Boro wrestling pins WVU

Category:  Sports
Saturday, February 17th, 2018 at 12:40 PM
Boro wrestling pins WVU by Chris Rosato Jr.
Photo: Chris Rosato Jr.

The Edinboro wrestling team came away with a 21-15 victory over West Virginia University on Thursday in McComb Fieldhouse after they celebrated the program’s seniors. 

The final score does not tell the whole story, as Edinboro was leading West Virginia 18-9 before choosing to forfeit their 197-pound bout and conceding 6 points to cut their lead to just 3 heading into the last match of the night. 

Before the meet began, eight seniors were introduced and brought onto the mat. Terrence Cheeks, Jensen Lorea, Austin Matthews, Tony Recco, Ty Schoffstall, Gordon TruesdaleZaal Zafari and Sam Ziff were accompanied to the mat by family and friends. 

The dual got off to an exciting start, as Sean Russell defeated West Virginia’s Zeke Moisey at 125 pounds in the first match of the night. Russell is ranked No. 10 and Moisey is ranked No. 14 by InterMat, but Moisey lies one spot behind Russell in the FloWrestling rankings, where Russell is No. 14 and Moisey is No. 15. 

The crowd anticipated a competitive match between the two ranked athletes and made their presence known while the two men struggled to score points on each other. At the end of regulation, the only points that had been scored came from a takedown and two escapes by each wrestler, leaving them tied 4-4 and heading into a sudden victory period. 

Russell said he felt there were some areas he needed to work on after struggling to score a lot of points in regulation time. 

“I think I wrestled hard, for sure, but I don’t think I wrestled great technically,” he said. “I gave up my legs a lot in the first period, didn’t get to my ties as much as I would like to.” 

The cheering crowd reached a crescendo as Russell shot for a takedown halfway through the period and brought Moisey down for 2 points and a 6-4 victory. 

“It was awesome. I knew it was going to be one of the biggest matches of the night, and I really wanted to bring a win for my team and a win for myself,” Russell said. 

Head Wrestling Coach Tim Flynn talked about the importance of starting the dual meet off with an exciting win. 

“Oh, it was huge. I mean, you have two highly-ranked guys. Their guy was in the national finals a couple years ago. That’s a big bout and you got our crowd into it, so it really helped,” Flynn said. 

Following Russell’s victory, Edinboro’s Korbin Myers defeated Matthew Schmitt 6-0 at 133 pounds after earning an extra point for riding time at the end of the match. Myers is ranked No. 17 by InterMat and No. 18 by FloWrestling. 

In the 141-pound bout, West Virginia’s Christian Monserrat narrowly defeated Nate Hagan 2-1 in a match that even the mat had trouble containing.  

Finding themselves on the perimeter of the mat for a large portion of the match, Hagan at one point in the first period attempted a takedown that caused Monserrat to land on the basketball court boards that lie beyond the edge of the mat. Hagan had trouble escaping from the bottom throughout the match, and Monserrat’s riding time allowed him to win after finishing regulation tied 1-1. 

Kyler Rea followed that match with another victory for West Virginia, this one over Lorea at 149 pounds to tie the meet up at 6-6. 

With the two teams tied, Andrew Shomers gave the Fighting Scots a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the night with a technical fall over Hunter Jones at 157 pounds. Shomers is unranked by InterMat but ranks No. 20 in FloWrestling’s rankings. 

Shomers took Jones down and controlled him throughout the first period, scoring 4 near-fall points three times to finish the first period leading 14-0. Less than 30 seconds into the second period, he took Jones down again to finish the tech fall 16-0. 

Fritz Hoehn followed with a victory for Edinboro over Nick Kiussis 6-4 at 165 pounds. Kiussis seemed to tie the match up at 6 in the final second of the match with a takedown, but the referee declared the takedown occurred outside of the boundaries and the points would not count. West Virginia’s Head Coach Sammie Henson challenged the ruling, but it was upheld after video review. 

Schoffstall followed with a 12-4 major decision victory at 174 pounds over West Virginia’s Parker VonEgidy, and the Fighting Scots led 18-6 with three matches remaining. 

Flynn said he was happy to see Shomers and Schoffstall earn commanding victories that earned them 5 and 4 points, respectively, compared to the 3 the team receives from a regular decision victory. He said the team has more luck when they are able to score bonus points, which they’ve struggled to do recently. 

West Virginia countered with a few wins of their own at 184 and 197 pounds. First, Brenden McRill defeated Zach Ancewicz 5-0. 

Leading 18-9, Flynn decided to forfeit the 197-pound bout rather than send one of his wrestlers to face West Virginia’s Jacob A. Smith, who Flynn described as a “monster.” He said both of his options at 197 pounds were not completely healthy, and he would rather them rest for the upcoming meet against Cleveland State and the Eastern Wrestling League championships than compete against Smith, who Flynn also praised as a talented wrestler. 

With Edinboro’s lead cut to 18-15, Edinboro’s Billy Miller stepped onto the mat to face Brandon Ngati at 285 pounds. Miller refused to be scored on and scored 3 points of his own to win 4-0 with an extra point for riding time. Miller is ranked No. 14 by InterMat and No. 19 by FloWrestling. 

With the win, Edinboro improves to 7-5 on the season while West Virginia falls to 5-7 overall. The Fighting Scots will take a 4-1 EWL record to Cleveland State on Saturday at 1 p.m. before hosting the EWL Championship Tournament on Mar. 3. Rider University currently sits atop the EWL standings, having finished with a 5-1 conference record. 

Flynn said the win over West Virginia gives the team good momentum moving forward. 

I feel good,” he said. I liked our effort really from everyone. Obviously, we can improve in our wrestling, but our effort’s really good, and that’s what we need right now. 

Chris Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: wrestling

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