A Little About Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling
A few things you should know about the Iowa Hawkeyes:
The #1 Hawkeyes have four returning All-Americans (including two multiple All-Americans) this season.
Cory Clark who is now at 133 took 5th last year at 125 as a freshman.
Mike Evans took 6th at 174 and took 6th the year before that at 174 as well.
Nathan Burak took 8th last year at 197.
Bobby Telford took 4th at heavyweight last year and took 5th at heavyweight in 2011-2012.
A History Lesson
Since 1974, Iowa has crowned 69 national champions and 256 All-Americans. They hoisted the NCAA Team Title 23 times which is more than three times the amount of titles that the team behind them (Oklahoma State) won during that span.
Maryland has wrestled Iowa twice all-time. This is how it went.
Iowa over Maryland 25-6 in 1973
Iowa over Maryland 34-6 in 2009
So we know that Maryland hasn't done well historically against Iowa and they've struggled against great teams this season. Maryland has been held to 3 points in four duals this season. They only won one match against Nebraska, Penn State, Lehigh and Illinois. Against Illinois, the Terps didn't end the shut-out until the very last match of the dual when Ben Dorsay got a late takedown in the third period. The last time that Maryland was shut-out in a dual was January 2nd, 2005 when they lost 47-0 to Missouri in Columbia.
After losing his last five matches in a row at 141, Shyheim Brown dropped from the top-20 rankings. He came out against number six Josh Dziewa to open up the dual. Dziewa had beaten Brown in a close 4-2 match at the Midlands.
Dziewa fought off two low-singles from Brown in the scoreless first period. Dziewa started the second period on bottom and escaped after 18 seconds to take a 1-0 lead. Brown took bottom to start the third period and escaped quickly to tie the match up 1-1. Brown nearly secured a takedown in the closing seconds to get the win but the referees said that he didn't secure control and the match went into overtime.
Dziewa snapped Brown into a front head lock and spun around to get the takedown with two seconds left in the sudden victory period to get the 3-1 decision win.
Number two Brandon Sorensen, a freshman, knocked off the defending national champ (Northwestern's Jason Tsirtsis) in double overtime tie-breakers a couple of weeks ago and would prove to be too much for Ben Dorsay.
Sorensen got a takedown in the first minute of the first period. Dorsay escaped after Sorensen had ridden him for 55 seconds. Sorensen scored again and cut Dorsay. He then hit a high crotch and switched off to a double for his third takedown of the period. It was 6-2 Sorensen going into the second period.
Sorensen kept his offense going and took down Dorsay another three times in the second period. Sorensen escaped to start the third and didn't let up. He took Dorsay down, cut him, rinsed and repeated. The end result was a 17-6 major decision for Sorensen.
Mascola took on #14 Mike Kelly and nearly caught him on his back in a scramble position where Kelly appeared to have Mascola locked in a cradle. Kelly escaped and Mascola went to the second period with a 2-1 advantage. Kelly escaped late to tie the match 2-2.
As both wrestlers went out of bounds towards the end of the third, Mascola gave Kelly a little bit of a shove and was hit with unsportsmanlike conduct. Kelly was awarded a point and led 3-2 going into the third and final period.
Mascola hit a reversal to take a 4-3 lead and had the riding time advantage. Kelly escaped but couldn't get the takedown against Mascola. Mascola had over 1:00 of riding time and won the match by a 5-4 decision to get Maryland on the board.
Number seven Nick Moore had a huge pin to start off Iowa's match last week against second ranked Minnesota and came out looking for bonus points in this match as well.
It took Moore a couple of minutes but he got the first takedown of the match against Manion to take a 2-0 lead. Manion cried out in pain with a little over twenty seconds left in the first period. The problem appeared to be in his left knee.
Moore escaped on the restart and Manion immediately signaled that he couldn't continue. Iowa got the injury default and got six points, the same as a pin or a forfeit.
Josh Snook had one of his toughest opponents of the year in Mike Evans. Evans is a two-time All-American and is ranked number two in the country for the Hawkeyes. Evans shot in on Snook early on in the first period and Snook fought hard but Evans eventually got the takedown and took a 2-0 lead. He rode Snook for 1:46 and then took bottom to start the second. He reversed Snook and tilted him for a two point near-fall. With six seconds left in the period, Snook took injury time.
In the third period Evans cut Snook, took him down and cradled him. After Snook fought back to his stomach, Evans let him go but took him down again shortly afterward. Evans was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct twice in the third period. The referees seemed to lose a little control of the match as both wrestlers shoved each other throughout the match. Iowa lost a team point after Evans won an 18-5 major decision.
Sammy Brooks was ranked eighth in the country and took on Maryland's senior co-captain Tony Gardner after the intermission. Gardner did not give an inch to the top-10 ranked wrestler until Brooks finished a single leg with 35 seconds left in the first period. Brooks hit a tilt soon afterwards and took a 5-0 lead going into the second.
Brooks escaped quickly to start the period. Gardner was hit with stalling for a second time and one point was awarded to Brooks. Brooks got a takedown after a flurry of action and he let Gardner up to his feet. Gardner almost put Brooks to his back late in the second period but Brooks rolled through and got some of the points back with a reversal. After a Gardner escape, Brooks picked up another takedown as the clock expired in the second period.
Brooks let Gardner up and had a 13-7 lead early in the third period. Brooks got another takedown and a three point near-fall to take an 18-7 lead. After an escape from Gardner, Brooks added the riding time point to get the 19-8 major decision. Iowa led 20-3 going into 197.
Iowa sent out Kris Klapprodt instead of sixth-ranked Nathan Burak to wrestle one of Maryland's more dangerous wrestlers, Rob Fitzgerald. Klapprodt got a takedown and put Fitzgerald on his back to take a 5-0 lead. Fitzgerald managed to escape and he went into the second period trailing 5-1.
Fitzgerald rode tough on top for the second period, erased Klapprodt's riding time advantage and built a 1:13 riding time edge of his own. Fitzgerald took bottom to start the third. He managed to escape before his riding time edge dipped below 1:00 and he trailed 5-2 but with the riding time point he had a de facto two point deficit.
Klapprodt added a pair of takedowns in the final period and won a 9-3 decision to give Iowa a 23-3 dual lead.
Top-15 ranked and former All-American Spencer Myers faced off against Bobby Telford, another two-time All-American for the Hawkeyes who is ranked number two in the country.
Telford managed to square up and fight off a deep shot attempt by Myers early in the first period. Both wrestlers were active early as Myers took the fight to Telford. Both wrestlers failed to score in the first and Myers started the second period on bottom.
The referees called stalemate with 42 seconds left in the period and both wrestlers returned to the center. Telford rode out Myers for the entire second period and he took bottom to start the third period. Telford only needed three seconds to escape and had a 1:57 edge in riding time.
Telford had the riding time point locked up and Myers didn't shoot for the last 45 seconds. Telford went on the offensive and shot in and took Myers down in the last ten seconds to win a 4-0 decision. While it was refreshing to see Myers go on the attack in the first period, he didn't attack when the match was on the line in the third period. He allowed Telford to shoot in on him in the final seconds and effectively clinch the match.
Fifth ranked Thomas Gilman took down Josh Polacek in the first 15 seconds. Polacek got up but got taken down again. They restarted with 1:28 left to go in the first and a 4-2 lead for Gilman. Gilman let Polacek up and went back to work. It was 8-4 in favor of Gilman going to the second.
Gilman reversed Polacek to take a 10-4 lead. Polacek took bottom and Gilman decided to go with the optional start and cut Polacek. Gilman picked up another takedown and promptly cut Polacek again. Rinse and repeat. Gilman won a 20-9 major decision to give Iowa a 30-3 lead going into the last match of the dual.
Geoffrey Alexander, who is ranked 20th by Intermat, took on a returning All-American, number three-ranked Cory Clark, in the final match of the dual.
Alexander got an early takedown to bring the Maryland crowd to their feet. Clark quickly escaped but Alexander maintained a 2-1 lead. Clark got a takedown of his own towards the end of the first period to recapture the lead.
In the second period, Clark escaped and then took down Alexander to build a 6-2 lead. Clark got called for a locked hands violation and Alexander was awarded a point.
Alexander took bottom to start the third period but had trouble getting away initially. Clark locked up the riding time point but late in the third period, Alexander reversed Clark. However, he couldn't turn him and Alexander lost a close 7-5 decision which gave Iowa the 33-3 dual win.
While the 30 point margin of defeat was the worst that Maryland has ever suffered at the hands of Iowa, this dual was closer than the scoreboard indicated. That is not to say that it was a close dual however. Head Coach Kerry McCoy liked the fight that his team displayed, saying, "We had the #1 team in the country in our gym and I don't think we backed down. We went out there and gave a good fight...Our guys fought hard and made it a competition. I'm never happy with a loss but I'm happy with the effort overall."
Iowa picked up four major decisions and dominated the dual with their pace and aggressive style of wrestling. Maryland had huge problems once again with getting out on bottom and it hurt them in their close matches. McCoy stated, "We have got to get better off the bottom. We got ridden a bunch." Iowa seemed to dominated most of matches from the neutral position as well. Tyler Manion injury defaulted his match and that gave the Hawkeyes an additional six points. With those five matches Iowa put together 22 points, which ended up being more than enough to get the dual win.
Shyheim Brown wrestled one of his best matches of the year but came up short against a top-10 opponent. Brown still hasn't won a match at 141 pounds since the Midlands on December 29th and 30th. He said after the match that he just has to make some minor adjustments and those close losses will turn into wins.
For the third time in the last four matches, Lou Mascola got the Terps on the scoreboard with an emotional win that caused the fans to give him a standing ovation. Mascola has been lighting it up since the Midlands and is clearly wrestling looser and with more confidence. Mascola is Maryland's hot hand at the moment but one guy can't win a dual all by himself.
I think it is fair to be concerned about Geoffrey Alexander going into the Big Ten Tournament. Alexander got the opening takedown of the match but gave up the lead after Cory Clark escaped and took him down. Clark escaped and got another takedown and Alexander was unable to close the gap in time and he lost 7-5.
Alexander has one Big Ten dual win so far this season. One. It came against Nebraska on Sunday, November 16th. He earned a forfeit against Wisconsin. His last win this season came almost a month ago against Lehigh on January 11th. If he beats Dom Malone of Northwestern like he did at the Midlands, Alexander will only have two Big Ten dual wins (and a forfeit) against his six losses. That won't help him come seeding time at the Big Ten Tournament.
Myers has now lost two in a row and could fall to 4-4 if he drops his next two dual matches against a top-15 wrestler on Sunday and a top-5 wrestler the following week. That would put him on a four match losing streak going into the Big Ten Tournament and would give him a 2-4 record in Big Ten dual competition.
Maryland fought hard tonight but Iowa's talent, aggressiveness and pace were far too much for Maryland. The Hawkeyes showed why they are the number one team in the country but they clearly did not wrestle to their potential. Iowa Head Coach Tom Brands wasn't terribly happy with his team's performance and was disappointed because he thought that his wrestlers were looking ahead to his team's big rivalry match on the road against Penn State on Sunday.
For the fifth time this season, Maryland has been held to three points. On five separate occasions, Maryland has won only one of their ten dual matches. Sunday is Senior Day for Maryland. McCoy said it will bittersweet. It might be more bitter than sweet because Minnesota will be looking to dole out some punishment after dropping their second dual in a row tonight.
There will be better times ahead for Maryland wrestling. When Maryland wrestling fans look back at tonight, will they remember it for the intensity and the atmosphere? Or will they remember it as the night that Iowa came to College Park and beat Maryland by 30 points? Sunday's dual may help put it all into perspective.