The Boston University wrestling team lost its dual meet, 22-11, to Drexel University on Saturday in Philadelphia. The loss expanded on a trend: the Terriers aren’t winning on the road.
Since winning their first two matches of the season at Case Gymnasium, the Terriers have a lone win over the United States Merchant Marine Academy, bundled with four losses and a tie. Each misstep has come when the Terriers have strayed from Boston.
But this last one really stung. From the outset, bitterly close wrestling characterized the match. In the first bout, 157-pound senior Carlo Ferrandino lost, 8-7, to Drexel’s Billy Haydt. The following match offered little to shift the hard-luck momentum; 165-pound C.J. Inglin lost, 7-6, to Scott Hunter.
In the heavyweight match, BU’s Jim Connors lost to Kyle Frey, 6-4, in a sudden-victory situation. Connors, a senior, was coming off a big win last weekend, when he salvaged a tie against George Mason University in the final bout of the match.
Close losses like these shouldn’t surprise Terrier wrestling fans. Four of the team’s last six matches have been decided by 13 points or less.
Life on the road certainly doesn’t help in these close matches. Fatigue builds easily when multiple-state travel becomes a normal part of a team’s regiment. The team hasn’t wrestled at home since Nov. 8.
In the time since their two early wins, the Terriers have wrestled in Vestal, N.Y., Greensboro, N.C., New Brunswick, N.J., Fairfax, Va. and twice in Philadelphia.
But not Boston.
That makes a total of 77 days away from home. Any athlete will tell you ‘-‘- this is a significant disadvantage. Like the saying goes, ‘It’s nice to sleep in your own bed.’
The No. 1 University of Iowa has only left the state of Iowa on back-to-back weekends once all year.’
For a Terrier squad that lacks the recruiting faculties of a powerhouse like Iowa, such stratified scheduling just does not make sense. The team’s roster is shallow and constant travel in a sport like wrestling is practically inhumane.
One bright spot on the weekend for BU was sophomore John Hall (197 pounds), who upset 12th-ranked Jon Oplinger, 6-5, in a match that surprised Oplinger more than anyone. Oplinger, outraged over the defeat, sustained an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following the match.
BU’s two other victories came from senior Mike Roberts (149 pounds) and freshman Hunter Meys (174 pounds).