Drexel Falls Short on Spirit Night
The Drexel University Men’s Wrestling team welcomed the Navy Midshipmen to the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Saturday, Feb. 1 for an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association matchup.
The Dragons, who were celebrating spirit night, came out in front of a fired-up student section and pushed a Navy team to the final bout. Navy, who wrestled at American University in Washington, D.C. last Friday night came out on top 23-15.
The meet started at 125lbs., when Drexel Sophomore Antonio Mininno faced thirteenth ranked Logan Treaster, who crushed it from start to finish, winning 16-1 and putting Navy up 5-0 early. Navy built off of Treaster’s momentum in the next two matches. True, Freshman Chase Shields was able to hold his own versus Navy’s Jacob Allen but then came out on the losing side of a 3-1 decision, extending the Midshipmen’s lead to 8-0.
The DAC, still rocking even after a slow Dragon start, got silenced when Cody Trybus pinned Drexel’s Tyler Williams midway through the 141lb. bout. After three bouts, Navy had raced out to a 14-0 lead.
The DAC did not stay quiet for long though when Senior Nick Widmann went up 4-2 after the first period in a physical match that Navy Freshman Val Park rallied to overtime.
Early in the extra period, Widmann scored a huge takedown sparking the DAC to life bringing the overall team score to 14-3. Widmann not only sparked the crowd but also his fellow teammates. Following Widmann, Parker Kropman at 157lbs. clearly fed off of the student section’s energy, going up 7-1 after two periods and winning an 8-6 decision bringing the score to 14-6.
Fraternity wrestling at the intermission made the crowd even rowdier and immediately after, Senior leader, and Drexel Male Athlete of the Week, Ebed Jarrell pinned Navy’s Brian Case to shorten the overall gap to two.
In what was the biggest upset of the afternoon, Drexel’s Redshirt Freshman Michael O’Malley defeated nineteenth ranked Spencer Carey who qualified for the national championships a year ago. O’Malley, who trailed 2-1 entering the second period, landed a pair of turnover takedowns to make the score 10-4. Carey would not go down without a fight. He brought the score to within three when Drexel head coach Matt Azevedo threw in the challenge cube to review a missed locked hand call that would have awarded O’Malley a critical point. Not only did Azevedo win the challenge but he gave his wrestler about a minute-long rest. O’Malley was able to hold off the ferocious attack Carey mounted to win 14-11 and gave Drexel their first lead 15-14.
After four straight wins the DAC was riled up and could taste the upset with just three bouts remaining.
Drexel then sent out Owen Brooks to face Andrew Buckley. Brooks, who just won the starting 184lbs. position found himself in a hole going down 2-0 and finishing the first period at 4-2. Buckley was dictating the entire bout and Brooks struggled to find offensive moves of his own, losing 9-5. All five of his points came from escapes. Buckley gave the Midshipmen the lead back 17-15.
The final two matches saw plenty of hand-fighting and Drexel eventually dropped both. Number 31 Bryan McLaughlin fell to number 21 Josh Koser 1-0 on an early escape in the second period. Drexel coaches were heated at the ref for not giving Koser a second stall call late in the third that would have evened the 197lbs. bout. Navy’s Freshman John Birchmeier defeated Drexel Sophomore Sean O’Malley in a 7-3 decision. The Dragons lost the meet 23-15 despite winning four bouts straight.
Up next for the Dragons is another EIWA matchup this time against Columbia university at 7 p.m. tonight at the DAC. Drexel will be celebrating Faculty and Staff Family day for its penultimate home match of the season. The Dragons beat Columbia 27-9 the last time they met in 2018.