Wrestling drops last five individual matches, loses 21-16 to Drexel
No. 8 David Terao records fall, senior Tyler Scotton secures a double overtime win
In the second meet in as many days, the AU wrestling team was narrowly edged out by Drexel University 21-16. After a powerful start, AU lost its final five matches of the day, marking the second meet in the row that the final weight classes have under-performed.
“We have to use this as a building block. Our upper five weight cannot look at this weekend and just brush it under the rug and say that was a bad weekend,” head coach Teague Moore said. “Because when you start accepting performances like that you are destined to fail. For us we have to face this head on.”
Senior captain David Terao, who holds a No. 8 national ranking in the 125-pound weight class, set the tone early with a victory over sophomore Zack Fuentes in 5:13. Terao surprised Fuentes with a takedown late in the third period, giving the Eagles a 6-0 advantage.
Following Terao, redshirt junior 133-pounder Esteban Gomez-Rivera earned a 9-5 decision victory, increasing the Eagles' lead to 9-0.
In the third match of the day, redshirt senior 141-pounder Tyler Scotton took on Drexel redshirt junior Kevin Devoy Jr, a 2015 NCAA Tournament qualifier ranked as high as No. 12 nationally last season. Scotton and Devoy were tied 1-1 up for the first three periods of the match, forcing overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the match moved to two 30-second tiebreaker periods. In the first tiebreaker, both wrestlers earned a point off escapes, keeping the match tied 3-3. Scotton, at the end of the second overtime, gained the victory off of accumulated riding time. The Eagles moved to 12-0 after the third victory of the day.
“It’s a great learning tool for Tyler [Scotton], knowing he could win those type of matches,” Moore said.
Both benches became animated throughout the match, shouting support for their respective teammates.
“We’re all on the edge of our seats, literally, we’re all leaning forward, we’re ready to sprawl ourselves,” Terao said. “But that was just a lot of heart and grit by Tyler against a really tough guy.”
Drexel stopped the endless drought in the fourth match of the meet after No. 13 Matthew Cimato’s 14-1 major decision against AU junior 149-pounder Cole Moseley.
AU senior captain No. 10 John Boyle put the Eagles back in the winning column with a 13-4 major decision against sophomore Ryan O’Connor. Boyle’s victory allowed the Eagles to advance to a 16-4 lead.
However, Boyle’s win proved to be the Eagles' last victory of the day. AU saw Drexel slowly chip away at their lead in the next four matches of the meet and ultimately secure the win. Redshirt senior Mitchell Wightman, junior Jason Grimes, redshirt freshman Joe Salvi and sophomore Jeric Kasunic all yielded loses, giving the Dragons a 18-16 lead heading into the final match.
The opportunity to win the meet rested in the hands of heavyweight freshman Jake Scanlan as he took on Drexel’s Joey Goodhart in the final match of the day. The pace of the dual moved conservatively, with neither wrestler wanting to make a costly mistake. Goodhart’s two points in three periods, however, proved enough for the victory, giving the Dragons the win.
In the last five matches of the meet the Eagles were overpowered, losing four decisions by a combined 27 points and a technical fall.
The Eagles will break for two weeks before returning back to action on Jan. 31, taking on Duke and Columbia.