It was an emotional weekend for the Drexel University wrestling team, as the squad capped off their regular season with back to back dual meets against Princeton University and Old Dominion University. Drexel hosted both meets at the Daskalakis Athletic Center for the Dragons’ spirit night Feb. 22 and senior day Feb. 24. Though the Dragons saw some of their squad members put on fantastic performances, they couldn’t get a win in either of the contests, falling 27-13 to Princeton and 23-12 to Old Dominion. However, these losses weren’t demonstrative of the overall offensive outputs Drexel had in both matches.
Redshirt senior Joey Goodhart opened up the spirit night festivities against Princeton at heavyweight, facing Princeton sophomore Kendall Elfstrum and winning a 12-2 majority decision in front of a roaring home crowd.
Drexel was unable to capitalize on their lead, dropping three of their matchups at 125, 133 and 141 pounds.
The highlight of the night for Drexel came in the 149-pound matchup when redshirt sophomore Parker Kropman took to the mats against Princeton junior Matthew Kolodzik, ranked the No. 2 wrestler in the country in the weight category (by FloWrestling as of Feb. 18). Though the odds were severely stacked against him, Kropman surprised everyone in the hall, edging out a 3-1 win to the delight of the Drexel crowd.
As stunning as the surprise win was, Drexel could not chain two wins in a row, alternating wins and losses for the remainder of the match. Immediately following Kropman was sophomore Evan Barczak at 157 pounds, who could not exact revenge on Princeton freshman Quincy Monday, who got the better of Barczak for the second time this season. Barczak suffered a pin loss a little under two minutes into the match.
Other wrestlers who won on spirit night were junior Ebed Jarrell at 165 pounds and freshman Anthony Walters at 184 pounds.
Drexel celebrated its seniors two days later by acknowledging the outgoing Willie Davis, Stephen Loiseau and Goodhart in a small ceremony before the mat.
Drexel switched between wins and losses for the first six matches in row, with the two competing seniors, Goodhart and Loiseau, going onto their home mat for the last time.
Both of their matches went down to the wire, with Goodhart winning the heavyweight match 2-1. Loiseau gave a rousing performance, and even in the wake of his 5-4 defeat, he received applause from the entire crowd.
Walters and Jarrell repeated as winners against Old Dominion, adding onto their wins against Princeton. Kropman also made it into the winner’s column, securing a win late into the meet over Old Dominion’s redshirt sophomore Kevin Budock.
For his two wins during the weekend, and in particular for his shock win over Kolodzik, Kropman was named Drexel University’s School of Education Athlete of the Week. With their regular season concluded, Drexel will now look to compete at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championships beginning March 8. Drexel will send four nationally ranked wrestlers to the tournament: Loiseau, Goodhart, Jarrell and Kropman.