2017 National Champion Dan Del Gallo (149)

Huskies Rumble to 25-24 Season-Opening Win Over Bridgewater State

Southern Maine rookie Mike Risti opened his intercollegiate career with a match-winning pin
Southern Maine rookie Mike Risti opened his intercollegiate career with a match-winning pin
GORHAM, Maine  – Freshman Mike Risti (Limerick, Maine/Massabesic) had an outstanding intercollegiate debut grappling his way to a match-winning pin in the final bout of the day as the University of Southern Maine Huskies rallied for a 25-24 win over the Bridgewater State University Bears in a wrestling dual meet Saturday afternoon at the Costello Sports Complex. 

Competing in their season-opening match, the Huskies start their 2015-2016 season at 1-0.  Bridgewater State drops its fourth straight match to fall to 0-4. It is the second straight match that the Bears have lost by a point.

The Huskies' trailed Bridgewater State 18-0 after the first three bouts.  Freshman Dylan Nuttall (Levittown, Pa./Harry S. Truman) pinned Husky freshman Casey Abshire (Lowell, Mass.) in 4:04 to score the Bears' first points of the game.  BSU took the next two matches with a win by forfeit and another pin.

Southern Maine got on the board with a 10-2 major decision victory at 149 pounds as rookie Brendan Weir (Easthampton, Mass.) defeated BSU sophomore Eric Kerr (Lynnfield, Mass.).  Husky junior captain Daniel Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine), ranked fifth nationally at 149 pounds wrestled up a class at 157 made it back-to-back wins, earning a win by fall over sophomore Matt Jiampetti (Egg Harbor City, N.J./Cedar Creek) in 4:27 to make is 18-10 in favor of the Bears.

            The Huskies continued to roll in the 165 and 174 pound matches to take their first lead of the match 19-18.  Junior captain CJ Luth (Milford, Conn.), a 2015 All-Region wrestler, opened his season with a dominating 17-0 technical fall win over BSU junior Anthony Cote (Danbury, Conn.), while junior Aaron Weiss (East Machias, Maine/St. Paul's School) earned a 12-2 major decision over Bears' junior Colin Harty (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South).

            Sophomore Bobby Gasdia (Rockland, Mass.) and junior Stephen Heaslip (Dedham, Mass.) claimed victories for the Bears at 184 and 197 respectively.  Gasdia downed USM freshman Nick Todorov (South Portland, Maine/Deering) 12-5, and Heaslip powered his way to an 11-4 win over USM junior Steven Corio (Manville, R.I./Lincoln) to put Bridgewater State out in front 24-19 with one bout remaining.

            Wrestling in his first intercollegiate match, Risti took the offensive immediately scoring a takedown and a near fall just seconds into the bout before finally securing the necessary six points for victory with a pin over BSU senior Casey Enderlin (Pasco, Wash./Hanford).

Southern Maine returns to action next weekend at the East Stroudsburg University Open on Sunday, November 15.  Weigh Ins begin at 7:00 a.m.