The Hoosiers only managed to win two matches against the Nittany Lions, including junior Nate Jackson’s 7-6 win against the No. 1 wrestler in the country, Bo Nickal. The defeat was the first of Nickal’s college career.
Jackson recorded a reversal and a near fall in a five second span, which accounted for six of his seven points in the match.
“That’s something he’ll remember his whole life,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “That’s a great victory for him. He had to fight hard at the end. It’s not like it was given to him, and he really had to battle tough toward the end of that match.”
Jackson said he never had any doubt he could get the win if he wrestled well.
He said he knows he is capable of beating anyone in the country and it’s all about having a good match.
“Getting your hand raised, that’s what we work for,” Jackson said.
Bringing IU its second victory of the meet was senior Garret Goldman. He recorded a pin in the third period making him 11-10 on the season.
“It’s a confidence booster. It’s nice to get those Big Ten wins up because they’re hard to come by,” Garret Goldman said. “It lets other guys know that you’re a competitor in this conference.”
Coach Goldman said Garret Goldman capitalized on the opportunity in front of him and wrestled a solid match all around.
Both Coach Goldman and Jackson had high praise for the crowd today. Coach Goldman said the crowd stayed behind the guys the entire match and he really appreciated the number of attendees, especially with the poor weather.
“I think it’s the loudest I’ve ever heard it,” Jackson said. “It would be great if we could have another turnout like that on Friday against Maryland, who is another tough team, but I think we can knock them off. I know a lot of guys are hungry for another victory.”
As the Hoosiers continue Big Ten play, Jackson understands the need for continuous improvement. He said the team got better last week, and they need to continue getting better as they prepare for their match next week.
The Hoosiers will now prepare for Maryland next Friday as they will try to earn their second Big Ten win of the season. The Terrapins are 3-6 on the season with a record of 0-3 in the Big Ten.
“The Big Ten is the toughest conference for wrestling by far,” Garret Goldman said. “Maryland is new to the conference, but they’re no joke. Nothing is given to you, so we just have to go out there as a team and take it.”
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