The Eagles stormed back after going down 3-14 early on in the dual meet against Cleveland State to take a 15-14 lead, but ultimately Cleveland State proved too much to handle and handed the Eagles a 20-15 loss Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
Eastern got off to a good start when Anthony Abro won the first match for the team going up against Nick Corba in the 197 lb. weight class. Abro had trailed after two periods but came back to win in the final seconds of the third period of the match to go up 4-3 and win by decision.
“In that situation I just gotta find a way to score. Just have to help the team,” Arbo said about his last second comeback win.
That willingness to do whatever it took would soon be a trend among the team members later on in the meet, after the Eagles found themselves in a rough spot by dropping four matches in a row.
Down in the meet by 11 through 5 matches, the Eagles’ chances of coming out victorious were looking slim. But the team would not go down without a fight, and Eagle Nick Barber would be the one to get things going back in the right direction.
After two periods in his 149 lb. match against Viking Nick Montgomery, Barber was down 4-3, but less than 10 seconds into the third period, Barber found a way to tie things up at 4 all. Barber found himself down 5-6 with 1:20 left, but with 7 seconds left, he found the will to score two final points to get the win. This brought the meet’s score up to 6-14 and this was only the beginning.
Momentum really seemed to be going in Eastern’s favor when Brandon Zeerip faced Cleveland State’s Latrell Davis. The two were stingy to give up any points in the first period and Zeerip found himself down 3-4 at the end of the second period. With 1:06 left in the third period, Zeerip pinned Davis and in one fowl swoop brought Eastern back into the meet making the score 12-14.
Next man up Devin Marry would continue the winning streak with a 7-3 decision over Matt Donohoe in the 174 lb. weight group. This would put the Eagles up 15-14, completing what seemed to be a great comeback. But unfortunately the lead would only be short-lived.
Eastern’s Derek Davison of the 165 lb. weight group almost completed a comeback of his own after going down 4-2 after two periods, but ultimately would come up just short and lose the decision 6-7. Eastern’s Mike Curby put up a valiant fight as well, and was tied 3-3 with Vikings Xavier Dye after two periods in the 184 lb. match, but Curby would go on to drop the decision 6-4.
The Eagles fought back hard all night but in the end came up just short of completing the ultimate comeback. A score that seemed to be getting out of hand early on turned out to be a 15-20 in Cleveland State’s favor. The loss is the Eagles second straight and drops their record down to 7-5 on the year while moving Cleveland State up to a record of 3-2.
Eastern has two more home dual meets before going on the road to take on Kent State. The Eagles next upcoming test will be when they take on fellow MAC competitor Ohio (4-3) Sunday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. at the EMU Convocation Center.
Cleveland State 20, Eastern Michigan 15
197: Anthony Abro (EMU) dec. Nick Corba (CSU), 4-3 (EMU, 3-0)
HWT: No. 14 Riley Shaw maj. dec. Gage Hutchison (EMU), (CSU, 4-3)
125: No. 14 Ben Willeford (CSU) maj. dec. Blake Caudill (EMU), 10-2 (CSU, 8-3)
133: Alfredo Gray (CSU) dec. Alexander Calandrino (EMU), 11-5 (CSU, 11-3)
141: Mike Carlone (CSU) dec. Michael Shaw (EMU), 4-3 (CSU, 14-3)
149: Nicholas Barber (EMU) dec. Nick Montgomery (CSU), 7-6 (CSU, 14-6)
157: Brandon Zeerip (EMU) pins Latrell Davis (CSU), 5:54 (CSU, 14-12)
165: Devan Marry (EMU) dec. Matt Donohoe (CSU), 7-3 (EMU, 15-14)
174: Gabe Stark (CSU) dec. Derek Davison (EMU), 7-6 (CSU, 17-15)
184: Xavier Dye (CSU) dec. Mike Curby (EMU), 6-4 (CSU, 20-15)