WORCESTER --- 184-pounder Dan Wensley (Wakefield, MA) registered a takedown in the final seconds of SV2 to spark WPI to a 20-12 come-from-behind victory over rival Coast Guard in a New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) match on Wednesday evening. The junior's triumph gave the Engineers a 14-12 advantage and wins in the final two bouts by Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) and Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) secured the win for hosts.
The Engineers, ranked No. 16 in the last National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Top 25 improves to 9-1 on the dual meet season while the twentieth ranked Bears dip to 2-2 overall. The meeting was the 63rd all-time match-up between the two teams, with WPI's first win since 2013 making the Crimson and Gray's record 29-31-3 in the series.
Wensley's bout with CGA's Jonathan Wagner (Huntington, PA) was an instant classic, with the two competing for nearly 10 minutes. Both wrestlers were able to only muster escapes through regulation. The each totaled two points during the two tie-breaking periods but Wagner's 12 second edge in riding time put the rookie in the driver's seat before the third-ranked Wensley recorded a takedown with two seconds left to take the match 5-3.
With the Boynton Hillers now ahead, Curtis used a strong third period to transform a 2-2 tie into a 7-4 victory at 197 pounds and Shrewsbury used a riding time advantage to take a 3-2 win at heavyweight.
Michael Aquino (Boston, MA) got WPI into the win column with an 3-1 victory in the opening bout at 125 pounds. Coast Guard took its first lead of the match when No. 2 Owen McClave (Toms River, NJ) and JD FitzPatrick (Kensington, MD) posted back-to-back 4-3 come-from-behind wins by decisions at 133 and 141 respectively.
Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ) gave the Engineers a 7-6 advantage by using a huge second period to post a 16-5 major decision victory at 149 pounds before No. 2 Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) used first and third period takedowns to amass over four minutes of riding time to collected an 8-0 major decision at 157.
The Bears then turned to a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers to regain the edge. No. 7 Nick Remke (Marengo, IL) grinded out a 9-5 decision at 165 pounds before No. 9 AJ Aeberli (Warwich, NY) registered a hard-fought 5-2 triumph at 174.
WPI is back on the mat on Sunday, traveling to Mount St. Vincent (NY) for an 11am super quad with Merchant Marine (NY), Muhlenberg (PA) and Hunter (NY). Coast Guard is also back in action Sunday, venturing to Johnson & Wales for a quad with Norwich and Southern Maine beginning at noon.