#4 Iowa 31, #20 Illinois 8: Keep on Pinning You

By RossWB on January 26, 2019 at 12:05 am
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A year ago when Iowa and Illinois tussled on the mat, the dual came down to Iowa needing Sam Stoll to pin Illinois' Deuce Rachal to secure a come-from-behind win. Stoll delivered, putting Rachal on his back and powering Iowa to a narrow 18-17 win. 13 months later, another Iowa-Illinois dual ended with Sam Stoll pinning Deuce Rachal, but this time that result wasn't vital -- just a nice exclamation point on top of a lopsided Iowa victory.

Iowa bookended the dual with pins from Spencer Lee and Stoll and picked up a 6-point win via DQ from Alex Marinelli in the middle of the dual. They also got wins from a pair of backups at 133 and 174 and won seven of 10 matches overall. The result of this dual was never in doubt, especially after Iowa won three of the first four bouts (with bonus points in two of them) to go up 13-3. The disappointment for this Iowa performance comes from the fact that there weren't more bonus points and that there wasn't more aggression and attacking intent on display from several Iowa wrestlers. It also comes from the fact that Iowa lost on late offense in all three of the matches they dropped. This dual was a rout, but it still leaves Iowa with plenty of things to work on as the second half of the season rolls on. 

#4 Iowa 31, Illinois 8

WEIGHT WINNER RESULT LOSER TEAM SCORE
125 #2 Spencer Lee FALL (6:04) #15 Travis Piotrowski IOWA 6-0
133 Paul Glynn DEC (3-1 OT) #17 Dylan Duncan IOWA 9-0
141 #4 Mike Carr DEC (6-3) #15 Max Murin IOWA 9-3
149 #13 Pat Lugo MAJ DEC (14-4) Mousa Jodeh IOWA 13-3
157 #12 Eric Barone DEC (3-1 OT) #5 Kaleb Young IOWA 13-5*
165 #2 Alex Marinelli DQ Joey Gunther IOWA 19-5
174 Keegan Shaw DEC (6-2) Nick Gasbarro IOWA 22-5
184 #2 Emery Parker DEC (4-1)  #13 Cash Wilcke IOWA 22-8
197 #5 Jacob Warner DEC (5-1) Andre Lee IOWA 25-8
285 #3 Sam Stoll FALL (4:37) Deuce Rachal IOWA 31-8

* Illinois was deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct after the 157-lb match. 

The dual got underway at 125 lbs and Spencer Lee got Iowa off to a rip-roaring start, as he's done so many times in the past. In fact, this was one of Lee's best all-around performances of the season. It ended in a pin (when Lee was up 11-0 and headed to more nearfall points), but Piotrowski made him work for it -- and Lee definitely rose to the challenge. He scored takedowns in each period, took Piotrowski on a trip to Tilt Town in the first period and then finished the match with a pin with a minute remaining. There were several Iowa wrestlers who didn't look sharp in this dual; Lee was not one of them. 

Paul Glynn got a surprise start at 133 over Austin DeSanto and while he didn't deliver the fireworks that DeSanto usually does (in so many ways), he did deliver a similar end result: a Hawkeye victory. Although the match was tied 1-1 at the end of three periods, both Glynn and his opponent, Dylan Duncan, were reasonably active in trying to score a decisive takedown. In sudden victory, Glynn was the one who prevailed in that quest, downing Duncan and extending Iowa's lead to 9-0. 

Max Murin once again came up short against a Top 10 141er in his match with #4 Mike Carr. After two and a half generally uneventful periods, the final minute of the match featured plenty of fireworks. First Murin was awarded a takedown off a scramble situation after a (very very long) video review. Then Carr got a quick escape and followed that up with a slick takedown off a sweep single leg that also featured him exposing Murin's back to the mat for a (very very quick) two-count. In the blink of an eye, Murin went from being up 3-1 to down 6-3. It was a frustrating loss, but hopefully one that emphasizes the importance of taking (and finishing) shots earlier in matches. 

Pat Lugo got things back on the winning path for Iowa at 149, recording a 14-4 major decision thanks to a bevy of takedowns -- six total, including three in the second period, when Jodeh plainly wore down. Lugo's own pace slowed down a bit in the third, but we're still not going to quibble too much over a dominating, fully in control 14-4 win. At 157, Kaleb Young and Eric Barone wrestled a slow, methodical match heavy on tie-ups and light on actual attacking moves. Young won a match like that against Minnesota's Steve Bleise a few weeks ago thanks to a dramatic throw at the end of the match. Here he lost on a takedown in sudden victory because Barone was the one who got to his offense and managed a strong finish. Young cannot let so many matches come down to a single move in the third period or overtime; he's not going to come out on the winning end of coin-flips like that every time (like tonight) and he's good enough to not need to do that. Hopefully this loss lights a fire under him moving forward. 

After intermission Iowa got back on the bonus point caravan thanks to -- who else? -- Alex Marinelli. For the third straight dual meet, Marinelli contributed six team points to Iowa's tally, although this time he didn't do it via pin -- he did it via DQ. His tempo was so relentless and former teammate Joey Gunther spent so much time backing up or failing to engage that the ref dinged him for five stall calls, which is an automatic disqualification. Marinelli had managed a few takedowns of his own before, but he found it difficult to do more scoring with Gunther spending so much of the bout playing keep-away. 

At 174 Keegan Shaw made his Iowa dual meet debut and picked up a win in a battle of the backups. Shaw was the aggressor throughout and he managed to get a few nice finishes on a pair of takedowns, as well as riding Gasbarro well when he got him to the mat. Shaw did exactly what you'd want to see when a backup gets a chance at the lineup and it was nice to see his effort rewarded with a victory. Illinois' third and final win of the evening came at 184, where a late flurry carried Emery Parker past Cash Wilcke with a 4-1 decision. After six very ho-hum minutes of little action from either guy, Wilcke went down 2-1 on a stall call for leaving the mat; that spurred him to action and Parker was able to counter a Wilcke shot attempt into a takedown of his own. For Wilcke, it's the same lesson as the one Murin and Young got: get to your offense early. Don't wait until there are 30 seconds left in the third to do something. 

Jacob Warner picked up a workmanlike win for Iowa at 197, scoring a first period takedown and then putting a mean ride on Andre Lee for the entire second period. Warner never threatened to turn Lee for points, but he stayed in control and drew a few stall calls on Lee. It was disappointing to not see him try a bit more from neutral in the third and overall it feels like we're still not seeing much the hyped firepower that accompanied Warner's arrival in Iowa City. Still, he is just a redshirt freshman and grinding out wins and maintaining control throughout a match are useful skills, too. 

And, as noted earlier, Sam Stoll put a bow on the evening with a pin in the final bout of the evening. After an insomnia-curing first period that featured Rachal hugging the edge of the mat and spending the better part of three periods moving backwards, Stoll put the match (and the dual) to bed in the second period by wrenching Rachal onto his back for the pin. Job done. 

"Job done" is about the best way to describe this entire dual performance as well. It wasn't always pretty (although Iowa's two best wrestlers, Lee and Marinelli, delivered fireworks and strong results), but they got solid results in most matches and cruised to an easy overall win. That'll do for now. 

NEXT: Iowa heads to Evanston to face Northwestern (3-6, 1-3 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon (2 PM CT, BTN Plus). Lee vs Rivera: The Rematch LET'S GOOOOOOO. 

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