Video by Stefan Modrich | Sports Reporter
No. 18 Stanford didn’t miss a beat after dismantling GCU Monday afternoon, defeating the Sun Devils (6-6, 1-1 Pac-12) handily later that night 22-10.
Both teams had little recovery time between meets, as ASU just hosted Iowa State, and Stanford visited nearby GCU. Sophomore Ares Carpio (125) started off against Stanford sophomore Evan Silver, and appeared hesitant in the third period of his match before mounting a furious rally, only to fall short 3-2. The win improved Silver’s record to 18-4 on the season.
A formidable opponent boasting four ranked wrestlers, the Cardinal (13-4, 1-1 Pac-12) presented ASU with challenges similar to those it experienced against Iowa State.
Redshirt sophomore Kalin Goodsite managed four escape points and a takedown but was overmatched by his opponent, No. 10 redshirt senior Ryan Mango, 13-6.
Sophomore Matt Kraus (141), who has been a standout for the Sun Devils as a middleweight, battled sophomore Peter Russo. Kraus shutout Russo for the first two periods, after which he lead 3-0. In the third, Kraus added to his lead and only allowed a single escape point in a 7-1 win.
“I just go out there and try to stick to what I learn on the mat, and keep working every day,” Kraus said. “I was looking to capitalize on mistakes my opponent made. I definitely need to work on getting into my offense, and scoring points on kids. That’s something I’ll keep on working on in the room.”
Kraus humbly discussed his recent success.
“I’m just going out there and having fun, lately when it’s been getting tough, I just remind myself why I’m doing it,” Kraus said.
Junior Preston McCalmon showed improved energy and hung with senior Donovan Halpin for the majority of the match, but his efforts appeared to be too little too late, as he fell 3-1.
Hesitation and indecisiveness have plagued the Sun Devils in key moments, and this was evident Monday night, even among the better performers.
“We’ve got to go out there and finish these matches,” coach Shawn Charles said. “A few of these guys need to capitalize on bringing back bonus points for the program once they’re winning their matches.
Sophomore Joel Smith continued to impress, taking a 9-2 lead into the third period against senior Bret Baumbach, finishing with a 10-4 victory. Graduate Nick Rex struggled against No. 18 redshirt freshman Jim Wilson, and was nearly shut out, losing 5-1.
Smith said the Sun Devils failed to take advantage of their chances.
“I think we did well, but there were a lot of chances we didn’t capitalize on, including myself,” Smith said. “I had a chance to get a major (decision) and bonus points and couldn’t get it done.”
“We’re fighting hard. We just turned around and had a tough dual Saturday and again today, and we’ve got a tough one coming up against Oregon State, and they’re better than last year, so we’re gonna have to bring it.”
Sophomore Ray Waters, reliable and dependable of late, went cold after a solid first two periods, blowing a 6-4 lead, and falling 9-6 to Stanford senior Kyle Meyer.
Redshirt sophomore Blake Stauffer looked stout and determined, with a sweeping leg-kick takedown of redshirt freshman Zach Nevills, and led 5-0 after 2 periods, finishing with a dominating third period and a 9-2 decision. This cut the Stanford lead to six, as the Cardinal led 16-10 heading into the 184-pound match.
Redshirt sophomore Josh DaSilveria (197) struggled to gain momentum against No. 18 senior Dan Scherer, until a takedown midway through the second period, igniting the crowd of 462 people in attendance. DaSilveria followed up with another takedown merely seconds later, and Scherer countered with two escapes to even the match at four.
DaSilveria suffered a 6-4 loss, which added to the deficit, and Stanford led ASU 19-10 with only the heavyweight match remaining. Redshirt junior Chase Eskam and Stanford redshirt freshman Josh Marchok sparred in the heavyweight match.
The team result was already in hand, but Eskam battled as if the match were still up to him and had several opportunities for takedowns. Charles said he felt this energy was present the entire time Monday night.
“As a whole, the effort is there, the fight is there,” Charles said. “We just made some mistakes. I think we opened up a little bit more today actually, but the problem is we didn’t wrestle enough.
“There were some situations where we had a head of steam going and we just shut down. As coaches, we just need to get back in the wrestling room and see what we did wrong, fix those areas and come back and fight hard another day.”
The Sun Devils will get a chance to redeem themselves Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. against the Oregon State Beavers.
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