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Panthers place 3rd at NE Dual Meet Champ.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Plymouth State College won two of three matches against higher ranked teams Saturday and finished in third place at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association's 2002 Dual Meet Championships.

After receiving a first-round bye, PSC, which is ranked sixth in the latest New England Division III poll, pulled out a 22-21 decision over Roger Williams, which is ranked fourth in the New England poll. It was also an unofficial rematch of a meet earlier this season, which was won by Roger Williams, 19-15.

After advancing past Roger Williams, the Panthers were defeated 25-16 in the semi-finals by eventual champion Johnson & Wales, the second-ranked team in New England. PSC rebounded with a 24-21 triumph in the third-place match over Coast Guard, which is ranked third in New England.

The outcome leaves PSC with a 7-4 record on the season.

Leading the way for PSC were senior Marco Salce (Keene, N.H.) and freshman Dan Moskowitz (Amherst, N.H.), who each won all three of their bouts on the day. Salce recorded two wins at 184 pounds and one at 197 to move his season mark to 21-8, while Moskowitz won twice at 165 pounds and once at 174, improving his season record to 20-9.

Junior Shaun Cleary (West Keansburg, N.J.) and sophomore Rick Simula (Plymouth, N.H.) both posted 2-1 records on the day. Cleary wrestled all three times at 141 pounds, upping his season mark to a team-best 24-7, while Simula is now 18-8 in the heavyweight division.

Plymouth State competes in the final home match of the season this Wednesday (Jan. 23) against WPI at Foley Gymnasium (7:00 p.m.).