EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Gardner-Webb dropped its second SoCon wrestling match in a row, falling 21-17 at SIU Edwardsville in another dual that came down to the final bout.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (5-5, 2-3 SoCon) fell behind early, as nationally-ranked 125-pounder Freddie Rodriguez opened the match with a 19-4 tech fall win over Landon LoAlbo (5:46).
Gardner-Webb's Philip Anderson put up a battle at 133 pounds, but dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to John Muldoon as the 'Dogs fell into an early 8-0 hole. The Cougars (3-9, 3-2 SoCon) picked up another win at 141 pounds, as Trevor Feagans topped Dallas Roemer by a 10-7 score – pushing the early team score to 11-0.
Gardner-Webb began its rally with 149-pounder Chris Vasser, who stepped in with a 6-0 decision over 2016 NCAA qualifier John Fahy.
Veteran Ryan Mosley continued momentum, rolling to a dominant, 17-2 tech fall win (4:34) over Karsten Van Velsor at 157 pounds – a win that trimmed SIU Edwardsville's lead to 11-8 quickly. Tyler Marinelli followed with bonus points, capturing a major decision (9-1) at 165 pounds.
That win put Gardner-Webb on top 12-11 with four matches remaining and Austin Trott stepped onto the mat at 174 pounds riding a 10-match SoCon win streak. Trott fell in an upset, however, to Jake Residori – losing a 7-2 decision that changed the complexion of the dual and put the Runnin' Bulldogs in a 14-12 hole.
Hunter Gamble erased that deficit in rousing fashion, rumbling to a 19-4 tech fall over Jake Godinez at 184 pounds (7:00). Gamble's sterling performance put Gardner-Webb in the lead – 17-14 – with only two weight classes left on the card.
SIU Edwardsville captured a 12-0 major decision at 197 pounds to retake the lead and – in a battle of heavyweights ranked in the top-33 – the Cougars' Jake McKiernan survived a late scramble from Boyce Cornwell to hold on for a 3-2 decision.
That decision gave the Cougars a 21-17 victory in the first of two very tough road bouts for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Gardner-Webb will wrestle No. 19 South Dakota State at 5:00 pm Saturday.
SIU Edwardsville 21, Gardner-Webb 17
125: Freddie Rodriguez (SIUE) tech fall Landon LoAlbo (GWU); 19-4 (5:46) – 0-5
133: John Muldoon (SIUE) dec. Philip Anderson (GWU); 4-3 – 0-8
141: Trevor Feagans (SIUE) dec. Dallas Roemer (GWU); 10-7 – 0-11
149: Chris Vassar (GWU) dec. John Fahy (SIUE); 6-0 – 3-11
157: Ryan Mosley (GWU) tech fall Karsten Van Velsor (SIUE); 17-2 (4:34) – 8-11
165: Tyler Marinelli (GWU) major dec. Clayton Bass (SIUE); 9-1 – 12-11
174: Jake Residori (SIUE) dec. Austin Trott (GWU); 7-2 – 12-14
184: Hunter Gamble (GWU) tech fall Jake Godinez (SIUE); 19-4 (7:00) – 17-14
197: Jake Tindle (SIUE) major dec. Payton Mills (GWU); 12-0 – 17-18
285: Jake McKiernan (SIUE) dec. Boyce Cornwell (GWU); 3-2 – 17-21
TEAM RECORDS: SIU Edwardsville (3-9, 3-2 SoCon); Gardner-Webb (5-5, 2-3 SoCon)