LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall captured three of the first four bouts but was unable to withstand a Drexel charge and fell 27-9 on Friday night at the Mayser Center. The Diplomats drop to 6-7 with the defeat, while the Dragons move to 8-9.
The Diplomats came out firing in the lower weight classes as they secured victories with close decisions at 133, 141, and 149 pounds to claim an early 9-3 advantage.
F&M's first triumph came at 133 as Robert Ruiz edged Jordan Hart by a 3-2 decision. Ruiz's takedown at the 2:18 mark of period one gave him the initial lead, but Hart clawed his way back with escapes in both period one and two to even up the score at 2-2. A tentative third period ensued from both sides, but Ruiz started on the bottom in period three, and worked hard for an escape with 56 seconds left to prevail by one.
In the most highly-anticipated bout of the evening, Richard Durso took down Frank Cimato in a battle of nationally-ranked grapplers at 141. Durso, ranked 19th by WrestlingReport.com, and Cimato, ranked 21st, duked it out in a low-scoring affair that nearly stretched into overtime. After a scoreless first, Cimato notched the first point with an escape at 1:43 in the second. Durso chose bottom to begin the third and squared up the bout with an escape at 1:26. As time nearly elapsed in the third, the F&M sophomore came through with a takedown and two-point nearfall, both with less than 10 seconds remaining, to secure the 5-1 victory by decision and avenge last year's loss to Cimato.
At 149, Andrew Murano made it three straight F&M wins with a 5-3 decision against Josh Yurasits. Trailing most the match, Murano was able to shake off a pair of second period penalty points with a strong third frame. The junior faced a 3-2 deficit heading into the third, but registered an escape at 1:49 and a takedown with one minute on the clock to nab the two-point win and give the Diplomats a 9-3 edge.
The Dragons grabbed victories at the final six spots in the lineup, including two narrow decisions at 157 and 285, to come out on top, 27-9.
Aaron Moldoff nearly tallied a victory for F&M with an inspired effort in the night's opening bout at 125 against Jake Goodwin, but his third period comeback attempt fell just short. Trailing 3-0 heading into the third, the freshman climbed back into the match with a takedown at the 1:06 mark, before evening things up by earning a penalty point with just 28 seconds remaining. With time winding down, Moldoff had enough riding time to earn a point and the win, but Goodwin's reversal with 17 ticks left proved to be the difference in the 5-3 decision.
Eric Norgard also put up a valiant effort in defeat at 157, ultimately falling 5-4 to Austin Sommer. Norgard nabbed the early lead with a takedown just 20 seconds in, and headed into the final frame all squared up with Sommer, 3-3. In the third, Sommer's reversal at the 1:30 mark earned him the win.
Alex Henry dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to Jon Wright at 285 in the final bout of the night. Wright tallied the bout's first points in the second frame with an escape at 1:54. Clinging to that 1-0 edge in the third, Henry earned a penalty point with 1:10 remaining, but Wright's 1:56 of riding time gave him the triumph.
The Diplomats are back in action next Friday at Millersville at 7:00 p.m.
125: Jake Goodwin, DREX, dec. Aaron Moldoff, F&M, 5-4.