The Eastern Michigan University men’s wrestling team has defeated the Cleveland State University Vikings for five straight seasons, and this season was no exception. The Eagles returned home to triumph over the Vikings Friday at Bowen Field House.
EMU wrestlers won six out of 10 matches, resulting in a 21-15 team win. This win brought the Eagles to an even 3-3 for the season. The Vikings, with the loss, fell to 0-2.
CSU came to Ypsilanti with 17 returnees and 10 newcomers on their squad. EMU head coach Derek DelPorto only recognized two of the wrestlers on the team, which made their film study on CSU “useless.”
“I think their coach is doing a pretty good job at trying to press the reset button,” DelPorto said.
Redshirt junior Jared Germaine, who is ranked 16th nationally, kicked off the evening at the 125-pound weight class. Germaine won by a 10-2 decision with about two minutes of riding time, giving the Eagles three points toward the team score.
The initial excitement was short lived when CSU took the next three
weight classes. The Vikings gained a 12-3 lead with a pin at the 133-pound weight class over redshirt freshman Vincent Pizzuto, and decisions over redshirt freshmen Michael Shaw (141 pounds) and Justin Melick (149 pounds).
The Eagles started to close the point difference when redshirt senior Aaron Sulzer stepped onto the mat. CSU wrestler Matt Donohue earned the first four points of the match with a takedown and near fall, but that didn’t stop Sulzer.
“It didn’t go as planned at first,” Sulzer said. “But I knew if I kept wrestling that I would win.”
Sulzer soon tied the score but neither wrestler made a move, forcing the match into overtime. The first wrestler to take down his opponent in one minute of overtime would win. EMU scored three more team points when Sulzer overpowered Donohue for the takedown.
EMU redshirt sophomore Jacob Dorulla took the mat next at the 165-pound weight class. Dorulla was behind in the first period but tied 2-2 by the end of the second. The score was tied again at 5-5.
CSU wrestler Corey Carlo had a little over a minute of riding time, which would give him an extra point in the match. In order for Dorulla to win, he needed to decrease his opponent’s riding time to under a minute by taking control and forcing the match into overtime.
Dorulla’s overtime attempt was successful and he went on to win the match within 30 seconds, bringing the team score to 9-15 with CSU still in the lead. Redshirt sophomore Mike Curby lost his match by a 2-8 decision, but the Eagles won the remaining matches.
Redshirt junior Phillip Joseph earned the Eagles extra points when he became the only EMU wrestler to win by a pin at the match. Joseph scored points from two takedowns in the first period, allowing his opponent to escape only once.
“After about the second takedown I knew he was kind of broke,” Joseph said. “I knew that I needed the bonus points for the team and just went for the pin.”
Joseph pinned his opponent and evened the team scores at 15-15. The Eagles won the final two weight classes with Anthony Abro (197 pounds) and Chris Eggert (285 pounds).
During Abro’s match the crowd was vocal. Many Eagles fans believed CSU’s Nick Anthony kept fleeing from Abro, but the referees never called it. DelPorto made it clear none of the calls dictated a win or loss in favor of or against EMU.
EMU traveled to compete in their first Mid-American Conference dual-meet of the season against Ohio University Sunday in Athens, Ohio. DelPorto said conference duals mean a lot more than the other dual-meets.
“Anytime we are in inner conference competition, it’s a fight,” DelPorto said. “It’s a fist fight.”