WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The Army West Point wrestling team took the mat Saturday night against LIU, eager to redeem themselves after having their opportunity at an NCAA Tournament appearance cut short in 2020. Saturday's match was the first time that the Black Knights have taken the floor against an opponent since the EIWA conference tournament last March.
Army and LIU competed in a tournament style matchup, including 12 individual bouts, resulting in no cumulative team score. The competition included both intersquad and dual matchups with LIU.
The Black Knights and the Sharks went head-to-head in five different weight classes and seven total bouts including 149lbs, 157lbs, 174lbs, 184lbs and 285lbs. Army came away with wins in all seven appearances in addition to notching five pins and two technical fall victories.
Taylor Brown set the pace for Army in the opening match at 184lbs, defeating LIU's TJ Franden in a 20-3 tech fall. Junior heavyweight Ben Sullivan followed suit with the first pin of the night in the second bout, overpowering Tim Nagosky with :21 seconds left in the first period.
Army stole the show for the remainder of the faceoffs, tallying pins from four seasoned veterans in P.J. Ogunsanya at 149lbs, Markus Hartman at 157lbs and Bobby Heald at 285lbs in addition to an 18-1 technical fall victory from Sahm Abdulrazzaq at 184lbs.
The full breakdown of Saturday's matches are as follows:
141lbs: Lane Peters def. Cole Wyman, 7-4 decision
149lbs: P.J. Ogunsanya def. Kyle Matthews (LIU), pin at 1:09 (3rd period)
149lbs: Corey Shie def. Tanner Craig, 8-3 decision
157lbs: Markus Hartman def. Ken Cooper (LIU), pin at 0:16 (2nd period)
157lbs: Christian Hunt def. Dillon Sheehy, 3-2 decision
165lbs: Beau Guffey def. Owen Brown, 4-0 decision
165lbs: Beau Guffey def. Will Lucie, 3-1 decision
174lbs: Brad Laughlin def. James Langan (LIU), pin at 1:11 (2nd period)
184lbs: Taylor Brown def. TJ Franden (LIU), 20-3 tech fall
184lbs: Sahm Abdulrazzaq def. TJ Franden (LIU), 18-1 tech fall
285lbs: Ben Sullivan def. Tim Nagosky (LIU), pin 0:21 (1st period)
285lbs: Bobby Heald def. Tim Nagosky (LIU), pin 1:13 (1st period)
The Black Knights will host their second competition of the season next Saturday, Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. against Hofstra University.
Coach Ward's thoughts:
"My initial reaction and first thoughts were I am really happy for the guys, that's what I just told them. Their discipline, their hard work and being able to make this day happen was great - they've had some opportunities taken away from them, so more than anything I am just grateful and happy for them that they got to compete. They scored some points, it looked like they were excited and it's something we can build and grow off of so I am really happy for the guys."