Scranton men’s wrestling dropped to 8-9 on the season after a 27-21 home loss to King’s College Saturday at the John Long Center.
The Royals got off to a nice start when junior James Kelly pinned Monarch Giacomo Dinicola late in the third period of the first match.
“It felt great to get points on the board for our team first. The first match of a dual-meet is very important. I knew that if I won it would energize our team, and if I lost it could have the opposite effect,” Kelly said.
With the victory Kelly continued to add to his successful season, totaling 13 wins and eight pins.
After falling behind, the Royals cut the deficit to 24-15 with two matches remaining as sophomore Eric Calimano pinned Elijah Robinson 49 seconds into the second period. Calimano improved to 21-3 on the season with five pins.
Scranton also received a solid effort from junior Shawn Flesche, who outlasted Angelo Lussi 5-1. It was Flesche’s 53rd career win, which is tied for 11th all-time in Scranton history.
With another season remaining, he has the opportunity to move past a lot more names in the record books. He only needs 16 more wins to move up to fifth all-time, and with 19 wins this season, that is not an unrealistic goal.
First-year James Samson picked up his fourth victory of the season with a forfeit in the 133-pound class.
Scranton’s efforts simply were not enough, however, as King’s College received its second win of the season.
“I think we wrestled really hard. We gave it all we had and that’s really all you can ask for in the end. A couple of things here and there didn’t go our way and that happens sometimes in any sport. Unfortunately we came up a little short but we’ll get them next year,” Kelly said.
Scranton has wrapped up its regular season and is preparing for the NCAA East Regional that will take place March 2 at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre.
“We just have to keep competing in the room every day, wrestling tough. We have to continue to turn up the level of competition in the practice room and we’ll be ready for sure. I think as a team we have to go full speed ahead for these few weeks so that we’re peaking at just the right time – and we will be,” Kelly said.
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