Wrestling Bested by Brown, 18-16

PROVIDENCE – In a back and forth dual, Penn appeared to have control over Brown, but two late wins from the Bears stopped the Quakers, 18-16.

The Red and Blue led, 16-9, following a gutty win from No. 13 Lorenzo Thomas over No. 9 Ophir Bernstein at 184 pounds, 8-5, and were ahead, 7-3, at 197 pounds before Gus Marker reached back and found a defensive fall over Frank Mattiace with 0:50 remaining in the match. That six-point win for the Bears pulled the home team within one, and a 7-2 decision at heavyweight from Ryder Cavey secured the win for the Bears.

The story of the match was the ability to obtain bonus points. Twice, Penn was within range of picking up a major decision, and twice came up just short. Brown, on the other hand, scored three bonus points off Marker’s pin to win the dual.

The Quakers rallied from an early 6-0 deficit to win five of the next six matches and take a 16-9 lead. After decisions from Vincent Moita and Anthony Finocchiaro of Brown to open the dual, Jeff Canfora got things started for Penn with a 12-2 major decision at 141 pounds over Jack Twomey-Kozak. Canfora had a takedown in each of the three periods, breaking the bout open with two sets of nearfall in the first.

Andrew Lenzi followed with a 6-2 decision over Steven Galliardo. Lenzi opened scoring with a takedown and three nearfall in the first period, but was unable to mount any offense the remainder of the match.

Steven Robertson won one of two expected “swing matches” with a 4-2 sudden victory decision over Justin Staudenmayer at 157 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Staudenmayer scored first on an escape in the second. Robertson would be hit for stalling shortly thereafter, but quickly connected on a takedown to take the lead. In the third, Staudenmayer rode out, but did not have riding time. His ride was able to elicit a second stall warning on Robertson, though, to tie the match. In overtime, Robertson powered through on a takedown to earn the win.

No. 17 Casey Kent made it four wins in a row for Penn with a 7-1 decision over Phil Marano at 165 pounds. Kent looked to be on his way to bonus points again following a first-period takedown, but Marano would not be turned. Kent would add an escape and takedown in the second period, drawing a stall warning from Marano along the way. In the third, A second stall on Marano and riding time added two more points for Kent, but again Brown was able to avoid giving up bonus points.

Brown stopped Penn’s run with a 3-1 decision from Ricky McDonald at 174 over Zach Agostino, setting up what was expected to be the most exciting bout of the dual in No. 13 Lorenzo Thomas taking on No. 9 Ophir Bern stein.

The match lived up to its billing with plenty of mat action between the two All-American candidates. Thomas scored first after winning a scramble midway through the first period, but Bernstein would reverse in short fashion. Thomas fought to the end of the period, though, and escaped to take a 3-2 lead. In the second, Thomas chose down and would reverse Bernstein to build his lead. Bernstein would counter with a second reversal to make the score 5-4 after two periods. In the third, Bernstein escaped quickly to tie the match, but Thomas took the lead for good with a takedown midway through the final period. He would add 2:33 of riding time for the 8-5 decision.

With the Quakers ahead, 16-9, and two matches two go, a win at 197 would seal the dual. The Quakers appeared to be on their way with Mattiace ahead, 7-3, late in the bout off two first-period takedowns and one in the third. Off a restart with under a minute to go, Gus Marker reached back and locked up Mattiace’s neck, working the defensive fall at 6:50 for a huge swing.

With Penn still ahead, 16-15, Brown needed a win at heavyweight, and a counter from Ryder Cavey in the third did just that. Steven Graziano took a shot midway through the final period, looking to break a 1-1 tie, but Cavey turned it against him for a takedown and three backpoints to lock up a 7-2 decision.

Penn returns to The Palestra on Feb. 15 for Senior Day as the Quakers host Columbia at 1 p.m.

125: Vincent Moita (Brown) dec. Jeremy Schwartz (Penn), 3-1 Brown leads, 3-0
133: Anthony Finocchiaro (Brown) dec. Ken Bade (Penn), 11-4 Brown leads, 6-0
141: Jeff Canfora (Penn) MD Jack Twomey-Kozak (Brown), 12-2 Brown leads, 6-4
149: Andrew Lenzi (Penn) dec. Steven Galiardo (Brown), 6-2 Penn leads, 7-6
157: Steve Robertson (Penn) dec. Justin Staudenmayer (Brown), 4-2 SV Penn leads, 10-6
165: No. 17 Casey Kent (Penn) dec. Phil Marano (Brown), 7-1 Penn leads, 13-6
174: Ricky McDonald (Brown) dec. Zach Agostino (Penn), 3-1 Penn leads, 13-9
184: No. 13 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) dec. No. 9 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 8-5 Penn leads, 16-9
197: Gus Marker (Brown) FALL Frank Mattiace (Penn), 6:10 Penn leads, 16-15
285: Ryder Cavey (Brown) dec. Steven Graziano (Penn), 7-2 Brown leads, 18-16