PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/24/2013 – The #23 University of Pennsylvania wrestling team won the Battle of 33rd Street in the wrestling mat with an impressive 37 – 0 win over the Drexel Dragons. Penn won five matches by majority decision and one technical fall in the meet. The Red and Blue also won the three highlight matches getting late points to get the shutout.
“We make our breaks,” said Penn Coach Rob Eiter. “I think our guys have confidence now. They feel that no matter what the situation is we are going to end up scoring points. In years past we didn’t quite have that, there was always a little bit of doubt. Our guys stuck with the game plan.”
Penn held form in most of the matches. There were three featured battles that could have gone either way. The most anticipated was at 197 pounds when #10 Micah Burak of Penn battled Brandon Palik of Drexel. Going into the third period Burak had riding time in a scoreless draw. From the bottom Burak escaped late in the period then scored a quick takedown and back points to earn a 6 – 1 victory. The loss was the fist for Palik was his first in 13 consecutive matches. His last defeat was on November 24, 2012.
“I got the takedown and got him on his back,” said Burak. “It opened up the match instead of being up 2 – 0. I built my lead.”
“I wanted to get out on bottom as quick as possible, and wrestle how I wanted to wrestle, stay focused and try to get a win.”
At 141 pounds Ian Korb ranked #9 met 19th ranked Frank Cimato of Drexel. Late in the third period Korb got a takedown and a riding time point to earn a 4 – 1 win.
The most thrilling match was at 157 pounds. Troy Hernandez of Penn held a slim 3 – 2 lead late in third period. Drexel 157 pounder Austin Sommer got in on an attempted single leg takedown. Hernandez battled on one leg while Sommer went for a decisive takedown. Both wrestlers battled for 30 seconds. Hernandez kept Sommer from taking him to the mat. The horn sounded with no more points being awarded, and Hernandez earned the 3 – 2 victory.
The major decisions were taken by #14 Mark Rappo (125), who had to avoid a late pin attempt by Jacob Goodwin of Drexel, Jeff Canfora (133), Andrew Lenzi (149), Ian Korb (174), and Canaan Bethea (184). At 167 pounds Casey Kent of Penn got a technical fall defeating Connor Moran of Drexel 17 – 2.
Penn Coach Rob Eiter earned his 50th career win. He prepares his 10 – 3 team for a two-week break to prepare for the EIWA Championships at Rutgers. Drexel falls to 8 – 12 and also has a two-week layoff before competing in the CAA Championships.
This was the first time the West Philadelphia neighbors have met since 2007. That day Penn needed victories in the last two matches to secure a 22 – 17 victory. This meet was not as close, but both coaches Rob Eiter and Azevedo would like to see the neighborhood rivalry continue.
“I hope so,” said Drexel Coach Matt Azevedo. “The last time we wrestled was 2007. The first thing I did when I got here was talk to Rob (Eiter) about renewing this battle. I hope we can keep it going. It doesn’t make sense for us not to wrestle each other when we are three blocks away from each other. It’s a home match whether you are the home or away team. I hope we keep it going.”
“Sure,” said Eiter. Coach (Matt) Azevedo and I go back a long way. He’s going to build that program back to respectability. His kids have bought into his system. It will take some time but there in is no reason not continue the matchup.”
125: #14 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Jacob Goodwin (DU), 15-7
Penn leads, 4-0
133: Jeff Canfora (Penn) def. Jordan Hart (DU), 10-2
Penn leads, 8-0
141: #9 C.J. Cobb (Penn) def. #19 Frank Cimato (DU), 4-1
Penn leads, 11-0
149: Andrew Lenzi (Penn) def. Josh Yurasits (DU), 11-0
Penn leads, 15-0
157: Troy Hernandez (Penn) def. Austin Sommer (DU), 3-2
Penn leads, 18-0
165: Casey Kent (Penn) def. Connor Moran (DU), 17-2
(7:00) Penn leads, 23-0
174: Ian Korb (Penn) def. Kevin Matyas (DU), 12-4 Penn
184: Canaan Bethea (Penn) def. Brian Sternlieb (DU),
11-2 Penn leads, 31-0
197: #9 Micah Burak (Penn) def. #19 Brandon Palik (DU), 6-1
Penn leads, 34-0
285: Steven Graziano (Penn) def. Jon Max Wright (DU),
5-2 Penn leads, 37-0
Written By: Glenn Papazian