Release: December 15, 2009
VESTAL, N.Y. -- Binghamton wrestling (7-2) has achieved a Division I first with its inclusion in this week's NWCA/USA Today Team Coaches Poll. The Bearcats are receiving votes, giving the program its first-ever top-30 ranking.
With senior All-America 184-pound Josh Patterson leading the way, BU has six consecutive matches since a 20-12 loss to then eighth-ranked Nebraska. Binghamton's only other loss was a duplicate 20-12 defeat to then 25th-ranked Michigan State. Among BU's notable wins was an 18-16 victory against ACC member North Carolina.
Binghamton's lineup is the most talented in its nine years of Division I competition. Along with 15th-ranked Patterson, who is 13-3 overall, 6-0 in duals, Popolizio has received outstanding production from junior 141-pound Anwar Goeres (18-5, 6-2 duals), redshirt freshman 149-pound Donnie Vinson (21-5, 6-3 duals, BU Open champ.) and sophomore 157-pound Justin Lister (12-4 overall, Cornell Body Bar champ.).
The starting lineup features four freshmen and just one senior.
"One of our goals for this season was to become a top 25 team this year," head coach Pat Popolizio said. "Receiving votes for the top 25 is a great honor, and it is nice that the wrestling community is starting to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our program. With all the youth we have on our team we still have a lot of room for growth this season."
The only other CAA member to earn inclusion in the poll is Old Dominion, who is ranked 24th this week. Binghamton will face ODU in the CAA Duals on January 16 in Fairfax, Va.
Binghamton next competes at the Wilkes Open on December 28 and the Midlands Championship on December 29-30 in Evanston, Ill. The team's next dual match is January 3 at Buffalo and the next NWCA poll is released on January 5.
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