BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Sophomore heavyweight Ryan Higgins (Billerica, Mass.) pinned his opponent in the final bout of the evening to lift the Bridgewater State University wrestling team to a dramatic 20-19 come-from-behind victory over visiting New England College on Wednesday night at Kelly Gymnasium.
The Bears (1-1) trailed 16-0 in their first home match of the season before rallying for the win.
The visiting Pilgrims (0-1) won the first four bouts of the evening including a 19-3 technical fall victory by junior Evan Fidelibus (Easton, Pa.) at the 149-pound weight class.
Three straight decisions by juniors Devin Winn (Brockton, Mass.), Fox Maxwell (Winchester, Mass.) and Wilfredo David (Chicopee, Mass.) at 157, 165 and 174, respectively, followed by a 10-2 major decision triumph by sophomore Edwin Morales (Philadelphia, Pa.) at 184, cut the BSU deficit to 16-13.
Winn is ranked sixth in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) preseason individual rankings, while Maxwell is ranked fifth.
Senior Malik Settles (Lowell, Mass.) posted a 13-9 decision at the 197-pound weight class to extend the Pilgrim advantage to 19-13 with one bout remaining.
Higgins, who is ranked fourth in New England, then tied the match with a win by fall with 38 seconds remaining in the second period of his heavyweight bout.
The match went to a tie-breaker and the Bears picked up the 20-19 victory due to the second criteria, most six-point wins.
In upcoming action, the Bears head to the University of Southern Maine on Saturday for a tri-match with the host Huskies and Johnson & Wales University starting at 11:00 AM.