PHILADELPHIA – Penn sent two wrestlers to the championship round at the 2014 EIWA Championships, but the hosts were unable to reach the highest level of the podium, settling for a pair of runner-up finishes.
No. 2 seed Lorenzo Thomas battled No. 1 seed Gabe Dean of Cornell for the entirety of the seven minute match, but fell short by a two-point margin for the second time this season – this time by a 3-1 score. The match was not without controversy, though, as a second-period scramble was ruled a takedown in favor of Dean despite Thomas holding a whizzer in on the edge of the mat. After a lengthy video review, the takedown sequence was ruled to have ultimately come out in favor of Dean and the call stood. That takedown would be the difference. Despite the rough circumstances of the loss, Thomas has more wrestling ahead of him with an automatic qualification to NCAAs locked up.
If Thomas, the No. 11 ranked wrestler in the country was an expected finalist, No. 8 seed Brad Wukie had the Penn fans excited with his upstart run to the championship match at 174 pounds. On Sunday morning, Wukie knocked off No. 5 seed Brian Harvey of Army, 6-3, to reach the finals – and lock up one of the three NCAA automatic qualifying spots the EIWA had to dole out. In the final, Wukie met up with another military academy product, and No. 3 seed Mat Miller of Navy emerged victorious with a fall at 2:46 after a takedown and a half-nelson. Nonetheless, Wukie’s 3-1 tournament was one of the better stories of Penn’s 2014 EIWAs.
The third automatic qualifier for the Quakers was No. 3 seed Casey Kent who took fourth at 165 pounds. Kent w2as 3-2 in the tournament, reaching the semifinals where he was knocked off, 3-2, on a takedown in the final 10 seconds by eventual champion Joe Booth of Drexel. Kent rebounded nicely with a 5-0 win over No. 8 seed Mitchell Wightman of Boston University before a 3-2 loss to No. 4 seed Josh Houldsworth of Columbia in the third place match.
Freshman Frank Mattiace also placed for the Quakers, wrestling from his No. 10 seed to an eighth place result. Mattiace was 2-3 overall in the tournament, with his three losses coming to the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. On Sunday, Mattaice was knocked off in the consolation quarterfinals, 5-2, by No. 3 Danny Mitchell of American University to move to the seventh place bout. That match was an important one as the EIWA had seven automatic bids to hand out. In that bout, Mattiace took on No. 1 seed Brandon Palik of Drexel. Tied, 1-1, late in the third period, Mattiace was called for a second stalling warning - both coming while defending on the edge and trying to avoid a takedown – and that point was the difference in a 2-1 loss.
The Quakers finished tied for 10th in a loaded, 18-team tournament with 53.0 points.
Kent, Thomas and Wukie await their NCAA Championships opponents which will be announced. The remainder of the team awaits potential at-large selections which will be announced March 12.
#7 Caleb Richardson – 125
First Round: lost to Bubba McGinley (Boston U.), 5-4
Consolation Second Round: lost to Penn Gottfried (Columbia), 0-4
Ken Bade – 133
First Round: lost to #2 Mike Grey (Cornell), 2-13
Consolation Second Round: def. Kyle Brady (Sacred Heart) FALL 1:32
Round of 12: lost to #5 Angelo Amenta (Columbia), 0-15 (7:00)
Jeff Canfora – 141
First Round: lost to #3 Luke Vaith (Hofstra), 4-10
Consolation Second Round: def. David Pearce (Drexel), 5-4
Round of 12: lost to #1 Richard Durso (F&M), 5-9
Andrew Lenzi – 149
First Round: lost to #3 Cody Ruggirello (Hofstra), FALL 2:15
Consolation Second Round: def. Cole Moseley (American), 6-2
Round of 12: lost to Noel Blanco (Drexel), 4-9
#4 Ray Bethea – 157
First Round: lost to Austin Sommer (Drexel), 9-11
Consolation Second Round: def. John Boyle (American), 5-4 TB
Round of 12: lost to #2 Brian Realbuto (Cornell), 1-9
#3 Casey Kent – 165
First Round: def. Philip Marano (Brown), 4-1
Quarterfinals: def. #6 Chandler Smith (Army), 5-3
Semifinals: lost to #2 Joe Booth (Hofstra), 3-2
Consolation Semifinals: def. #8 Mitchell Wightman (Boston U.), 5-0
Third Place Match: lost to #4 Josh Houldsworth (Columbia), 3-2
#8 Brad Wukie – 174
First Round: def. Kevin Matyas (Drexel), 9-4
Quarterfinals: def. Andrew Maksimovic (Boston U.), 5-2
Semifinals: def. #5 Brian Harvey (Army), 6-3
Championship Match: lost to #3 Mat Miller (Navy), FALL 2:46
#2 Lorenzo Thomas – 184
First Round: def. Victor Pozsonyi (Hofstra), FALL 4:03
Quarterfinals: def. Jason Grimes (American), 7-2
Semifinals: def. #3 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 6-2
Championship Match: lost to #1 Gabe Dean (Cornell), 3-1
#10 Frank Mattiace – 197
First Round: def. #7 Paul Rands (Navy), 8-3
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Jace Bennett (Cornell), 3-6
Round of 12: def. Justin Lyster (Bucknell), 5-3
Consolation Quarterfinals: lost to #3 Danny Mitchell (American), 2-5
Seventh Place Match: lost to #1 Brandon Palik (Drexel), 2-1
#8 Steven Graziano – 285
First Round: def. Joseph Giorgio (Drexel), 2-1
Quarterfinals: lost to #1 Billy Smith (Rutgers), 2-10
Round of 12: lost to David Ng (Harvard), 3-8