Mids Overcome Early Deficit to Earn 22-13 Win Over Drexel
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — After dropping its first two matches of Friday evening’s EIWA dual at Drexel (4-1), the Navy wrestling team (3-0) fought back and won seven of the final eight bouts to earn a 22-13 victory in what was the Mids’ final match of the 2017 calendar year. Winning for just the second time in five tries at Drexel, Navy now leads the all-time series, 11-5.
“Tonight was a good test for the team - a test to see how well it would handle adversity,” said fourth-year Navy head coach Joel Sharratt, who fielded a lineup with eight seniors and six of the eight earning wins. “On the heels of traveling to and from the West Coast and final exams looming, these guys performed as a team.
“This was a great way to close out 2017 and gives us some great feedback in regards to where our guys are at. Physically, these guys held there own, but we had too many tactical and mental mistakes that will need to be addressed in the coming weeks.”
Drexel opened the dual looking as though it might control the match, as the Dragons jumped out to a 9-0 lead behind Zack Fuentes’ win by fall over Navy senior Brant Leadbeter (Owings, Md.) and sixth-ranked Austn DeSanto’s 13-6 victory over rookie Cody Trybus (Elkton, Md.).
Navy kept its composure and a dominating performance by junior 141-pound Nicholas Gil (Crystal Lake, Ill.) helped spark wins over the next six matches to give the Mids a 19-9 lead. Gil, who has been sensational this winter, claimed his 60th collegiate victory and improved to 14-2 on the year by way of a 12-3 major decision over redshirt freshman Julian Flores.
Senior team captain Corey Wilding (Pittsburgh, Pa.) trimmed the deficit to two (9-7) after picking up a 14-11 victory over rookie 149-pound Trevor Elfvin in one of the most entertaining matches of the evening. Wilding held a 2-1 lead following the opening period and despite plenty of action in the second, he carried over just a one-point advantage (7-6) going into the final stanza.
“Wilding overcame a bit of adversity in his match and that’s what Navy wrestling is built upon,” added Sharratt. “He was controlling his match and staying aggressive in his quest for a major decision and a little error in position put him on his back. He fought with conviction and, in will alone, he got off his back. He never conceded and battled line to line, whistle to whistle and ultimately found a way to win. This young man has real grit.”
Elfvin got a quick escape to start the period before he bulldozed Wilding to the mat and secured back points to go along with his takedown to go up, 11-7. Wilding, though, would not only get the reversal, he was able to secure four points for a near fall and established riding time to win the match, 14-11.
Navy took its first lead in the match, one it would not relinquish, when senior 157-pound Zack Davis (Granger, Ind.) dealt freshman Evan Barczak a 10-4 loss. Davis dominated the match from the opening whistle before giving up the reversal in the third period and back points before recovering and getting out of the clutches of Barczak. The win marked the 88th of his career as he continues to zero in on joining the Mids’ 100-win club.
After missing the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, senior 165-pound Drew Daniels (Overland Park, Kan.) returned to the lineup where he put his undefeated record on the line. Daniels led Drexel redshirt sophomore Ebed Jarrell, 1-0, heading into the final period. Jarrell was able to knot the match with an escape at the beginning of the period before Daniels scored the match-winning takedown with roughly a minute to go in the match. Jarrell would eventually trim Daniels’ lead to one, but Daniels would improve to 11-0 on the year with the 3-2 victory.
Eighth-ranked Jadaen Bernstein (Sr. / Glen Gardner, N.J.) and his Drexel foe Austin Rose went scoreless for the first five minutes of action at 174 pounds and featured Bernstein riding Rose out the entire two-minute second period. Bernstein pushed ahead with an escape just 15 seconds into the third period before securing the win with a takedown and tacking on another point for riding time. Bernstein now stands tied for 13th alongside Aaron Kalil (2009-12) on the Mids’ all-time win list with 101. He is just one win shy of tying Luke Rebertus (2009-12) for 12th.
Taking a 6-2 victory over Drexel senior Joshua Murphy was 17th-ranked 184-pound Michael Coleman (Sr. / Hudson, Ohio) who had already built 2:43 in riding time after the first period and 3:25 after two periods of action. Coleman surrendered just a pair of escapes as he cruised to his 13th win of the season.
Drexel finally got back on the scoreboard when 20th-ranked Stephen Loiseau was able to pick up an 11-2 victory over 197-pound Steban Cervantes (Sr. / Poway, Calif.). Following a scoreless opening period, Cervantes fell victim to an injury that would stop the match for a handful of minutes before he was able to return to action. Cervantes was able to finish the match, but was clearly not at full strength.
“Our lineup is very strong from 165-197, but we can’t let our opponents keep matches close,” Sharratt pointed out. “Daniels is a very talented athlete who is going to find his groove and I’m confident he will score a lot of points when he does.
“Bernstein got off to a strong start, but just let some easy points get away from him. He is a workhorse, though, and tonight’s match will provide the motivation to make some adjustments to capitalize and score more team points. Winning is not enough.
“Coleman found himself in a bit of a battle, but he is so dominant when he wants to be. He was always in control, but, again, we need more team points on the board from him.
“After sustaining a little scare, I was very happy the way Cervantes regained his composure and finished his match.”
Navy capped the evening with a 3-2 win by senior heavyweight Austin Faunce (Lake Oswego, Ore.) over Drexel rookie Sean O’Malley. Faunce broke into the scoring column early in the second period with an escape and pushed his lead to 3-0 by the end of the period. O’Malley, meanwhile, earned a point for an escape to open the final period before gaining another point for stalling. Faunce, however, was able to weather the storm, as he now stands 4-0 all-time in dual action.
“Austin (Faunce) is turning into a strong and agile heavyweight,” added Sharratt. “It’s great to be closing out matches with a win at 285!”
The Midshipmen will step away from the competition mat for the remainder of the month before gearing up to take part in the Southern Scuffle held in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Jan. 1-2.
Navy 22, Drexel 13
125: Zack Fuentes (D) WBF Brant Leadbeter (Navy), 4:05
133: No. 6 Austin DeSanto (D) DEC Cody Trybus (Navy), 13-6
141: Nicholas Gil (Navy) MAJ Julian Flores (D), 12-3
149: Corey Wilding (Navy) DEC Trevor Elfvin (D), 14-11
157: Zack Davis (Navy) DEC Evan Barczak (D), 10-4
165: Drew Daniels (Navy) DEC Ebed Jarrell (D), 3-2
174: No. 8 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy) DEC Austin Rose (D), 4-0
184: No. 17 Michael Coleman (Navy) DEC Joshua Murphy (D), 6-2
197: No. 20 Stephen Loiseau (DU) MAJ Steban Cervantes (Navy), 11-2
285: Austin Faunce (Navy) DEC Sean O’Malley (D), 3-2
### Go Navy ###