New London, CT --- The WPI wrestling team split a pair of tightly-contested contests on Saturday afternoon at a tri-meet hosted by Coast Guard. The Engineers defeated Western New England 25-18 before falling 24-18 to the host Bears. Western New England opened the day by defeating Coast Guard 24-21.
In their opening match-up of the day, the Crimson and Gray received pins from Tyler Tilbe (Woodbury, CT) at 141 pounds and Austin Brais (Plainville, MA) at 157 to build a 12-6 lead over Western New England. After the Golden Bears claim a decision win at 165, Alex Freilich (Worcester, MA) claimed a 10-0 major decision at 174 before Teddy Kostopoulos (Milford, CT) won at 184 to give the Engineers a 19-9 edge with three bouts. WNC clawed back to 19-18 following a decision and a forfeit but Stephen Poppa (Derby, CT) collected a pin 11 seconds into the final bout of the day to secure the victory.
WPI (2-5) jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the nightcap against archrival Coast Guard behind a forfeit win by Scott Carpenter (Calais, ME) at 133 pounds and a first period pin from Mike Perruccio (Pelham, NH) at 141. The Engineers would also be victorious when Tom Lacroix (Salem, NH) and Freilich won at 165 and 184 respectively but saw the host Bears win the final three bouts of the meet, including the last two by pin, to snatch the team victory.
Perhaps the most historic rivalry in New England college wrestling, the two teams now see the all-time series even at 26-26-3.
WPI is off until Sunday, January 22nd when they head to Springfield to participate in the NEWA Dual-Meet Championship. The first bout is scheduled for 10am.