Iowa welcomed Princeton in their home-opening dual meet of the season and, as expected, they pounced early and often on the Tigers, racing out to a big 25-3 lead through the first six matches. Iowa and Princeton split the final four matches (and Princeton actually outscored Iowa in those matches, 7-6), but the first half of the dual was far too dominant for Iowa for the end result to be anything other than another dual meet victory for Iowa.
Iowa won seven of 10 matches overall and scored bonus points in four of those seven wins, including a technical fall from Spencer Lee (shocker!) and pins from Austin DeSanto, Max Murin, and Alex Marinelli. Six Iowa wrestlers made the Carver-Hawkeye Arena debuts in this dual and they went 3-3 in those matches. DeSanto and Murin had the most impressive debuts by far, each recording a second period pin. There's no better way to earn fan-favorite status among the CHA faithful than to go out, score points, and put on a show and both DeSanto and Murin did that. Aaron Costello was the other newbie to score a win in his CHA debut, earning a 6-0 decision in the final bout of the night. Pat Lugo, Myles Wilson, and Connor Corbin came up short in their bids to get their first CHA wins, although Lugo and Corbin were facing Top 10 opponents in their matches -- certainly no easy sledding there.
#3 Iowa 31, Princeton 10
|125||#1 Spencer Lee||TECH FALL (18-2; 3:54)||#14 Patrick Glory||IOWA 5-0|
|133||#11 Austin DeSanto||FALL (3:26)||Jonathan Gomez||IOWA 11-0|
|141||#14 Max Murin||FALL (4:24)||Marshall Keller||IOWA 17-0|
|149||#1 Matthew Kolodzik||DEC (7-4)||#12 Pat Lugo||IOWA 16-3*|
|157||#13 Kaleb Young||DEC (7-4)||Quincy Monday||IOWA 19-3|
|165||#4 Alex Marinelli||FALL (3:55)||Dale Tiongson||IOWA 25-3|
|174||Travis Stefanik||MAJ DEC (15-3)||Myles Wilson||IOWA 25-7|
|184||#12 Cash Wilcke||DEC (8-3)||Kevin Parker||IOWA 28-7|
|197||#7 Patrick Brucki||DEC (10-3)||Connor Corbin||IOWA 28-10|
|285||Aaron Costello||DEC (6-0)||Obinna Ajah||IOWA 31-10|
* The Iowa coaches got dinged a team point after the Lugo match for some sort of misbehavior. A few thoughts:
Spencer Lee gave up his first points of the season! GASP. Pat Glory, Princeton's touted youngster, earned a reversal in the first period on Lee and actually put on a pretty good ride for the remainder of the period. Spencer also saw his first second period of the year, though he made sure that the third period still remained unexplored territory by finishing off his 18-2 tech fall with a takedown (earned with some truly impressive scrambling skills) and a 2-point nearfall. But giving up points? Wrestling into the second period? Well, at least we know Spencer is (a little bit) human, I suppose.
DeSanto took a bit to get going in his match, spending much of the first period tied up with Gomez and pushing him around the mat. But he broke through for a takedown at the end of the period and was able to get a quick reversal to start the second and put Gomez on his back, where he was eventually able to get the pin. This wasn't quite the takedown machine display we've seen from DeSanto in the past, but hey -- bonus points are bonus points.
Murin kept the momentum rolling at 141 with a relentless offensive attack that resulted in several takedowns and, eventually, a cradle and a pin in the second period. The competition hasn't been too fierce yet, but Murin has definitely impressed in his time on the mat so far this season.
Lugo's showdown with the #1-ranked Kolodzik looked like the match of the night going into the dual and it was probably the most exciting bout of the dual too. After a mostly cautious first period by both guys (save for a key late takedown from Kolodzik), the final two periods featured plenty of action and scoring from both guys. Lugo showed some slick attacks and was able to convert on a few attacks and score on Kolodzik late. Even in defeat, I thought he looked pretty solid -- if he can build off this performance and get to his offense sooner in matches, he can still do well this season.
Kaleb Young had a blowaway start at Iowa's dials last weekend, but he tested severely by Princeton's Quincy Monday in this bout. Monday showed off an array of quick and very slick attacks from his feet and got to Young's with ease (a little too much ease, frankly) in the early part of the match. Young was able to wear down Monday and get the winning takedown late, but hopefully this match serves as a bit of a wake-up call for Young -- he'll need to be sharper than he was here to achieve his goals at 157.
Marinelli capped off Iowa's dominant start to the dual with a performance that was both impressive and workmanlike. He got to Tiongson's legs with ease and finished several takedowns before finally catching Tiongson in the second and putting him on his back to end the match emphatically. This was the Bull at full beast mode.
As noted, the final four bouts of the dual featured some hiccups from Iowa. Not coincidentally, Iowa also had back-ups going at three of those four weights. Myles Wilson got the start again for Michael Kemerer at 174 and he struggled against fellow freshman Stefanik. A slightly sloppy attack by Wilson got turned into a takedown and 4-point nearfall by Stefanik in the first period and it was a doomed uphill climb from there for Wilson, who didn't have many answers for Stefanik's slick offense. There will be better days for Wilson in the future.
Cash Wilcke got Iowa back on the board with a win at 184, though he had an up and down performance. He had some slick-looking attacks (and finished three takedowns) and he kept pushing for points until the final whistle, which was good... but he also kind of needed to do that, because the score was just 3-3 with around a minute to go in the third period. That brought back some uncomfortable memories of Wilcke at 197 the past few seasons. Again, he finished the match strong, scoring two takedowns and securing a riding time point, but hopefully he can do a bit more scoring early in matches, so that things aren't too nervy in the third period.
Connor Corbin once again replaced Jacob Warner in the lineup at 197. He had a tough ask going up against Brucki, an NCAA qualifier and Top 10 wrestler this season, so it wasn't too surprising that he struggled. He kept battling for the entire match, though, and his escape late in the third period helped ensure that Brucki wouldn't be able to score bonus points in the win.
- Finally, Costello ended the dual with a sleepy 6-0 decision win at heavyweight. Costello scored just one takedown, but he earned two points off stalling penalties on Ajah to go with an escape point and a riding time point. Costello was never seriously threatened by Ajah and while it would have been nice if he'd been able to turn him for back points or a pin, we'll take the easy win, too.
All in all, a pretty solid performance from Iowa. The guys who were expected to win did and the guys who were expected to dominate did. We'll take a showing like that at this point in the season.
Heres another look at some of this weekends action as the Hawkeyes beat the Tigers. Iowa opens B1G action this Saturday, November 24, against Purdue at 12:00 p.m. in Iowa City. pic.twitter.com/rrSeEfFoJR
— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) November 18, 2018
NEXT: Iowa welcomes Purdue next Saturday (12 PM CT, BTN).