Golden Bear Wrestling Goes 2-1 in NYC
RIVERDALE, Ny. - The Golden Bears continued their season opening northern road trip with a 2-1 record in the Bronx at the College of Mount Saint Vincent on Saturday. The day began with a very competitive loss to the University of Southern Maine, where the score was tied 18-18 entering the final two bouts of the dual.
Freshman Alfred Martinez earned his first collegiate win with a 10-5 decision at 133 lbs. Senior John Walters earned a 13-1 major decision, sophomore Dirk Ponchak scored a first period pin at 165 lbs., and freshman Kyle Shepherd was dominant in rolling to a 17-2 technical fall victory.
In the second dual of the day WVU Tech rolled to a 46-6 victory over the host school's Dolphin wrestlers. Walters earned his third bonus point win of the season with a 1st period fall, Ponchak earned a 14-6 major decision, freshman Tola Morakinyo won 5-2 at 184 lbs., and freshman Alexander LeCroy won a hard fought 4-2 decision at 197 lbs.
In the final dual against Muhlenberg the Golden Bears were again dominant, winning by a 57-3 score over an outmanned Mules squad. Walters continued his torrid start to the season with his thrid first period fall of the year, while freshman Conner Russ converted an armbar into a first period fall, and Morakinyo got his offense rolling scoring 4 takedowns enroute to a 10-4 victory. This dual win raised the team's record on the season to 3-1.
Said head coach Sam Gardner on the weekend's results: "All things considered I'm feeling pretty positive on the direction our program is heading. We responded pretty well to the difficulties a long road trip can present. We wrestled aggressively, and although we have a bunch of things to work on as we prepare for next weekend's trip to Ferrum, I like the attitude we brought to the mats. Our guys got after it and worked hard to score, win or lose. Againt Southern Maine I felt we gave up a few too many points in a few circumstances, but it was a hard fought and competitive match. As we continue to build our program, it is important to look at the positives even in a loss. A year ago our squad was so small that against a team like USM we would have been mathematically eliminated from possibly winning before the first whistle. Today the result was in doubt until the final match, which for fans and athletes alike is exciting. As we get healthier and more guys get through the NAIA eligibility clearing house we will continue to improve. We are 3-1 on the season, which is better than being 0-4."
WVU Tech will take to the mats again November 16 while particpating in the Ferrum Panther Classic in Ferrum, Va.
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