The defending national champion Iowa Hawkeyes defeated Ohio State, 21-12 Friday night inside the Covelli Center.
After Michigan rolled into Columbus and took eight of 10 bouts a week ago in what could only be described as a rout, Ohio State fans may not have expected much from the home team versus No. 2 Iowa Friday night. The two meets couldn't have been more dissimilar, however, as the Buckeyes turned in one of their best performances of the season – even if in a losing effort – winning a pair of upsets and holding all but two opponents to the narrowest of decisions.
The story of the night was Carson Kharchla's upset of No. 1 Alex "The Bull" Marinelli, himself an Ohio native, in the biggest victory of Kharchla's collegiate career. The match was a battle from the start, with Marinelli holding just enough riding time late in the third period that Kharchla needed a takedown to win.
The night got started with another big-time upset, as No. 17 Malik Heinselman took No. 10 Drake Ayala to overtime, and won sudden victory to put Ohio State on the board in the opening bout. The match was a great example of Heinselman's development, and how much his strength has improved to match his speed and agility.
Following the big win at 125, Ohio State's Dylan Koontz dropped a technical fall to No. 3 Austin DeSanto, but that was the only match that truly got away from the Buckeyes, and one of only two bonus-point victories for either team.
At 141 Dylan D'Emilio held his own against No. 2 Jaydin Eierman, a four-time All American and national runner-up.
D'Emilio and Jashon Hubbard at 157 both dropped 4-0 decision that felt like bouts that could have been upsets for Ohio State; D'Emilio had a couple of nice shots that he couldn't quite finish, while Hubbard generally needs to up his attack rate to complement his stingy defense.
No. 2 Sammy Sasso put Ohio State's second win on the board with a gritty 3-2 victory over No. 10 Max Murin. The third period made fans of both teams sweat as the combatants traded reversals in the final 80 seconds of the match, with Sasso getting the go-ahead score with just 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
Ohio State's fourth and final victory of the night came at 184, as Kaleb Romero held off a game Abe Assad and picking up the team's second win of the night in Sudden Victory. Training partner Ethan Smith at 174 came up short late in the third against No. 2 Michael Kemerer in a battle that feels like it should happen again in March.
With Romero's victory, Ohio State pulled within two points of Iowa in the team score, but the last two matches both fell Iowa's way.
At 197 Gavin Hoffman looked outclassed in the first period, as No. 4 Jacob Warner racked up two minutes and 30 seconds of riding time, but a stall call against the Hawkeye and a quick escape in the second put Hoffman back even at 2-2. Trailing 4-2 early in the third, Hoffman scored his first takedown of the night, earned another penalty point as Warner was flagged again for stalling, but the riding time from the first period was too much to overcome, and the Hawkeye walked away with the 6-5 decision.
Heavyweight Tate Orndorff scored early against No. 5 Tony Cassioppi with an arm-spin straight out of his Greco-Roman playbook. Unfortunately it seemed to be the only cartridge he had in the chamber, as Cassioppi racked up a 13-4 major decision that was much too close to a fall for comfort.
Iowa isn't quite as long in the collective tooth as was Michigan with its crop of graduate athletes, but is still one of the more veteran-heavy squads in the conference. Their veteran savvy and excellent mat skills showed up at key moments, and the fact that Ohio State was in all but a couple of matches speaks well of the Buckeyes, particularly after the way things went down versus the Wolverines.
Two upsets, including one over the top-ranked man in the country, plus winning both matches that went to sudden victory are the types of things a team can build on as January inches toward February and the postseason. There are no moral victories, but there are learning opportunities and confidence-building wins for guys like Malik Heinselman and Carson Kharchla.
|125||No. 17 Malik Heinselman, decision over No. 10 Drake Ayala (7-5, SV-1)||3||0|
|133||No. 3 Austin DeSanto, victory by TECHNICAL FALL over Dylan Koontz (19-4)||3||5|
|141||No. 2 Jaydin Eierman, decision over No. 23 Dylan D'Emilio (4-0)||3||8|
|149||No. 2 Sammy Sasso, decision over No. 10 Max Murin (3-2)||6||8|
|157||No. 12 Kaleb Young, decision over Jashon Hubbard (4-0)||6||11|
|165||No. 7 Carson Kharchla, decision over No. 1 Alex Marinelli (3-2)||9||11|
|174||No. 2 Michael Kemerer, decision over No. 7 Ethan Smith (6-3)||9||14|
|184||No. 7 Kaleb Romero, decision over No. 18 Abe Assad (3-1, SV-1)||12||14|
|197||No. 4 Jacob Warner, decision over No. 20 Gavin Hoffman (6-5)||12||17|
|HWT||No. 5 Tony Cassioppi, major decision over No. 12 Tate Orndorff (13-4)||12||21|
Next Up: Ohio State hosts Maryland (5-6, 0-2 in the Big Ten) at the Covelli Center, Sunday at 1 p.m.