Late Surge Pushes the Eagles to Win Over Old Dominion

Late Surge Pushes the Eagles to Win Over Old Dominion

WASHINGTON - The American University wrestling team registered its fourth dual victory of the season on Sunday, overcoming non-conference foe Old Dominion in Bender Arena, 25-14.

The Eagles are now 4-8 overall for the season as they head into the final two matches of the regular season while the Monarchs close out the travel portion of their schedule at 6-10 overall.

AU took an early lead in the match, with senior Esteban Gomez-Rivera (133) returning to the mat to register a 4-3 decision over Old Dominion's Alex Madrigal.  Gomez-Rivera, ranked 26th in the latest NCAA Coaches Poll for the 133-pound weight class, now holds a 19-3 overall record for the season, 9-1 in duals.

Sophomore Jack Mutchnik was on the mat next in the 141-pound weight class, and battled ODU's Kevin Budock through nine periods before taking the criteria decision.  The pair started with a pair of scoreless periods before an early escape by Mutchnik gave him a 1-0 edge to start the third.  From there it was a back-and-forth battle between the two wrestlers with Budock registering a takedown late in the third and Mutchnik taking riding time to push the match into overtime.  Mutchnik continued to tally early escapes throughout the three overtime periods, with Budock responding during the first two before running out of time in the third.

Sophomore Michael Sprague (149) kept the momentum rolling for the Eagles, pinning ODU's Michael Hayes at the 6:12 mark to give American a 12-0 lead over the Monarchs.

ODU responded with a set of victories of their own, eventually gaining a one-point edge over AU with a pair of decisions over senior Cole Moseley (165) and senior Jason Grimes (184), and a pair of major decisions against senior Tom Page (157) and sophomore Joe Salvi (174). 

The Monarchs lead was short-lived, though, as the Eagles closed the match with three consecutive wins, starting with a fall for junior Jeric Kasunic (197) against Kaleab Fetahi.  

Junior Brett Dempsey (HWT) followed with a 3-2 decision over Will Hilliard and sophomore Josh Terao (125) closed the day with a 13-3 major decision over Steven Simpson to give the Eagles their final 11-point lead.

The Eagles will return for one final home dual, hosting George Mason at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17.  The match will also double as senior day, with Esteban Gomez-RiveraJason GrimesCole MoseleyTom Page and Joe Salvi all honored as members of the 2017 graduating class. 

For the latest on AU Wrestling, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Wrestling.  

American 25, Old Dominion 14

133: #26 Esteban Gomez-Rivera dec. Alex Madrigal (ODU), 4-3
141: Jack Mutchnik dec. Kevin Budock (ODU), 4-4 (Criteria)
149: Michael Sprague fall Michael Hayes (ODU), 6:12
157: Larry Early (ODU) maj. dec. Tom Page, 14-5
165: Seldon Wright (ODU) dec. Cole Moseley, 8-5
174: Antonio Agee (ODU) maj. dec. Joe Salvi, 12-3
184: Jack Dechow (ODU) dec. Jason Grimes, 4-2
197: #29 Jeric Kasunic fall Kaleab Fetahi (ODU), 2:52
285: Brett Dempsey dec. Will Hilliard (ODU), 3-2
125: #10 Josh Terao maj. dec. Steven Simpson (ODU), 13-3 

Old Dominion Post-Match with head coach Teague Moore