Wrestling opens season with Fall Brawl

The Lions display their depth against teams from Divisions I and III. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk.)

The Ursinus College Fall Brawl marked the opening tournament for the sixth-ranked wrestling squad. While some of the top wrestlers did not compete to rest up for the first dual meet, the Lions still had a great showing. This individual event gave the Lions the perfect opportunity to display their depth against both Division I and Division III schools. While only two placed, the day was still successful as the men used this tournament to prepare themselves for another successful season.

“There are guys at the Ursinus tournament that come from DI programs, so a lot of losses we had were against very good guys,” junior Joey Dicarlo said. “So just getting on the mat and getting started with the season for the young guys and picking up some big wins is important, and that shows the promise that our season is going to have.”

Leading the Lions was junior Nate Leer, who wrestled in the 197-pound weight class. Leer, who had struggled with injuries the past two seasons, impressively finished second out of 20 competitors and easily made his way to the semifinals before defeating a difficult Ursinus College opponent, 7-4. His run came to an end against another Bear with an 11-1 loss in the championship round.

“Nate had a great day and has been working like an animal in the room, because 197 is not an easy weight class,” DiCarlo said. “I think he is going to continue to compete well for us during the season.”

Sophomore Dylan Thorsen also had a great start to the season by finishing third at 149 pounds. After receiving a bye and then earning two straight victories, Thorsen had a tough match against a Division I opponent from Franklin & Marshall. Despite losing 5-3 in OT, Thorsen held his own ground.

“He lost in overtime so it was a great match all the way through the end,” DiCarlo said. “The only reason he went to overtime was because Thorsen gave up a point for cautions, which is basically equivalent to walking a guy when the bases are loaded.”

Although it may have been a tough loss, Thorsen was not fazed and came back to take the third place match, 3-1.

“It is a tough thing to do,” DiCarlo said. “Most people say to wrestle back for third is harder than winning the tournament because you have to bounce back from a loss and win in order to place.”

While Leer and Thorsen were the only two to place, there were other wrestlers who won some big matches. Sophomore Mike Shaughnessy won four matches at 149, while Antonio Mancella and DiCarlo both worked their way to three wins at 165 and 133, respectively.

With team captains Brian Broderick and Zach Zotollo returning for the first dual meet against Stevens Institute of Technology, DiCarlo and the squad are looking to turn some heads.

“I think we are on track to have one of the best dual meet seasons in a couple of years,” he said. “(Just because we) are ranked sixth does not mean we are the sixth best team in the country. We have to go out there and prove it by winning and earning that ranking.”