island had hard-fought matches at 141 and 285 pounds, respectively, but ultimately fell to their opponents from the Connecticut school. The final score was Bantams 33, Anchormen 15.
Trinity and Bridgewater had a very close match, with BSU coming out on top by a razor-thin margin of 21 to 19.
RIC ended their night with a barnburner of a match against Bridgewater. Freshman Brandon Nunez of Rockaway, New York started things off for the Anchormen with his second forfeit win of the night at 125 pounds. Junior Daniel Murray of Bay Shore, New York, kept the momentum going with a decision win over BSU’s Caleb Lamarre at 133 pounds. Freshman Francisco Roman showed heart and determination as he wrestled his second match of the night while suffering through an arm injury. Keeping the score close, Roman unfortunately ended up falling to Andrew Valdina at 141 pounds.
Bridgewater would win the next 3 matches before junior Tim Caplan of Portland, Connecticut wrestled his way to a 6-4 decision over Wilfredo David in the 174-pound weight class. BSU received a forfeit win in the 184-pound class, meanwhile, RIC’s Nicholas Coppola bumped up in weight and won a 5-3 decision over Bridgewater freshman David MacNeil. Coppola led the team Friday, as he has all season, with two wins. Freshman heavyweight Richard Brown closed out the show for the Anchormen, as he performed a beautiful slide-by to merkle for a takedown right into a half-nelson for the pin at just 58 seconds of the first period.
The Anchormen will spend the next two weeks preparing for the regional tournament at the Sport and Recreation Center in Worcester, Mass. on Feb. 24-25.