Wrestling wins big over Columbia after loss to Cornell

By
Monday, February 23, 2009

The wrestling team’s final dual meets of the season ended on a positive note this weekend with an emphatic 22-9 victory over Columbia on Saturday, after struggling in a 32-9 loss to a dominant Cornell team on Friday.

Cornell, ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/Intermat/NWCA poll, jumped out to an 11-0 lead after two matches, but Stephen DeLorenzo ’10 picked up the first win of the day for the Bears with a 5-2 decision at 141 pounds. At 157, Bryan Tracy ’10 pulled out a 3-2 win, and Zach Zdrada ’09 closed out the meet with a 3-2 win at 285.

Despite the final outcome, the Bears felt they wrestled well against Cornell.

“I thought the guys wrestled great and wrestled tough,” said Bran Crudden ’10. “We won three out of ten bouts against a real tough team, so I thought the team wrestled excellent on Friday, and that momentum carried over into Saturday for our match against Columbia.”

Against the Lions, Greg Einfrank ’10 got Brown off to a good start in his 125-pound match, where Einfrank scored two takedowns in the first period en route to a 6-4 win. Ross Baldwin ’09, wrestling at 133, followed with a 7-3 victory in the final home match of his career, and at 141, DeLorenzo scored a takedown in the first period to take a 2-0 lead, and held on for a 4-0 win, giving the Bears a 9-0 lead following the first three matches of the day.

In the match at 149, Columbia looked poised for its first win of the day when Dave Foxen ’11 fell behind 4-2 early in the second period. But Foxen scored a takedown with three seconds left in the second period to tie the match at 4-4, then took control of the match in the closing seconds of the third period to come away with a 10-5 win. At 157, Tracy fell behind 3-2 in the opening seconds of the third period, but a two-point takedown with just over a minute left gave Tracy a 4-3 advantage. In the final minute, Tracy stayed in control, resisting his opponent’s continuous attempts to tie the match with a reversal, and held on for the 4-3 win to expand Brown’s lead to 15-0.

“I think the whole team in general did a good job of controlling our matches against Columbia, which enabled us to come out with the victory,” Crudden said. “The atmosphere was real good, and we had a lot of our alums there, so everyone stepped it up, and I think we all wrestled well.”

The Lions finally got on the board at 165 when, after two scoreless periods, Columbia’s Eren Civan scored an escape and a takedown in the final period for a 3-1 win over Chris Musser ’09, cutting the Bears’ lead to 15-3.

But Crudden swung the momentum back Brown’s way with a dominant performance at 174. Crudden scored two takedowns in the first 40 seconds of the match, and an escape and two more takedowns in the second period widened the lead to 10-0 for Crudden, who won the match with an 11-2 major decision to give the Bears a 19-3 lead.

“I was able to get my offense going on my feet, as well as on top, to score some points and pick up the major,” Crudden said. “I shot an out-step single on my feet to get the first takedown, and on top I used the half I always use to ride on top during the first and second periods, then in the third period I was just holding onto the lead.”

At 185, Matt Gevelinger ’09 fell behind, 2-0, with just under a minute left in the first period, but responded with a reversal and a takedown to take a 3-2 lead heading into the second period. After Gevelinger widened his lead to 5-2 in the second period, Columbia’s Kenji Porter scored a two-point reversal to come within one point early in the third period. But Gevelinger came right back with a one-point escape, and a takedown with one minute left gave Gevelinger an 8-4 lead. Porter cut the lead again with a two-point reversal, but Gevelinger held on to secure the 9-6 win.

That would be the last win of the day for the Bears, as Branden Stearns ’09 and Zdrada lost matches at 197 and 285, respectively. The bout at 197 went into the final period tied 2-2, and Columbia’s Lou Miller scored an escape in the opening seconds of the third period to take a 3-2 lead that he would not relinquish. Zdrada headed into the final frame of his match with a 5-1 deficit, and started the third period off with a two-point reversal, but that was as close as he would come, as Columbia’s Ryan Flores secured a 6-3 win, making the final score 22-9 in favor of Brown.

With the win over Columbia, Brown improved its record to 3-2 in Ivy League competition, good for third in the league, behind Cornell (5-0) and No. 25 Penn (4-1).

With the dual meet season over, the Bears will now turn their attention to the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championships, which will take place in Philadelphia on Mar. 7-8.