Feb. 9, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy wrestling team won seven of the 10 bouts and featured three pins to steamroll past EIWA foe American, 32-9, Saturday evening at Wesley Brown Field House in Annapolis. The Midshipmen, who are now 5-1 in dual competition, have won five consecutive dual matches, including three in a row at home, while the Eagles are now 5-7 on the year.
“We had some guys really step it up tonight,” said 13th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “It was an interesting week in the wrestling room. We had a ton of kids who were sick and hurt and we just weren’t sure who would be left standing by the end of the week. The guys in the wrestling room have stayed focused and Alex Johnson and Bobby Burg have been good examples of wrestlers who we’ve asked to step in and get a win for us and they have done just that.
“American has a solid team and they compete hard tonight,” added Burnett. “Our guys really had to compete hard. I’m just really proud of how we’ve reacted to that Lehigh match earlier this season. The expectation of our guys is to keep wrestling for points and honestly it’s been pretty fun to watch. It’s about learning and progressing and I think we’ve done a good job of that this season.”
Following a ceremony honoring Navy’s 13 senior wrestlers and student support staff, senior team captain Oscar Huntley (Stafford, Va.) wasted little time in providing his team with not only a win, but one with a dramatic flair. Huntley pinned AU junior 197-pound Devon Bradley in just 14 seconds to give the Mids a 6-0 advantage.
The Eagles fought back to take two in a row to even the match at 6-6, however, sophomore 133-pound Colton Rasche (Plano, Ill.) gave Navy a lead it would not relinquish as he fought off American rookie Esteban Gomez-Rivera, 7-6. Rasche led early in the match, scoring a pair of takedowns in the first period to take a 5-3 advantage. But Gomez-Rivera whittled away at the Rasche’s lead and an escape in the final period trimmed the lead to one, but he would get no closer as Rasche picked up the win.
“I think tonight’s match was a turning point for Colton,” said Burnett. “I’ve seen him lose those matches in the past. He came out and wrestled hard and his opponent kept the pressure on and the score got closer and Colton got a little more tired. Is Colton capable of wrestling better? Absolutely. But he needs to prove to himself that he can win those close matches.”
Junior Alex Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) provided Navy with some extra breathing room with his pin in 4:44 against American senior Matt Dorf. Johnson has twice stepped in for starter Joe Locksmith (Kissimmee, Fla.) this season in dual meets and walked away with two important wins. He also posted a 6-2 win over Lehigh’s Laike Gardner in what was his first collegiate dual appearance and win.
Last year’s EIWA runner-up Kevin Tao dealt Navy 149-pound Raymond Borja (Virginia Beach, Va.) his first dual meet loss of the season, as Tao earned a 7-4 win and clipped the Mids’ lead to 15-9. It would, however, be American’s final win of the match, as Navy went on to take the final four bouts.
Freshman 157-pound Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) replaced a roughed-up Bobby Barnhisel (River Forest, Ill.) in the lineup and walked away with a commanding 13-1 major decision over American sophomore Mark Cirello. Burg held a 6-0 advantage going into the final period, but the rookie registered a takedown and a pair of two-point nearfalls to go along with is riding time to earned the big win. Burg is now 2-0 in dual meets this season, as he took out Rutgers’ Scott Winston two weeks ago.
Pushing his dual record to 6-0, sophomore 165-pound Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) earned a 6-2 win over American’s Phillip Barreiro, while freshman 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Md.) won by fall in just 52 seconds over American junior Keithan Cast. Miller, ranked 11th nationally, is now 21-4 overall and 4-2 in dual action and has won 10 of his 21 matches by fall, including each of the last three.
Closing out the match was senior 184-pound Mason Bailey (Fairmont, W.Va.) who cruised to a 14-4 major decision over American senior Thomas Barriero. Bailey has been one of the most consistent wrestlers for Burnett’s squad all season long, ranking 19th nationally and boasting a 26-12 record overall and 3-3 mark in dual competition.
The Midshipmen will get a much-needed week off from competition and will turn their focus to the annual Star Match which will be hed Sunday, Feb. 24 at West Point. Action is set to begin at 4:00 pm.
Navy def. American, 32-9
197: Oscar Huntley (N) fall Devon Bradley (A), 0:14
285: Blake Herrin (A) dec Dan Miller (N), 3-2
125: David Terao (A) dec Jericho Urmenita (N), 6-3
133: Colton Rasche (N) dec Esteban Gomez-Rivera (A), 7-6
141: Alex Johnson (N) fall Matt Dorf (A), 4:44
149: Kevin Tao (A) dec Raymond Borja (N), 7-4
157: Bobby Burg (N) major dec Mark Cirello (A), 13-1
165: Peyton Walsh (N) dec. Phillip Barreiro (A), 6-2
174: #11 Mathew Miller (N) fall Keithan Cast (A), 0:52
184: #20 Mason Bailey (N) major dec. Thomas Barreiro (A), 14-4
### Go Navy ###