Air Force Falls Short Against Wyoming, 25-24
USAFA, Colo. -
After battling back from an early 12-0 deficit, the Air Force wrestling team was unable to complete thecome-from-behind victory, falling 25-24, to Wyoming Wednesday evening in Cadet East Gym. With the loss, the Falcons wrap up the season with a 5-7 dual record, while the Cowboys improve to 6-9.
The match started out at 149 pounds, where senior co-captain Josh Peterson (Comstock, Wis.), wrestling in his final home meet, faced off against Wyoming's Kyle Dye. Peterson started out with an early takedown, accumulating 1:10 of riding time before Dye scored an escape. After remaining on top for the first half of the second period, Peterson allowed to escape, tying the score at 2-2. Dye then caught Peterson off-guard with a quick takedown, leading to a fall at the 4:30 mark.
Freshman Anthony Dorward (Seattle, Wash.) notched a quick takedown against Dan Clum at 157 pounds, but allowed an escape by Clum less than 10 seconds later. Clum responded with a takedown of his own with over two minutes on the clock. With Dorward wrapped up, Clum recorded the pin at the 1:41 mark, giving the Cowboys the early 12-0 lead.
The 165-pound match featured Air Force's Beau Tresemer (Norman, Okla.) against Gary Dack. A tightly-battled opening period resulted in no score, with the first points of the match coming off an escape by Tresemer just seven seconds into the second period. Tresemer's takedown with 1:08 left on the clock resulted in a quick fall, as he pinned Dack in 3:57 for his 31st win of the season.
At 174 pounds, Steven Ratley (Fr., Arlington, Va.), competing in his first varsity dual meet of the season, faced off against Clint Stout. Ratley stepped up in his dual debut, scoring the first takedown just 27 seconds into the match. Using his patented "Rat Trap", Ratley pinned Stout in a time of 0:58 for his 11th fall of the season.
With the team score tied at 12-12, senior co-captain Luke Lefever (La Crosse, Wis.) went up against Samuel Wendland in the 184-pound bout. Wendland got on the scoreboard first with a takedown, but Lefever answered with an escape to bring it back to neutral. Another Wendland takedown with 30 seconds remaining in the period resulted in a 4-1 score at the end of the first. Wendland remained in control for most of the second period before Lefever scored an escape to come within two points. Lefever started out the final period on top, where he remained until Wendling's reversal. After allowing Lefever to escape, Wendling notched another takedown, bringing the score to 8-3. With an extra point for riding time, Wendling took the 9-3 decision to put the Cowboys up 15-12.
The Falcons regained an 18-15 lead after a Wyoming forfeit at 197 pounds. Next up was the heavyweight match, which pitted freshman Trey McLean (Grants Pass, Ore.) against Dusty Hoffschneider. After a scoreless first period, Hoffschneider scored an escape just eight seconds into the second period to get on the board for the only points of the period. McLean started the final period in the down position, and was issued a pair of stall warnings to give Hoffschneider an extra point. Hoffschneider remained on top for the duration of the period to give Hoffschneider the 3-0 decision with an extra point for riding time.
Air Force freshman Zachary Valdez (Parker, Colo.) took the mat at 125 pounds, going up against Bryce Leonhardt. Leonhardt scored the first points with a takedown in the first minute of the match and remained in control for the remainder of the opening period. Leonhardt's led grew to five, as he scored an escape and subsequent takedown to begin the second period. Valdez scored an escape to get on the board to close out the second period. Leonhardt dominated the third period, recording four takedowns while allowing four escapes by Valdez. With 3:51 in riding time, Leonhardt grabbed the 14-5 major decision.
Junior Matt Benza (Tamaqua, Pa.) faced Tyson Shatto in the 133-pound bout, with Shatto getting the first takedown two minutes into the match. Despite nearly getting put on his back at the end of the first period, Benza was able to score an escape at the buzzer to go into the second period down 2-1. Benza tied the score with an escape in the second period, but neither wrestler scored again in the period. The third period started in the neutral position where the two remained for most of the period. With just seven seconds left, Shatto scored a takedown to take the 5-2 victory with riding time, sealing the team victory for Wyoming.
The match wrapped up at 141 pounds, where sophomore Matt Crippes (Cloverdale, Calif.) recorded a takedown over Garrett Desmond in the first minute. After a pair of three-point near falls, Crippes took an 8-0 lead before Desmond managed an escape. Another takedown put Crippes up 10-1 at the end of the first period. Desmond scored a takedown midway through the second period, but Crippes scored an escape to increase his advantage to 11-3, followed by yet another takedown. Crippes chose the top position to start the third period and Desmond scored another escape. However, another Crippes takedown with just over a minute remaining led to his team-leading 19th fall of the season, getting the pin in a time of 5:57.
With the regular season wrapped up, the Falcons will prepare for the NCAA West Regional Championships in Fresno, Calif., on March 5. There select Air Force wrestlers will compete for the opportunity to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, March 18-20.
Wyoming 25, Air Force 24149 Kyle Dye (UW) win by fall Josh Peterson, 4:30157 Dan Clum (UW) win by fall Anthony Dorward, 1:41165 Beau Tresemer (AF) win by fall Gary Dack, 3:57174 Steven Ratley (AF) win by fall Clint Stout, 0:58184 Samuel Wendland (UW) dec. Luke Lefever, 9-3197 Brenden McLean (AF) win by forfeitHWT Dusty Hoffschneider (UW) dec. Trey McLean, 3-0125 Bryce Leonhardt (UW) maj. dec. Zachary Valdez, 14-5133 Tyson Shatto (UW) dec. Matt Benza, 5-2141 Matt Crippes (AF) win by fall Garrett Desmond, 5:57