The Daily Iowan

Iowa grabs the pin and win

Hawkeye wrestling keeps its fans on edge, then tops Illinois by 1 point to open conference play.

Iowa+coaches+react+as+Sam+Stoll+pins+Illinois%27+Duece+Rachal+for+the+win+during+the+Big+Ten+opener+in+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Dec.+1%2C+2017.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Illini+18-17.+%28Nick+Rohlman%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa coaches react as Sam Stoll pins Illinois' Duece Rachal for the win during the Big Ten opener in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 18-17. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa coaches react as Sam Stoll pins Illinois' Duece Rachal for the win during the Big Ten opener in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 18-17. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa coaches react as Sam Stoll pins Illinois' Duece Rachal for the win during the Big Ten opener in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 18-17. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

James Geerdes, [email protected]

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It all came down to Sam Stoll.

The Hawkeye heavyweight strode onto the mat and into the tipping point in Iowa wrestling’s conference home-opener against Illinois on the evening of Dec. 1 when he faced off with Illinois big man Deuce Rachal.

Although the night in Carver-Hawkeye will be remembered for Stoll’s performance, the lackluster Iowa wrestling preceding it was stunning. Iowa was consistently at the wrong end of the scoreboard. And one word seemingly categorized its evening: slow.

“We were struggling offensively,” head coach Tom Brands said. “And it doesn’t take a great wrestling mind to see that … Those guys were athletic, and points were hard to come by. But that’s not where we should be struggling.”

After the first three bouts, Iowa was down 9-0.

True freshman Justin Stickley lost via decision to No. 13 Travis Piotrowski, 7-4, to open the evening. Iowa’s No. 18 133-pounder Phillip Laux lost to Dylan Duncan, 6-1. And 141-pounder Vince Turk was outwrestled by Mike Carr, 7-5.

Iowa’s highly ranked heart of the lineup came and left quietly when No. 2 Brandon Sorensen beat No. 20 Eric Barone, 4-1. No. 3 Michael Kemerer won via decision against No. 17 Kyle Langenderfer, 4-1. But Iowa was still down 9-6 after its biggest guns left the mat.

Kaleb Young got the call for the Hawkeyes for the third week in a row, and Illinois’ No. 2 Isaiah Martinez wrestled up to his ranking. After 11 takedowns, Martinez left the mat with a tech fall and a final score of 23-8. Iowa was down 14-6.

Joey Gunther found Iowa’s mojo at 174 when he beat David Riojas by decision, 6-1.

With two weights left, Iowa was down 14-9 and needed a win and bonus points to secure 20-straight victories in conference-openers.

Cash Wilcke entered the ring and pulled out a nail-biter in sudden victory with a takedown. Iowa was down 17-12, still needed bonus points to win, and hope was fading in Carver. Yet the crowd was at its loudest.

“They came in with the strategy to slow us down,” Brands said. “We train to get to our offense, and that’s what we have to do. We have to not worry about their game plan and get to our stuff.”

Stoll walked onto the mat, not worried, and delivered. With Iowa needing points, the heavyweight pinned Rachal in 2:02.

“I know if I go out there and wrestle at a high pace for seven minutes, things will take care of themselves …” Stoll said. “I’m going to go wrestle at a really high pace. My goal is to pin every guy I face. I know that if I wrestle the way I should, things will fall into place.”

Comments

comments

About the Writer
James Geerdes, Sports Reporter
James “Jim” Geerdes is a sports reporter, digital producer, and designer. He is currently  a sophomore. He spent his freshman year covering wresting, softball, and rowing, while also designing for the print newspaper. Comments comments
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Football

    Iowa football’s road to the Big Ten championship is a long one

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Football

    Point-Counterpoint: Who will win the Big Ten West?

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Baseball

    Iowa baseball moves on following departures

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Soccer

    By the Numbers: Iowa soccer’s defense

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Featured

    Former Hawkeye C.J. Beathard takes over for 49ers

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Football

    Hensley: The Big Ten West is Wisconsin’s to lose now

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Football

    Hornibrook’s big day against Hawkeye football comes at a big time

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Football

    Report card: How did Iowa football look against Wisconsin?

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Men's tennis

    Hawkeyes fight at Milwaukee Tennis Classic

  • Iowa grabs the pin and win

    Soccer

    Iowa soccer tops Indiana for first Big Ten win