Wrestling Stumbles Against Nation's Best at WPI Duals

Wrestling Stumbles Against Nation's Best at WPI Duals

WORCESTER, Mass. – The Castleton University wrestling program ran into a buzzsaw of some of the nation's best teams on Saturday afternoon, dropping all three matches against top-25 opponents at the WPI Duals.

The 21st-ranked Spartans opened the day with a 25-12 loss to No. 24 Stevens Tech, before falling 29-15 to 14th-ranked Roger Williams and 31-19 to No. 12 WPI. The losses move Castleton to 3-4 in dual competition this season.

Mitchell LaFlam went 3-0 on the day for Castleton at the 197-pound weight class, earning a pair of victories via fall and one by way of decision. Michael Gonyea was 2-0 for Castleton at the 133-pound level, winning via fall and decision in his two matches. Jesse Webb went 1-1, taking a 5-2 decision in his first match before dropping a tight, 2-0, decision in his second match of the day. Max Tempel was 1-1 at the 141-pound class, and wrestled up a weight for the first time this season, though he fell via decision at the 149-pound class.

The Spartans opened the day against Stevens Tech, where Owen Kretschmer got Castleton on the board first with a victory via 6-2 decision. Stevens Tech took the next five matches, however, to take a commanding 20-3 lead. Castleton got back on the board when Chance LaPier claimed a sudden-victory win in the third overtime period, 5-4, to cut the deficit to 20-6. After Alexander Green lost via technical fall to put Castleton down, 25-6, LaFlam and Webb each won their matches via decision, but it wasn't enough as Castleton fell 25-12 in the opening match.

In the second dual of the day, Gonyea was the first Spartan on the board with a victory by way of a fall just 3:46 into his match at the 133-pound class, giving Castleton a 6-4 lead. Roger Williams then rattled off six consecutive victories in the ensuing weight classes before LaFlam picked up a win via fall at the 197-pound class and Mason Osborn won a 10-6 decision at the 285-pound class, but Castleton fell again, 29-15.

In the day's final battle against 12th-ranked WPI, The Spartans got off to a roaring start, claiming each of the first three weight classes to go up 13-0. Frank Darwak won a major decision, 14-4, before Gonyea claimed an 8-4 decision to make it 7-0 in favor of Castleton. After Tempel pinned his opponent in just 1:07, WPI rattled off wins via fall in four of the following five matches, with a victory via major decision as well to take a commanding lead, 28-13 lead. LaFlam picked up Castleton's final win of the day, pinning his opponent in 2:54, before Webb dropped a tight decision to close out the match, 31-19.

Castleton returns to the mat on December 1 when it travels to Gorham, Maine, for the Ted Reece Invitational hosted by the University of Southern Maine. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.