Iowa wrestling dominates in the Garden State

The Hawkeyes were simply too much for Princeton on Sunday, defeating the Tigers 30-9.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's 197-pound Jacob Warner wrestles UTC's Rodney Jones during a wrestling dual-meet between Iowa and Tennessee-Chattanooga at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. Warner won by decision, 5-4, and the Hawkeyes defeated the Mocs, 39-0.

Austin Hanson, Sports Reporter

Before the 285-pound match between Tony Cassioppi and Princeton’s No. 12 Aiden Conner began, Iowa had already secured a victory, leading 26-9 after the 197-pounders wrestled.

While the final score of the top-15 showdown was 30-9, the dual was closer than the score suggested.

Princeton jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as Patrick Glory earned a decision over Aaron Cashman in the dual’s opening matchup at 125-pounds, 9-4. Cashman allowed a mere three points despite the loss.

“Cashman is in development,” head coach Tom Brands said. “We got our number ones, but Cashman was our number one today, so you got to treat him the same. He needs to believe more. Not believe in himself so much; I think he has a lot of belief in himself. He needs to believe more in what we’re saying.”

Iowa quickly flipped the dual’s script after the 125-pound matchup. Iowa’s 133-pounder, Austin DeSanto, won via tech fall. At 141-pounds, Max Murin was victorious via a major decision, giving the Hawkeyes a 9-3 lead.

The turning point in the dual came during the 149-pound matchup. Mike D’Angelo, ranked 14th by InterMat, had senior Pat Lugo on the ropes. Down 2-1 during the first tiebreak, Lugo initiated a match-winning reversal to win 3-2.

Junior Kaleb Young, ranked fourth, followed Lugo’s win with a loss to No. 9 Quincy Monday. Iowa’s lead was 9-6 at intermission, but without Lugo’s late-match heroics, the Hawkeyes would’ve faced their first intermission tie of the season.

“Going to overtime, I knew I was going to get the win,” Lugo said. “I was calm, cool and collected.”

RELATED: Cashman prepares for first dual-meet start of season

Post-intermission, the Hawkeyes asserted themselves as the superior team without question. They won four of the last five matches, including a pin from All-American Alex Marinelli and a tech fall from senior Michael Kemerer.

The highlight of the dual’s second half was produced from the 197-pound matchup. Third-ranked Jacob Warner defeated No. 2 Patrick Brucki, 5-4. Warner only led the match for three seconds. Trailing 3-4 with four seconds remaining in the third period, Warner took down Brucki to take his 5-4 lead.

“As the match went on, I felt stronger and stronger,” Warner said. “I got that takedown, and I was a dog on a bone. I got to that leg, and I need to get there more, but when I got to that leg I wasn’t letting go.”

The challenge the Tigers gave the Hawkeyes was second to none this season. Nine points is the most the top-ranked Hawkeyes have given up in 2019-20. Nelson Brands lost his first match of the season, losing 7-6 late in the 184-pound match.

The Hawkeyes now have an extended period of time before their next match for practice, rest, and recovery. Iowa will remain idle for the next three weeks until its appearance at the Midlands Championships on Dec. 29 and 30. The Hawkeyes next dual won’t come until Jan. 10 against Indiana in Bloomington, Indiana.

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