Jan. 24, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy wrestling team dropped to 5-7 in dual competition after stumbling in back-to-back duals Saturday against North Carolina and NC State. The Mids, who have lost four straight dual matches, were bounced by the Tar Heels in Saturday's opener, 25-9, while dropping a 20-18 heart-breaker to NC State in the nightcap.
"It was a tough day for us," said Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. "I heard Lou Holtz say one time that winning is a habit and unfortunately so is losing. Right now I think we have some young men who don't believe in their abilities and that concerns me more than us actually losing. I've got to try and get their mindset turned around for us to be successful.
"We wrestled on our heels a little bit expecting bad things to happen and some bad things did happen. We had our chances in the NC State match to win, but we just didn't get it done. I'm disappointed, but we've got two big matches again next week against Maryland and East Stroudsburg. We have a week to put the nuts and bolts together and hopefully we'll have some guys step up and help us get this season turned back around."
Last week Navy fans saw the return of senior All-American Joe Baker (Poway, Calif.), however, he sat out both matches on Saturday, as did sixth-ranked Bryce Saddoris (Spring Creek, Nev.) at 149 pounds and rookie 174-pounder Luke Rebertus (Elkton, Md.) was sidelined for a second consecutive week recuperating from an injury. All that said, the Mids pushed forward and battled two solid programs.
Carolina won seven of the 10 matches, including three extra-point battles to defeat the Midshipmen for the first time since 2001. Navy senior Casey Caldwell (Liberty, Ind.) gave Navy its only lead of the match, as he handed Daniel Llamas a 7-2 loss in the dual's opening match at 184 pounds. The Tar Heels took a 6-3 lead when 17th-ranked Dennis Drury got by the Mids' Philip Neese (Lexington, S.C.) and heavyweight Justin Dobies turned in a 5-1 decision over Navy senior Tyler Moyer (Bremerton, Wash.).
Sophomore 125-pounder Allan Stein
(Portland, Maine), who claimed two wins on the day, evened the match at 6-6 when he scored a 10-6 decision over Carolina's Nick Shields.
The Tar Heels, however, went on to win five consecutive matches that featured a technical fall and a pair of major decisions by three ranked wrestlers.
The Mids did end the match on a high note with junior 174-pounder Mike Billings (Waterford, Mich.) recording his first collegiate dual win behind a 3-2 decision over UNC's Robert McCarthy.
Just a few hours later, the Mids were back on the mat in Raleigh where they would battle an NC State squad that dropped a 21-18 decision to ACC foe Maryland earlier in the day. A see-saw affair, Navy held an 18-6 advantage with three matches remaining but was unable to hang on for the win.
The Wolfpack opened the dual with a 3-0 lead thanks to Kody Hamrah's 8-6 decision over Navy senior Joel Ahern at 157 pounds. The Mids, however, would bounce back to tie the match at 3-all with a 13-7 come-from-behind decision by sophomore Matt DeMichiel (Whitesboro, N.Y.) at 165 pounds. DeMichiel started the match down 4-0, however, he mounted a solid comeback to push his dual record this season to 5-5.
In perhaps the most exciting match of the evening, NC State's Jake Burge outlasted Navy sophomore Robby Neill (Brick, N.J.) to escape with a 2-1 decision in the second tie breaker to give the Wolfpack a 6-3 match advantage. For Neill, it marked the second straight match he has been tripped up in OT, dropping a 2-1 decision to 14th-ranked Alex Caruso a week ago.
Caldwell picked up his second win of the trip and pulled the Mids back to a 6-6 tie behind a 6-2 victory over NC State's Mark Jahad at 184 pounds. Followed by an NC State forfeit at 197 pounds, Navy took its first lead of the match, leading 12-6. Navy tacked on another three points when Moyer scored a takedown late in the third period to post a 5-4 decision over NC State's Bobby Isola to give the Mids a 15-6 lead in the match.
Stein extended Navy's advantage to 18-6 by taking down Mike Moreno at 125 pounds. Stein is now 3-1 in duals this season, subbing in for regular starter Prescott Garner (West Linn, Ore.) who has been sidelined with the flu over the last week.
The Wolfpack mounted their comeback when Darrius Little scored a 15-6 major decision over Navy rookie Austin Clouse (15-6) in what marked just his second dual match of his career. Meanwhile, 15th-ranked Joe Caramanica followed up with an 8-0 major decision over Navy freshman John Majka (Chicago, Ill.), trimming the Mids' lead to just four at 18-14.
With the Wolfpack down only four points, third-ranked Darrius Caldwell pinned Navy junior Kyle O'Neill (Gaylord, Mich.) in 1:35 to secure the NC State win. Caldwell has won 29 consecutive matches dating back to last season and owns 48 pins for his career.
Navy returns to action next Friday when it makes the short trip to College Park, Md., to face Maryland at 7:00 pm. The Mids will play host to EIWA foe East Stroudsburg on Saturday at 7:00 pm at Halsey Field House.
North Carolina 25, Navy 9
184 - Casey Caldwell (Navy) dec. Daniel Llamas (UNC), 7-2 (Navy 3-0)
197 - #17 Dennis Drury (UNC) dec. Philip Neese (Navy), 6-2 (Tied 3-3)
HWT - Justin Dobies (UNC) dec. Tyler Moyer (Navy), 5-1 (UNC 6-3)
125 - Allan Stein (Navy) dec. Nick Shields (UNC), 10-6 (Tied 6-6)
133 - Mike Rappo (UNC) tech fall Austin Clouse (Navy), 21-5, 6:11 (UNC 11-6)
141 - #18 Vincent Ramirez (UNC) dec. Matt Pagan (Navy), 9-3 (UNC 14-6)
149 - #15 Nick Stabile (UNC) major dec. Kyle O'Neill (Navy), 10-0 (UNC 18-6)
157 - Thomas Scotton (UNC) dec. Joel Ahern (Navy), 5-3 (UNC 21-6)
165 - #16 Keegan Mueller (UNC) major dec. Matt DeMichiel (Navy), 8-0 (UNC 25-6)
174 - Mike Billings (Navy) dec. Robert McCarthy (UNC), 3-2 (UNC 25-9)
NC State 20, Navy 18
157 - Kody Hamrah (NCST) dec. Joel Ahern (Navy), 8-6 (3-0)
165 - Matt DeMichiel (Navy) vs. Ray Ward (NCST), 13-7 (3-3)
174 - Jake Burge (NCST) vs. Robby Neill (Navy), 2-1, ot2 (6-3)
184 - Casey Caldwell (Navy) dec. Mark Jahad (NCST), 6-2 (6-6)
197 - Philip Neese (Navy) won by forfeit (NCST) (6-12)
HWT - Tyler Moyer (Navy) dec. Bobby Isola (NCST), 5-4 (6-15)
125 - Allan Stein (Navy) dec. Mike Moreno (NCST), 10-7 (6-18)
133 - Darrius Little (NCST) major dec. Austin Clouse (Navy), 15-6 (10-18)
141 - #15 Joe Caramanica (NCST) major dec. John Majka (Navy), 8-0 (14-18)
149 - #3 Darrion Caldwell (NCST) pinned Kyle O'Neill (Navy), at 1:35 (20-18
### Go Navy ###