No. 2 Iowa men’s wrestling ready for three-dual road trip to New York

The Hawkeyes take on Army on Thursday and Sacred Heart and Buffalo on Friday.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa’s Jacob Warner takes the floor before a 197-pound match with Cal Baptist’s Elijah Sobas during a wrestling meet between Iowa and Cal Baptist at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. Warner defeated Sobas by fall in 38 seconds. The Hawkeyes defeated the Lancers, 42-3.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

The No. 2 Iowa men’s wrestling team will compete in its first road duals of the 2022-23 season on Thursday and Friday.

The Hawkeyes will travel to West Point, New York, to take on the Army Black Knights at 6 p.m. at Christl Arena.

Then on Friday, Iowa battles Sacred Heart and Buffalo at the Arm Bar at the Armory tournament in Albany, New York, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., respectively. All three duals will be streamed on FLOWrestling and broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network.

The Hawkeyes are 1-0 after opening the season with a 42-3 victory over the Cal Baptist Lancers of the Big 12 conference on Nov. 13 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Scouting Army

Last season, Iowa and head coach Tom Brands developed a unique bond with Army when the Black Knights dropped everything and drove down to Iowa City after a last-minute mishap.

The Hawkeyes were supposed to face the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday,  but, the Beavers experienced a five-hour delay because of mechanical problems with the plane, and couldn’t make it out of Oregon.

So, Brands called up Army head coach Kevin Ward and asked if his team would face the Hawkeyes on Nov. 28, as the Black Knights were already in Ames for a Nov. 27 matchup with the Iowa State Cyclones. Ward accepted the offer, and Army drove down to Iowa City the next day to battle the then-No. 1 Hawkeyes. Iowa won, 36-7.

Now, the Hawkeyes are returning the favor and making the trek to New York.

“I think that when you’re in a bind like that and somebody steps up with really no hesitation … that doesn’t happen all the time, so we owe [Army],” Brands said. “But now it’s business, and we have to get ready to go. It’ll be a good environment.”

Army is 1-1 on the season with a 39-0 victory over Sacred Heart and a 25-9 loss to Nebraska. The Black Knights received votes in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association poll.

The Black Knights have two ranked wrestlers in their starting lineup. Freshman Ethan Berginc checks in at No. 24  at 125 pounds, and junior Ben Pasiuk is No. 21 at 174 pounds.

Iowa’s 125-pound three-time national champion Spencer Lee, who is still rehabbing from two torn ACLs, is not in the projected starting lineup. Junior 125-pounder Aidan Harris — who lost his first match of the year against Cal Baptist’s Elijah Griffin — will get a shot against Berginc.

Hawkeye freshman 174-pounder Drake Rhodes won his Carver-Hawkeye Arena debut against Zach Rowe of Cal Baptist via major decision, 13-4, and Rhodes will get a shot at his first ranked collegiate opponent on Thursday versus Pasiuk. Junior 174-pounders Nelson Brands and Brennan Swafford remain absent from the probable lineup.

RELATED: True freshman Drake Rhodes makes collegiate debut in the Iowa men’s wresting team’s 2022-23 season-opener

Scouting Sacred Heart

Iowa starts the Arm Bar at the Armory tournament against unranked Sacred Heart. Friday’s first dual will mark the Hawkeyes’ first meeting with the Pioneers.

The Arm Bar at the Armory tournament features four other teams — North Carolina State, Central Michigan, Buffalo, and Illinois.

Sacred Heart is 0-4 on the season with losses against No. 26 Leigh University, Army, Rutgers, and Long Island. The Pioneers’ 19-18 loss to Long Island is the only dual the Pioneers have scored in.

Sacred Heart junior 133-pounder Andrew Fallon, a transfer from American University, is expected to give Iowa its toughest test of the dual. Fallon is the only Pioneer to earn a tech fall this season.

Fallon will face Iowa sophomore 133-pounder Cullan Schriever, who took first place at the Luther Open in the elite 133-pound class on Nov. 12, or junior Brody Teske, who transferred from Northern Iowa before the start of the season. Teske won his Carver-Hawkeye Arena debut against Cal Baptist’s Hunter Leake, 6-4.

RELATED: Brody Teske prevails in his first match as an Iowa men’s wrestler

Scouting Buffalo

Following the dual with Sacred Heart, Iowa will take on Buffalo. The Hawkeyes’ first match with the Bulls came in 2013 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won, 46-0.

Buffalo is 2-3 on the season with victories against Chattanooga and Long Island. Unlike the Pioneers, The Bulls have put up points in each loss — 31-6 against No. 12 Wisconsin, 36-3 against No. 49 Campbell, and 28-9 against No. 37 Oklahoma.

One of the most anticipated matchups against Buffalo comes at 157 pounds. Hawkeye Junior Cobe Siebrecht, who pinned Joey Mora of Cal Baptist in the season-opener, or freshman Caleb Rathjen, who posted a 4-1 overall record last season at 149 pounds while competing unattached, is projected to face No. 20, Michael Petite. Petite is a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier.

The other intriguing match comes at 174 pounds, where Rhodes will have another tough task against sophomore Jay Nivison. Nivison went 16-7 last season, earning true second at the MAC Championships to become a national qualifier.