Springfield, MA --- WPI's Justin Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) won a pair of matches Saturday to reach the semifinals of the NCAA III Division Northeast Regional Wrestling Championship hosted by Springfield. The senior captain will need to just win once on Sunday to qualify for the NCAA national championships and twice to claim the regional crown.
As a team, the Engineers advance eight wrestlers to the second day of competition as Pete Nash (Liverpool, NY), Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ), Graysen DeLuca (Canterbury, CT), Lucas Muntz (West Hartford, CT) Daniel Wensley (Wakefield, MA), Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) and Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) can reach national tournament with three victories on Sunday. WPI amassed 46.5 points on day one and currently sit in sixth place, just five points behind Williams.
Marsh, the fifth seed at 165 pounds, began his day by knocking off Ryan Ward of Springfield 6-5 in the first round and outlasted fourth-seeded Timothy Garripoli of Williams 6-5 in the quarterfinals. Marsh will face top-seeded Nick Velez from Ithaca in the semifinals with No. 3 seed Alec Golner of Roger Williams and unseeded Michael Gargano from Roger Williams meeting in the other semifinal.
DeLuca and Shrewsbury battled back from tough opening draws against top-seeded wrestlers to post a pair of pins in the consolation rounds to reach Sunday. Deluca registered a first period fall of Yuri Gulak from Western New England and pinned Seth Carter of Daniel Webster midway through the second period at 157 pounds. Meanwhile, heavyweight Shrewsbury pinned Alex Cesare of Plymouth State in the first period and Isaiah Bellamy from Wesleyan in the waning seconds of the second period.
Nash was the only Engineer drawn to wrestle in the preliminary round, beginning his day at 141 pounds with a 16-5 major decision over Kyle Layne of Springfield and then knocked off Lamont Wallace from Western New England 11-5. After a quarterfinal loss, the sixth-seeded Nash punched his ticket to Sunday with a third period pin of James Matias of Wesleyan. Nigro battled back from an opening round loss at 141 pounds to tally a pair of decisions wins - 7-0 against James Duncan from Norwich and 8-6 versus seventh-seeded Jake Savoca of Williams - to reach the second day.
Lucas Muntz (West Hartford, CT) arguably provided the most drama of Saturday for the Crimson and Gray. The junior 174-pounder got a takedown in the final seconds to defeat Daniel Webster's Devin Visconti to advance to Sunday. Earlier in consolation round, Muntz pinned Andrew McCahill of Trinity 32 seconds into the bout.
Freshmen Daniel Wensley (Wakefield, MA) and Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) took similar paths to reach the second day. Both eight seeds began the day with pins in the first round (Wensley at 184 pounds over Steve Corio of Southern Maine and Curtis at 197 versus Bruce Mclee from Plymouth State) before falling to top seeds in the quarterfinals. Wensley then pinned Springfield's Severianel Burgos late in the first period while Curtis notched a 10-1 major decision against Anthony Marino of Oneonta State.
Brian Amato (Newington, CT) and Pat Lacroix (Salem, NH) both reached the quarterfinals before bowing out. Amato, seeded sixth at 125 pounds, majored Andrew Saccone from Trinity in the first round before dropping a pair of matches to high seeds. The returning All-American was defeated by third-seeded Matt Morris of Williams 4-1 before falling to top seed James Kaishian of Ithaca (7-2), who had been upset in the first round. Lacroix, the seventh seed at 133, also posted a 11-2 major decision in the first round over Alex D'Angelo of Cortland State before dropping at tight 6-5 decision to second seeded Tyler Keane from Springfield. The junior suffered an injury and took a medical forfeit in the consolation round.
Second day action Sunday kicks off at 10am.
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