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Wrestling wins one, loses two on road

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The wrestling team (3-9) battled through three matches on Saturday as it traveled to Penn (10-5) to face the host team and Drexel and then journeyed to Princeton. The Bears lost the first two meets, posting only five individual wins. The team overcame the two losses and finished off the day with a solid win at Princeton.

After two weeks of practice since its last meet, Brown opened with a 10-3 win from Greg Einfrank ’10 at 125 pounds to take an early 3-0 lead on Drexel. But from that point on, the Bears’ fortunes went south as the Dragons rattled off wins in the next five bouts. Eli Harris ’09 fell short in a tough 5-3 loss at 133 pounds, followed by an 8-4 loss in Grant Overcashier’s ’12 match at the 141 weight-pound class.

Dave Foxen ’11 (149), Bryan Tracy ’10 (157) and co-captain Chris Musser ’09 (165) each fell by three points or fewer before Bran Crudden ’10 ended Bruno’s losing streak with a 13-10 win at 174 pounds. Co-captain Matthew Gevelinger ’09 carried the momentum into his match at 184 pounds, holding off his opponent for a 2-1 win to bring the score to within six (15-9).

But it was too late, and the Bears could not win the final two matchups. Branden Stearns ’09 (197) and Zach Zdrada ’09 (heavyweight) fell 13-6 and 4-2, respectively, as Drexel claimed the 21-9 opening-dual win over Brown.

The day had only just begun for the Bears, who still had to face Penn and Princeton.

“It’s not easy to wrestle three in a row, but it will certainly help us for the end of the season,” Crudden said. “We’ve been training the whole season to wrestle multiple times in a row – like at the (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) tournament.”

The Bears did not have to leave the gym to face their next opponent – the Penn Quakers. Einfrank, Harris and Overcashier fell in order before Ricky Bailey ’11 held on to win a close 5-3 decision at 149 pounds. The Quakers then went on to win the next three bouts over Tracy, Lenny Marandino ’09 (165) and Crudden, out-scoring the Bears 13-0 to solidify their 24-3 lead.

Gevelinger posted his second win of the day for the Bears, taking his match into overtime before coming out on top with a 6-4 victory. But Stearns fell at 4:27 and Zdrada could not finish out his match in the heavyweight class, as the referee called a medical decision with the score already at 17-4.

Brown managed only two wins over Penn, falling by a score of 34-6. With one more team left on their agenda, the Bears felt more focused and approached the dual meet with Princeton as a “take-care-of-business” match, according to Crudden.

“Coach (Dave) Amato let us know that we shouldn’t accept the loss at Penn but shouldn’t dwell on it either,” he said. “We couldn’t go into the Princeton match thinking about Penn if we expected to come together as a team.”

Amato spoke, and the team responded with a sound effort, losing only one bout the rest of the day.

Einfrank ended the day as he began it, earning a fall at 2:47. The Tigers had a hard time filling their lightweight spots, as T.J. Popolizio ’12 stepped on the mat for the first time of the day and came off as fast as he got there. Popolizio (133) and Overcashier (141) each recorded wins by forfeit.

Tom Fazio ’09, Musser and Crudden provided three more wins before Princeton halted the momentum to score its first points. Gevelinger could not pull out his third win of the day, as he fell in a tough 4-2 loss. Leo Saniuk ’09 and Stearns finished off the dual for the Bears in the heavier weights, nearly sweeping the Tigers, 41-3. With the win, Brown picked up its first EIAW victory of the year.

The Bears will travel to Boston this weekend, their last road trip of the season, to take on Boston University, Harvard and Wagner before facing Columbia and No. 3 Cornell at home the

following weekend.

“Hopefully we’ll go into Boston and come away with three wins – heading in the right path going into the end of the season,” Crudden said.

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