YORK, PA – The York College wrestling squad notched a thrilling come-from-behind 22-19 win over Messiah College in a battle of nationally ranked squads on Friday night at Charles Wolf Gymnasium in York. The Spartans, who are ranked 24th, improve to 7-3 overall while the Falcons, the 21st ranked team in the nation, suffer their first loss as they fall to 4-1.
The match was in front of a full Wolf Gymnasium as the Falcons brought a strong contingent to York, making for a fantastic atmosphere on Friday night.
The Spartans trailed 19-13 heading into the final two weight classes. York's Kyle Minogue (Miller Place, N.Y./Miller Place) trailed 3-2 entering the third period of the 197-pound bout. Minogue, one of the Spartans' best wrestlers, turned over Travis Ebersole and got the pin 45 seconds into the final period, tying the match at 19. That set the stage for the decisive heavyweight match.
Freshman Mike Spencer (Pompton Plains, N.J./Pequannock Township) came up with one of the biggest wins of his young career as he downed the Falcons' Charles Jones to earn the team win. Jones had a 2-1 lead heading into the second period but Spencer got an escape and then a quick take down to push to a 4-2 lead. Spencer rode Jones the rest of the second and third periods to earn the 5-2 win and, in the process, give the Spartans the three-point win.
In the 125-pound bout, York's Kenny Arentz (Reading, Pa./Governor Mifflin) got off to a quick start, leading 5-0 after the first period. Messiah's Daniel Rodriguez came back to outscore Arentz 3-0 in the second period as his deficit stood at two heading to the third period. The two wrestlers went back and forth in the third with Rodriguez earning a 3-2 edge in the period but Arentz had enough riding time to record an 8-6 win.
At 133, York's Joey Giaccio (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) started off slow as he trailed the Falcons' Zach Snow 2-1 after the first period. Giaccio then turned it on in the second, outscoring Snow 8-0 to push out to a 9-2 lead. Giaccio closed out the match with a strong third period as he took home a 12-3 major decision, pushing York's lead to 7-0.
Messiah's Kaleb Loht, the ninth ranked 141 pounder in the nation, got the Falcons on the board in the third match of the night. Loht led 6-2 after the first period and never looked back as he notched a 14-4 major decision win over Victor Signorelli (Oak Ridge, N.J./Twin Valley). York's Vinny Pisani (Orange, Calif./El Modena) got the Spartans back on track at 149 as the seventh ranked wrestler in his weight class pinned Chris Williamson just before the end of the first period at the 2:55 mark. Pisani's pinfall win gave the Spartans a 13-4 lead.
Freshman Adam Kritzer (Herdon, Pa./Line Moutain) looked good early in the 157 pound bout but Messiah's Josh Bressler caught Kritzer and pinned him at the 5:40 mark, getting the Falcons back in the match, trimming York's lead to 13-10.
The 165 pound bout was non-stop action from the start. York's Drew Spector (West Deptford, N.J./West Deptford) and Messiah's Jacob English were knotted at five through a frantic first period of action. English took a 7-6 lead after the second period and then rode Spector over the final two minutes of the match to earn a hard-fought 8-6 win. The victory by English tied the match at 13.
The Falcons took their first lead of the night after a highly entertaining 174-pound bout. The Falcons' Ricardo Plummer edged York's T.J. Demetrio (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) 8-5 in the match. The third period was back and forth before Plummer got a late take down to secure the win. Messiah pushed the lead to 19-13 after Josh Thompson earned a 2-0 win at 184 pounds. Thompson got a third period escape and got the riding time point to earn the two point win over York's Seth Snyder (Ashton, Pa./Sun Valley). It looked bad for the home team as York trailed by six heading into the final two weight classes. That set the stage for the heroics of Minogue and Spencer as the Spartans notched the comeback win.
The Spartans are now off until January 5 when they return to action at the North/South Duals hosted by Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa.
Mike Spencer photo courtesy of Joe Wydner - Athletic Communications Student Intern