The walls of the IAB came crumbling in on the Harvard wrestlers Saturday afternoon when a spotty but cunning Springfield squad marched right over the Crimson for a 37-7 slaughter. The loss was the third in a row for the matmen, who, thanks to a string of early season victories, still sport a 10-5-1 record.
Only Al Montgomery emerged from the contest with a win for Harvard. Montgomery faced off against the Chiefs' Jim Webb, who tried vainly to use his bulky build to an advantage. The spindly Montgomery held on in the end for a 6-5 win.
For the second week in a row Paul Widerman drew an unexpected tie. The 14-14 score alone indicates that the Crimson's crack 118-lber didn't wrestle his own match. Springfield's Scott Lewis used the entire mat, forcing Widerman to chase him and at the same time avoiding the Crimson supergrappler's deadly lower leg moves.
Andy McNerney dropped the powerful Matt Hawes more than once while looking to pop the cradle ride on him but always found Hawes waiting to tip him for the points. McNerney sustained an 8-4 loss from Hawes who selected the 126-lb. bout today because of difficulty keeping down to 118-lbs., where he crushed all Division II opposition last year.
The Crimson's Fritz Campbell has demonstrated his potential to dominate the 134-lb. class, but can't seem to master a sprawl move to defend against the single and double leg attacks so often used in college wrestling. Campbell's 10-4 loss to Joe Arrante was disappointing but gave him needed experience.
More serious was the mauling suffered by co-captain Doug Mason, who lacks the same defensive tactics and paid for it dearly when a crafty John Scanlon employed a double leg move to lift Mason right off the mat before lowering him to secure a 14-0 win at 167-lbs.
At 158-lbs. the Crimson's Tyler Jacks finally got a chance to wrestle someone his own size but fared no better than in past bouts when he faced opponents at 167 and 177-lbs. An aggressive Peter Smith caught Jacks looking north for the pin at 5:57.
Even Mark Cooley, Harvard's dependable big man, could only eke out a 6-6 tie at 190-lbs. Cooley appears weak from the recent weight loss that will allow him to grapple at 177-lbs. for the rest of the season.
The Crimson will attempt to snap its losing streak tonight in a tri-meet against UMass and UConn in Storrs, Conn.