ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – A wild finish went against The University of Scranton wrestling team on Thursday night as the Royals dropped a 29-21 result in a dual match against Elizabethtown in Thompson Gymnasium.
Scranton (6-3) held a 21-14 lead with three matches left, but the Blue Jays (4-4) got a pin at 184 pounds and a decision at 197 to take a 23-21 lead heading into 285 pounds, meaning whichever team won the final match would end up the winner.
In the decisive final match, Scranton freshman William Oxley (Middletown, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) squared off against Elizabethtown senior Eric Eckstein. Each wrestler managed only an escape in the first three periods, forcing them into overtime tied at 1-1. Oxley escaped for a 2-1 lead in the first overtime period and appeared to have the match won when he kept Eckstein down in the second period, but the official hit Oxley with his second stall warning of the match with one second left, which gave Eckstein the point he needed to tie the match at 2. In the third overtime, Eckstein got the upper hand and eventually pinned Oxley, giving Elizabethtown the 29-21 victory.
The Royals fell in a quick 10-0 hole after two matches before sophomore Nicholas Ciaccia (Freehold, N.J./Howell) won by injury default at 141 pounds and sophomore T.J. Conlon (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch) followed with a pin in 4:28 at 149 pounds for a 12-10 lead.
Elizabethtown picked up a major decision at 157 pounds to regain the lead at 14-12. But Scranton junior Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) picked up a second-period pin in 4:56 at 165 pounds, and senior Zachary D'Apolito (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley Senior) pulled out a 5-4 decision at 174 for the 21-14 lead before the Blue Jays rallied at the end.
The University of Scranton wrestling team will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 20, when they host Keystone and Mt. St. Vincent in the Long Center at 10 a.m.