Wrestling loses 18-16 to Ohio in final home match
Despite victories for all four seniors, AU proved unable to defeat the Bobcats
As AU honored its four graduating seniors on Friday night, the Eagles failed to overcome their strong opponents from No. 21 Ohio University, losing 18-16. AU seniors David Terao, John Boyle, Tyler Scotton and Mitchell Wightman were honored before the match and all secured victories in their final appearances at Bender Arena.
“I’m so happy for the seniors all getting wins,” AU head coach Teague Moore said. “It’s a senior night you can only wish for.”
Ohio (12-3, 5-3 MAC) boasted a starting lineup that featured three wrestlers in the top 20 in their weight classes, and those bouts ultimately proved to be the difference in the tight match. Moore said his team put itself in position to take a victory against a strong opponent, and the match illustrated growth from the beginning of the season.
“We’re [finally] wrestling all seven minutes, and we’re starting to wrestle to our positions,” Moore said. “We’re seeing a whole change of energy [in the team].”
AU junior Tom Page led off the match in the 149-pound dual against Ohio redshirt sophomore Cullen Cummings. Cummings took control of the match with two two-point takedowns and held on for the 6-4 decision, giving his team the 3-0 advantage.
Boyle responded with a strong performance in a 3-1 victory against Ohio redshirt senior Spartak Chino. Boyle trailed late into the second period before earning a two-point takedown with less than a minute to capture the lead.
Wightman built off the momentum of Boyle’s victory and gave AU the lead by shutting out Bobcat redshirt freshman Austin Reese 6-0 in 165-pound bout. Wightman controlled most of the match, amassing over 1:30 of riding time and earned a four-point near fall.
Ohio secured a major decision in the 174-pound match with No. 9 Cody Walters’ 13-1 victory over AU sophomore Michael Eckhart.
AU (5-9, 1-6 EIWA) entered intermission with a 9-7 team lead after junior Jason Grimes defeated Ohio redshirt senior Andrew Romanchik in the 184-pound match 3-2. Grimes earned a one-point escape early in the third period and fought off Romanchik’s late push for a decisive takedown.
AU dropped the first two matches after intermission in the 197-pound and heavyweight matches, falling behind 13-9.
Terao tied the bout with a major decision 20-8 in the 125-pound match against freshman Shakur Laney. Ranked 14th in the country, Terao earned two four-point near falls and recorded three takedowns in his match.
Terao, the first recruit to come in under Moore, said senior night was a special experience but he hopes it’s not his final high as an Eagle.
“[It] means a lot to me being the first guy to come through the Teague Moore era at American,” Terao said. “I hope to put an exclamation point on that this year [at the NCAA championships].”
AU freshman Jake Giaccia was defeated quickly against OU freshman Cameron Kelly, ranked 14th in the nation at 133-pounds. Kelly recorded a technical fall after amassing 16 points in the first period, giving Ohio an 18-13 lead.
AU senior Tyler Scotton defeated redshirt sophomore Noah Forrider in the 141-pound bout 5-2, however the regular decision victory was not enough to give the Eagles the victory.
The Eagles finish the regular season with a non-conference match at George Mason on Sunday.
“I’m excited for Sunday, we’ve got a dual [at George Mason] we’re definitely capable of winning,” Moore. “Wrestling like we did tonight, I finally feel like our team is coming around.”