Mustang Daily Staff Report
At the end of the night, the emotion on the Cal Poly bench said it all.
The majority of the Mustangs wrestling team slouched in silence, watching freshman heavyweight J.T. Goodman finish off a night of frustration.
The Mustangs missed their shot at revenge Saturday night in a dual against Cal State Bakersfield, falling 22-10 to the Roadrunners for the second time this season.
“It’s always a big match between Cal Poly and Bakersfield every year,” head coach Brendan Buckley said in a press conference earlier this week. “It was a close dual the first go around in November. We had a couple guys that weren’t in the lineup that were not cleared medically.”
Since that 27-13 loss to the Roadrunners on Nov. 8, the Mustangs have gone an even 2-2 in dual meets, bringing their regular season record to 2-4, while the Roadrunners have put up a 5-3 record thus far.
Absent from the starting lineup were reigning Pac-12 champion Dominic Kastl, currently battling a lower back injury and senior Atticus Disney, who suffered a knee injury on Dec. 1 at the Las Vegas Invitational.
But even with Britain Longmire, Damien Arredondo and Kyle Chené, who missed the Nov. 8 dual, in the lineup, the Mustangs failed to take down the Roadrunners.
“We need to be more aggressive,” Buckley said. “We are too reactive instead of proactive. We are waiting for guys to do things to us instead of us going out and dictating the pace of the match, getting our takedowns and controlling the tempo.”
Longmire, the 125-pound junior, lost by decision 4-2 to Cal State Bakersfield’s Tyler Iwamura in the first match, setting the tone for what would be a night of coming up short for the Mustangs.
“I knew it would be close,” Buckley said. “(Longmire) definitely could’ve beaten that kid. (Iwamura) is ranked No. 1 in the conference but he definitely could’ve beat him.”
Even on the Mustangs’ first victory of the night, 133-pounder Devon Lotito’s 10-3 triumph in the second match, Buckley still saw room for improvement.
“Lotito, he’s been consistent,” Buckley said. “He won. He was in a position to get bonus points but then he gave up a take down. We were about to get 14 points and we got three.”
Further disappointment followed as Brandon Rocha, Dillon Rocha, Chené, Paul Woodman and Mitchell Woods all lost the subsequent matches, with Dillon Rocha getting pinned and Woods losing by major decision, 9-1.
Sean Dougherty broke the Mustang’s cold streak in the penultimate 197-pound dual, defeating Cal State Bakersfield’s Frankie Hurtado 17-3, before Goodman concluded the evening with a 5-2 victory in the heavyweight match.
“J.T. looked really good,” Buckley said. “He looks significantly better. We finished stronger than we started. Nobody likes losing but sometimes you’ve got to learn the hard way.”
The Mustangs remain at home next week and look to bounce back in a dual meet against Air Force at 1 p.m. on Jan. 20.
“We want to win,” Buckley said. “That’s the goal. Every time we compete we are going out there to win. We’ve got to put more points on the board. That’s the bottom line. There are no excuses.”
Jacob Lauing contributed to this report.