Bald Eagles drop EWL home match

LOCK HAVEN — The riding time clock inched within five seconds of hitting the magic 1-minute mark for Lock Haven’s Jared Siegrist on Thursday night. That minute of riding time would all have but ensured the sophomore of a win at 174 pounds against Edinboro’s Ty Schoffstall.

But just a few seconds shy of that mark, Schoffstall broke free on the edge of the circle. Less than 10 seconds later, the 20th-ranked Fighting Scot scored a critical takedown which turned the tide of the bout and of the dual meet. Schoffstall’s last-second one-point win over Siegrist propelled Edinboro to a 22-14 EWL win at Thomas Fieldhouse last night.

“He wrestled hard. He was aggressive like he always is,” Lock Haven coach Scott Moore said. “He needs to improve a little bit on his match strategy and understanding what position he’s in with short time left and how much riding time he has and how close he is to winning the match.”

The Fighting Scots held a 16-14 lead heading into the final bout at heavyweight, but Lock Haven was once again without nationally-ranked Thomas Haines who weighed in, but didn’t wrestle. Haines hasn’t competed since the Southern Scuffle exactly a month ago because of a nagging injury.

Last night instead of running Haines out on to the mat against 18th-ranked Billy Miller in the decisive bout of the dual, Derek Dragon got the call at 285 and was pinned in the second period. In all three of Lock Haven’s (10-3, 2-2 EWL) losses this year, the Bald Eagles have had a chance to win the dual with a win at heavyweight, but didn’t have Haines available to wrestle.

“I’m ready for him to go out there, but he has to make that decision for himself before he goes out and competes,” Moore said. “That’s where we’re at right now. He’s able to go out there. But in Division I wrestling against tough guys, you have to be mentally confident as well. We have to keep his best interests in mind.”

The combination of not having Haines and dropping a tight bout at 174 it led into the final 15 seconds spelled the first home loss for the Bald Eagles since Dec. 3, 2016 when it lost by six points to Rider.

“Us in the lighter weights, we have to get the job done twice as much not having (Haines) there,” Lock Haven senior Ronnie Perry said. “That’s a lot of points for us to not have him there. It’s tough, but it’s something we have to step up and do. As seniors and starters, we have to step up and pick up the slack.”

And the points just weren’t as easy to come by Thursday night as they have been for Lock Haven. Only Perry and Chance Marsteller picked up bonus-point wins, with each taking a major decision.

Part of that was because the Bald Eagles struggled to add points in the top position, an area it has been so strong in all year. LHU scored just three sets of back points throughout the dual. One came from Kyle Shoop in a 7-2 win at 141 pounds, with Perry and Marsteller each adding four-point near falls.

“We spent some time on top in three or four weights, but we didn’t get to the positions we needed,” Moore said. “The official wasn’t making the guys work up from bottom and the stall calls weren’t coming. When the guy is not opening up, it’s a little harder.”

Perry said the struggle on top is part of the cat-and-mouse game he and his teammates are facing now that their reputation as tough riders is spreading around the country. Perry said it’s on he and his teammates to figure out how to score points even when their opponents aren’t opening up.

“When you get good as a team or individually, guys are going to scout you and know where you want to be and they don’t want to let you get there,” Perry said. “So you need to come up with another score that they’re not looking at, and then you can come back to your normal stuff.”

Lock Haven and Edinboro had split the first six bouts of the night with Marsteller’s major decision being enough to give the Bald Eagles an 11-10 lead. It’s why there was so much importance on the 174-pound bout and its eventual outcome.

Siegrist had the 20th-ranked Schoffstall, a returning NCAA qualifier, on the ropes for much of the match. He battled to a scoreless first period and followed Schoffstall’s escape in the second with a takedown as he scrambled through a backdoor finish for a 2-1 lead. Siegrist added another point to that lead in the third period with an escape.

Schoffstall tied the match with a takedown with 1:24 to go in the third, but Siegrist almost immediately got a reversal to get the lead back at 5-3. He was staring the riding time bonus in the face as the clock ticked under 20 seconds when Schoffstall got the fateful escape which turned the tide of the bout.

In a matter of about 12 seconds, Siegrist went from bring on the brink of securing the win to fighting for an escape to tie the bout.

“He’s young, he’s a true sophomore. He competes hard and he wants to win,” Moore said. “All those intangibles are there, he just has to improve on his match strategy. Hopefully that’ll come at the right time at EWLs.”

125: No. 10 Sean Russell, E, maj. dec. Luke Werner, 20-9. 133: No. 18 Korbin Myers, E, dec. D.J. Fehlman, 9-4. 141: No. 24 Kyle Shoop, LHU, dec. Nate Hagan, 7-2. 149: No. 16 Ronnie Perry, LHU, maj. dec. Jensen Lorea, 18-5. 157: No. 29 Andrew Shomers, E, dec. Alex Klucker, 7-0. 165: No. 8 Chance Marsteller, LHU, maj. dec. Fritz Hoehn, 12-4. 174: No. 20 Ty Schoffstall, E, dec. Jared Siegrist, 6-5. 184: No. 31 Corey Hazel, LHU, dec. Zach Ancewicz, 2-0. 197: Dylan Reynolds, E, dec. Trey Hartsock, 2-0. 285: No. 18 Billy Miller, E, pinned Derek Dragon, 4:37.

Takedowns: Edinboro 18, Lock Haven 10.

Records: Lock Haven (10-3, 2-2 EWL); Edinboro (6-3, 4-1 EWL)