FAIRFAX, Va. – Winning seven of 10 bouts, the American University wrestling team closed out its 2015-16 dual slate with a 27-11 victory at George Mason on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles end the season with a 6-9 dual record, while the Patriots fall to 7-14 on the season.
The match started at 125 pounds, where AU senior captain David Terao, ranked 14th in the nation, controlled the tempo throughout his bout. Leading 13-6 in the third period, Terao put his opponent on his back with 22 seconds on the clock, giving American the early 6-0 lead.
George Mason closed the gap in the team scoring with a tech fall at 133 pounds, but American extended its lead with a win at 141 pounds by redshirt senior Tyler Scotton. Scotton's takedown at the buzzer at the end of the first period proved to be the difference, as he held on for a 3-1 decision.
At 149 pounds, junior Tom Page dropped a hard-fought match to Blake Roulo. After heading into the final period with a 7-2 deficit, Page battled back to cut the margin to one point. However, Roulo scored a last-second takedown to earn the 10-7 win for the Patriots.
Senior captain John Boyle, ranked 14th at 157 pounds, faced a tough opponent in Greg Flournoy, GMU's top wrestler. After going scoreless in the first period, Boyle earned the first point of the match with a second-period escape, but Flournoy tied it up with an escape in the third period. Tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, Boyle came up with the only takedown of the match in sudden victory, winning the bout with 26 seconds on the clock.
The Eagles increased their lead as redshirt senior Mitchell Wightman scored a 4-0 decision, riding out his opponent in the third period. Meanwhile, the Patriots escaped with an 8-6 decision at 174 pounds, despite a strong third period by AU sophomore Michael Eckhart.
Junior Jason Grimes added another win for the Eagles, earning a 6-1 decision at 184 pounds with a late takedown in the third period. Meanwhile, sophomore Jeric Kasunic recorded his team-leading eighth fall of the season at 197 pounds, pinning his opponent in 58 seconds to clinch the team victory for the Eagles.
In the final bout of the afternoon, freshman heavyweight Jake Scanlan posted the Eagles' final victory, using a first period takedown to stake an early lead before holding on for a 3-2 decision.
"The last three dual meets, we've been wrestling really well," said American head coach Teague Moore. "Things that we've been working on all season are finally happening for us.
"With this dual especially, in a lot of those close battles, we did the little things that we've been working on. I'm really excited for these guys because the hard work they've been putting in is now paying off."
With the regular season under wraps, the Eagles will now prepare for the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships, which will be held March 5-6 at Princeton University.
"I don't want to see us change much from what we're doing now," said Moore. "I feel like we're firing on all cylinders. We manage our weight well, we live the right lifestyle—this is when all of those things really start coming into play for us.
"We're going to go home and focus on individual things that need to be done, but the EIWA's are essentially just another tournament. We can't make it any bigger than it is and I think these guys are ready for it."
American 27, George Mason 11
125: No. 14 David Terao (AU) fall Ibrahim Banduka, 6:38
133: Vince Rodriguez (GMU) tech fall James Giaccia, 16-1 (2:23)
141: Tyler Scotton (AU) dec. Tejon Anthony, 3-1
149: Blake Roulo (GMU) dec. Tom Page, 10-7
157: No. 14 John Boyle (AU) dec. Greg Flournoy, 3-1 (SV1)
165: Mitchell Wightman (AU) dec. Patrick Davis, 4-0
174: Ryan Forrest (GMU) dec. Michael Eckhart, 8-6
184: Jason Grimes (AU) dec. Luke Ludke, 6-1
197: Jeric Kasunic (AU) fall Cameron Houston, 0:58
HWT: Jake Scanlan (AU) dec. Matt Voss, 3-2