WORCESTER, Mass. - The Plymouth State University wrestling team defeated Worcester Polytechnic Institute Wednesday evening, 21-17, in an exciting NECCWA conference match at WPI's Alumni Gym.
The dual meet featured five lead changes. Each squad won five matches, with one huge pin ultimately deciding matters and reversing the team's fortunes. Plymouth State is now 4-9 on the season, while WPI falls to 5-7. WPI was ranked seventh in New England entering the meet, while the Panthers were unranked.
The meet started at 149 pounds with WPI senior Bob Lyons (Harmony, R.I.) scoring a major decision to provide the hosts a quick 4-0 lead. Senior Dan Moskowitz (Amherst, N.H.), a defending New England Champion, claimed a 5-point technical fall at 157 pounds to put Plymouth State into the lead.
Joe Moskowitz, Dan's brother and also a defending New England champion for WPI, found himself trailing sophomore Brandon Black (Keene, N.H.) 3-0 entering the third period before eking out a 4-3 win. That returned the lead to WPI, 7-5. Junior Nick Gurney (Dixfield, Maine) then won for the visitors at 174 pounds and once again, Plymouth State led, 8-7.
The most anticipated match of the night took place at 184 with WPI senior Peter Krzyzewski (Kingston, MA), ranked #2 in New England, up against PSU senior Nate Kittredge (Vergennes, Vt.), ranked #3. It was a taut match for two periods, but Krzyzewski opened it up in the third to win, 9-2. That put WPI back into the lead, 10-8, and senior Mike D'Onofrio (Northboro, Mass.) easily won his match at 197, upping WPI's margin to 14-8, its largest lead of the night.
PSU freshman Shaun Wilbert (Toms River, N.J.) won an important match at heavyweight, cutting WPI's lead to 14-11.
It was at 125 pounds that was the real turning point. WPI freshman Dan Butay (Marlboro, Mass.) had what seemed to be a commanding 11-3 lead midway through the second period. A major decision for WPI would have put the Crimson & Gray in a commanding position with two matches to go. Twice Butay came within inches of a pin. But PSU freshman Chris Greenwood (Manchester, N.H./West), who had a record of 3-16, had other ideas. One quick reversal and it was Greenwood who came away with the pin, and with that the team's fortunes also reversed. Now up 17-14, Plymouth State was in command.
Spurred on by what he had just witnessed, sophomore Matt Friend (Jefferson, N.H.) won by major decision at 133 pounds, clinching the team win for the Panthers.
PSU has another dual match on the road Friday, Jan. 28, at Norwich (7:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of WPI Sports Information)
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