We won 8 of 10 matches against Franklin & Marshall College. It was nice to see guys have success. For the most part we did well in all areas. I would have liked to see the guys wrestle with more energy. I think too often we were worried about how we felt or the match score. I think we could have pushed the pace more, taken more risk. After each guy left the mat, we had them run sprints in the back room. The purpose was to show them they had more to give, not to punish. I hope they understand better they can give more while they compete. We had 4 matches where we won by 6 points (Ibrahim Bunduka, Greg Flournoy, Ryan Forrest and Matt Meadows). As a coach, it makes you think how close they were to getting a major decision. Could they have found a way to score one more takedown? Sahid Kargbo found a way to score one more takedown to secure a major in his match. Jake Kettler was able to pin his opponent in the 3rd period. I think our team was capable of scoring more points. We scored the last point in 5 matches (Bunduka, Kargbo, Forrest, Meadows, Kettler), but in 5 other matches F&M scored the last point (Rodriguez, Koroma, Flournoy, Mika, Dwyer). We need the ratio to be more in our favor. Rodriguez, Koroma and Flournoy gave up escape points, which we wanted them to give, so they could try and score on their feet. The strategy did not work, because they were unable to score another takedown.
Daniel Mika started his first match of the year. As a true freshman, it is a difficult match to wrestle. I would have liked to see him be more aggressive at finishing an attack. I did not want him to take too many crazy risks, but I would have liked him to try and capitalize more on low risk attacks. In overtime, he made a mistake and gave up the takedown. In his frustration over the loss he laid on his back. The referee decided to call the fall even though his opponent was not holding him on his back. It is important that a wrestler does not stop on their back. Tough lesson to learn, but I assume Daniel Mika will never make this mistake again. I also hope his teammates learned from the mistake he made. It can cost a team a dual meet. Giving up 3 team points is bad, giving up 6 team points is much worse. I wish for Daniel Mika he had a better result, but I do believe he will perform better as a result of this match.
Due to various reasons we had to juggle our expected lineup. I was certainly concerned and frustrated before the match. We also brought 2 extra guys just in case they were needed. In the end, neither guy was needed. Nevertheless, I was pleased both Andrew Thomas and Bill Prochniewski were willing to step up if needed. Together we can accomplish more.
We will not compete again until December 21 at the Grapple at the Garden. Guys need to focus on final exams and then focus on getting ready for our two dual meets at Madison Square Garden against Duke and Drexel. It is important they finish well in school. It is also important for them to control the things they can control. Continue to train during finals, work on weaknesses, control their diet… We can get better these next two weeks.
This will be the third time we have competed at the Grapple at the Garden. It will be the first time we have competed at the event without worrying about hustling home because of studies. We will be able to travel with more of the team and my hope is, after we compete, we will have a few hours to sightsee in NYC. We also plan on making our annual stop at Casa Filippo Italian Restaurant in Caldwell, NJ on the way home. The Lavorato’s have been kind enough to invite us back. I am drooling just thinking about the great dinner we will have.
The George Mason Ticket office still has tickets available for the Grapple at the Garden.
The ticket office contact information is:
George Mason Athletic Ticket Office
4400 University Drive, MS 3A5
Fairfax, VA 22030
More information is available at http://www.gomason.com at the following page: http://www.gomason.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=606332&SPID=80369&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=25200&ATCLID=209748449