Men’s wrestling comes right next to Cortland


JERSEY CITY, NJ The University of New Jersey City men’s wrestling team fell short of the Cortland State Red Dragons tonight, Feb. 4, at the John J. Moore Athletic and Fitness Center (JMAC) in a traditional double match by a score of 27-24. The Gothic Knights had five different wrestlers emerge victorious, including one nationally ranked upset by a sophomore Andre Ruiz (Little Ferry, NJ/Ridgefield Park) and another victory for the senior captain Kyle Hillermeier (Howell, NJ/Township of Freehold). The team now moves to 3-12 in its first-ever full season.

In the first of two games taking place at JMAC in 2022, the team got off to a flying start – earning a pin victory (2:03) at 125 pounds per rookie Damienlee Torres (West Orange, New Jersey/West Orange). It was the seventh win of the year for the rookie, moving him to 7-3 in his first year with the team.

After the shock of 125 pounds, second year Andre Ruiz (Little Ferry, NJ/Ridgefield Park) put on a performance that he and the rest of NJCU men’s wrestling fans will remember for the rest of his career. The second picked up a win from behind over JC Cardenas by 9-6 decision. According to NWCA.com’s most recent rankings, Cardenas is currently ranked No. 7 at 133 pounds in Division III and is ranked No. 1 in the Middle East region.

With losses at 141 and 149 pounds, the Red Dragons gained ground on NJCU and took a 17-9 lead.

Arguably the wrestler who’s on the hottest stretch right now, junior Jeff Johnson (Middlesex, NJ/Middlesex), took to the mat tonight and continued his dominance. Johnson won his 157-pound double in the fall (5:32), taking him 11-1 in his last 12 games.

A drop loss to 165 pounds for the Knights widened the gap, but in the second year Shane Lallkissoon (Manville, NJ/Manville) helped Jersey City return to the board with an 8-2 decision victory. Lallkissoon put in a dominant performance, leading from start to finish, to claim his eighth win of the year.

To end the night, Hillermeier did not disappoint as he sent the crowd home with another win. This time, the captain took care of business quickly, beating Roan Jellick by pinfall (2:38). The senior star now moves to 11 wins on the year, behind Johnson (12) and fellow junior captain Matthew Armamento (Kenilworth, NJ/Roselle Park) (15).

In exhibition matches, the Knights had five other wrestlers pick up a win for the team. First-year student Dom Merola (East Hanover, NJ/Hanover Park Regional) and sophomores George Rivera (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) (133), Jake Sisk (Piscataway, NJ/Piscataway) (157), Ty Bailey (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro) (165) and Abdul Ibrahim (Bayonne, NJ/Bayonne) (149) all came out with a win for NJCU.

New Jersey City returns to action this Friday night, February 11, for the last home double game this season. The Gothic Knights will host Hunter College at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (JMAC) for a game at 7:00 p.m. Follow all the action live on GothicVision. All guests must wear an appropriate mask at all times. Please see our updated Attendance Policy at www.NJCUGothicKnights.com/spectators.

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