PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior captain Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) went unbeaten with a fall while fellow captain Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.) and freshman Steven Galiardo (Chicago, Ill.) each won twice as the Brown wrestling team fell to Harvard (30-10) and Boston University (23-15) in dual meet action at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Saturday.
The Crimson jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and never trailed, while the Bears fought back from a 16-point deficit but ultimately succumbed to the Terriers despite winning three of the final four bouts.
In the opening match, Harvard jumped ahead after a Brown forfeit at 125 and 7-1 decision at 133. Junior Zachary Tanenbaum (Leawood, Kan.) worked four escapes in his first dual meet appearance of the season before surrendering by decision at 141, but Galiardo got the Bears on the board with a 14-5 major decision. Five takedowns over the first two periods pushed Galiardo ahead 10-4, and the rookie countered a low shoot with a takedown in the third to secure the extra team points in the 149-pound weight class.
Freshman Justin Staudenmayer (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) bridged hard to avoid near fall situations time and again, holding out for a full 5:42 before Tyler Grimaldi earned the first points of the 157 bout that ended in Harvard's favor, 7-1.
Nursing a 17-4 lead, Devon Gobbo bided his time with a defensive approach against senior Philip Marano (Northampton, Pa.) at 165. Marano used an escape to cut the deficit to 5-2 with 12 seconds remaining, but Gobbo got the final takedown and prevailed 8-2.
McDonald slow played opponent Ian Roy in the 174-pound weight class, working an escape for the only point for either side through two periods. Electing to start on top for the third, McDonald executed a high waist tilt for a three-point near fall and never looked back, using riding time to win 5-1.
At 184, Bernstein immediately seized control, using a first period takedown and prompting two stalling calls to go up 3-0 through two rounds. Harvard's Cameron Croy proved defensive-minded with the Crimson already surpassing the 20-point mark, but Bernstein kept shooting and crawled a low single into a double leg takedown for the first two points of period three. An escape and riding time sealed the Brown win, 8-1.
James Fox served sophomore August Marker (Castle Rock, Colo.) a 12-3 decision at 197 and Nicholas Gajdzik used a cement job to pin freshman Ryder Cavey (Eldersburg, Md.) to wrap up the 30-10 final score.
Against BU, the Bears found themselves in a similar 9-0 hole after an opening bout forfeit and a 10-3 decision at 133. Sophomore Anthony Finocchiaro (Canastota, N.Y.) bridged and rolled frantically to avoid being pinned, but his near fall on a 2-on-1 tilt late in the third period was not enough as the Terriers took the team points.
Tyler Scotton used no less than six takedowns to get BU the 14-6 decision at 141, but Galiardo once again snapped the skid and used a dramatic last-minute takedown to snatch the 9-6 victory. A back-and-forth first period saw Galiardo snap Nick Tourville's underhook and shoot for a takedown that made it 4-4. A BU escape was the only point of the second, but Galiardo's escape and an airborne double takedown put him ahead 7-5 late in the third.
Nestor Taffur paced his way to a 10-3 decision at 157 and Mitchell Wightman worked even slower for a 5-0 score at 165 to put the Terriers ahead 19-3. McDonald reliably regained the momentum for Brown, using a takedown and plenty of riding time to eek out the 4-3 decision.
Seeking his first pin in four matches, Bernstein would not be denied and took down Aaron Conrad in 3:35 at 184. The junior nearly sealed the win in the first with a boot-in power half for a total of five near fall points, but it was in the second that he snuck out from bottom and rolled to the top for the fall.
Marker hung with an extremely aggressive Alex Najjar, working a scoreless second period despite falling behind 7-2 in the first. A takedown and a three-point near fall gave BU the 15-6 major decision, however, and put the Terriers ahead 23-12.
Cavey bounced back with a 6-2 decision in the heavyweight bout, breaking 45 seconds of scoreless grappling with a takedown. Kevin Innis escaped for a point after an extended stay on top for Cavey, but the Bears' freshman reshot for a third period takedown and used over three minutes of riding time for the extra point.
Brown wraps up its homestand on Saturday, Feb. 22, when the Bears host Lehigh on Senior Night.
Harvard 30, Brown 10
125: Max Mejia (Harvard) wins by forfeit
133: Jeffrey Ott (Harvard) dec. Anthony Finocchiaro (Brown), 7-1
141: Todd Preston (Harvard) tech. fall Zachard Tanenbaum (Brown), 22-5
149: Steven Galiardo (Brown) major dec. Nicholas Stager (Harvard), 14-5
157: Tyler Grimaldi (Harvard) dec. Justin Staudenmayer (Brown), 7-1
165: Devon Gobbo (Harvard) dec. Philip Marano (Brown), 8-2
174: Ricky McDonald (Brown) dec. Ian Roy (Harvard), 5-1
184: Ophir Bernstein (Brown) dec. Cameron Croy (Harvard), 8-1
197: James Fox (Harvard) major dec. Augustus Marker (Brown), 12-3
285: Nicholas Gajdzik (Harvard) fall Ryder Cavey (Brown), 1:46
Boston University 23, Brown 15
125: Bubba McGinley (BU) win by forfeit
133: Dane Harlowe (BU) dec. Anthony Finocchiaro (Brown), 10-3
141: Tyler Scotton (BU) major dec. Zachary Tannenbaum (Brown), 14-6
149: Steven Galiardo (Brown) dec. Nick Tourville (BU), 9-6
157: Nestor Taffur (BU) dec. Justin Staudenmayer (Brown), 10-3
165: Mitchell Wightman (BU) dec. Philip Marano (Brown), 5-0
174: Ricky McDonald (Brown) dec. Colin Saunders (BU), 4-3
184: Ophir Bernstein (Brown) fall Aaron Conrad (BU), 3:35
197: Alex Najjar (BU) major dec. Augustus Marker (Brown), 15-6
285: Ryder Cavey (Brown) dec. Kevin Innis (BU), 6-2