The Eagles dropped the last four matches of the night to lose by a score of 19-14 to the Kent State University Golden Flashes at the Convocation Center on Sunday, despite being in the lead early in the competition.
Eastern Michigan (7-3, 2-3) faced off against Kent State (10-3, 3-1) and lost its third straight match after a strong start to the season. The Eagles came out and took a 14-6 lead but allowed the Golden Flashes to win four straight matches to end the dual and secure its win on the road.
“Our expectations were to win the dual, I think we were fully capable to do that and we were in position to do so. We just lost a couple too many close matches that we needed to win to win the dual.” Eastern coach David Bolyard said. “We just need to figure out how to win close matches against really good teams.”
The dual started off with redshirt freshman Dakota Juarez but he would fall in a 2-0 decision. Redshirt Junior Jacob Davis would rebound the Eagles with a 5-1 decision that would even the overall score to 3-3.
Redshirt freshman Derek Hillman came out and dominated in a 11-7 decision, which featured him achieving over three minutes of riding time to give the Eagles the lead at 6-3.
Next up was nationally ranked Anthony Abro, a redshirt senior who was hoping to continue his dominant season. Although, Abro struggled early and was unable to comeback against the deficit as he fell 10-6, which allowed Kent State draw level again.
In the heavyweight division, Gage Hutchinson dominated his opponent, winning a technical fall victory, 17-0. Hutchinson’s win gave the Eagles a 11-6 lead over Kent State.
Redshirt freshman Armondo Torres then took a 5-1 victory in overtime to build on the Eagles lead.
With four matches left Eastern Michigan looked to secure the victory, but couldn’t hold on against a strong Golden Flashes squad.
Redshirt freshman Blake McGuire of EMU would lose in a major decision, 10-2, to Mack McGuire of Kent State that would cut the deficit to 14-10.
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Springer would lose in a low scoring and tight matchup 3-2.
With the score at 14-13, redshirt junior Nicholas Barber looked to re-establish the Eagles lead. Barber, in turn, lost 10-7 and the Flashes would take a 16-14 lead going into the final match.
Redshirt senior Michael Shaw had a heavy challenge in order to give Eastern the win as he faced No. 2 ranked wrestler Ian Miller at 157. Miller dominated the match and won 8-2 to give the Flashes a 19-14 victory.
“I think we’re doing a lot of the right things. There are just some small things we need to do to win these close matches. We have what we need to be good, we have effort and we have the right kids, we just need to keep moving forward,” Bolyard said.
The Eagles have a two-week break to rebound from the loss, when they host the Northern Illinois University Huskies at the Convocation Center on Senior Day, January 30.