USA Wrestling Germany edges USA 1...

Germany edges USA 15 14 in women s dual meet in Colorado Springs

By Gary Abbott | Jan. 31, 2008, 3:45 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO - The dual meet went down to the final bout, as Germany defeated the United States, 15-14, in a World Dual meet in women's freestyle wrestling, held at Doherty High School on Wednesday night.

The U.S. led the dual meet, 13-12, going into the final bout, as 2006 World bronze medalist Maria Mueller edged Othella Lucas (San Diego, Calif./New York AC), 1-1, 1-0 at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Mueller scored the final takedown of the first period to win the opening period, and had the only takedown of the second period. Lucas, a recent graduate from the Univ. of the Cumberlands, was competing up one weight class from her normal division.

The U.S. opened with a solid victory at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., as Amantha Hordagoda (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) defeated Nicol Hofmann, 5-0, 3-0. Hordagoda scored a takedown and exposure points to win the first period, then scored three takedowns in the second period for the win.

"After the first period, I felt the confidence that I could win. I wasn't afraid to try things. I had to be cautious with the first period. I love dual meets. They are my favorites. You get to cheer for each other. I remember in high school how much fun we had. Wrestling is so individual most of the time. It is so nice to be on a team," said Hordagoda.

Germany rebounded with a win at 67 kg/147.5 lbs., when 2006 World bronze medalist Maria Mueller defeated Tori Adams (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 1-0, 1-0. In the first period, Adams could not complete a deep leg shot before time ran out. Mueller won the flip, secured the leg in the clinch and scored the takedown for the 1-0 period. In the second period, Mueller scored a spin-behind takedown for the only point. Adams, who is ranked No. 2 in the USA at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. was wrestling up a weight from her normal division.

Chelynne Pringle (Colorado Springs, Colo./Minnesota Storm) needed three periods to defeat Natasha Ballas, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0 at 59 kg/130 lbs. Pringle won the second and third periods, forcing Ballas to step out of bounds in both periods.

"I looked for a good setup instead of taking sloppy shots," said Pringle. "I felt like I was wearing her out. It is different competing in a dual meet. I like the this because of the team aspect of it. You are supported by a whole team here."

In a battle of veteran international wrestlers, 2006 European runner-up Alexandra Englehardt of Germany stopped 2006 U.S. Nationals champion Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 7-0, 5-4. Englehardt dominated the first period, turning Chun twice for exposure. In the second period, Chun jumped to a 4-0 lead, only to see Englehardt score five straight points on a reversal and an exposure to win the period.

The U.S. got a boost at 55 kg/121 lbs. when 2007 Junior World Team member Cherae Pascua (Colorado Springs, Colo.) shut out Jessica Bechtel, 3-0, 1-0. Bechtel was fifth in the 2006 World Championships.

"I had good coaching and good teammates out there tonight," said Pascua. "Our program is really good. We have teammates that push us every day, I feel I wrestled very good. This brings me one step closer to where I have to go."

At 55 kg/121 lbs., Katharina Peter of Germany pinned Trinity Plessinger (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the second period, 0-5, 1:08.

The U.S. bounced back to take the lead when Rachel Bernardes (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force) shut out Nicole Hofman, 2-0, 1-0. Bernardes scored three takedowns in the victory.

"It is fun having a crowd here. A lot of the girls winning big matches against internationally ranked opponents. This is a good team effort. I haven't had a dual meet since college. I didn't wrestle well. I did better in the first period," said Bernardes.

Mueller won her second bout of the evening in the final match against Lucas to seal the German victory.

The USA and Germany each scored four wins during the evening. However, the pin by Peter at 55 kg/121 lbs. gave the visiting German team enough team points for the one-point victory.

The U.S. team featured a number of young talents who are training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The German team is in Colorado Springs training with Team USA in preparation for the Dave Schultz Memorial International on February 8-10.

"We saw some things we need to work on," said National Women's Coach Terry Steiner. "It was good for our team to get out there against a veteran team like Germany. We had some young athletes tonight and the experience was good for them."

The match was held alongside a Metro league dual meet between Doherty High School and Wasson High School.

Germany 15, USA 14
Women's freestyle wrestling
At Doherty High School, Colorado Springs, Colo., January 30

48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Amantha Hordagoda (USA) dec. Nicol Hofmann (Germany), 5-0, 3-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Maria Mueller (Germany) dec. Tori Adams (USA), 1-0, 1-0
59 kg/130 lbs. - Chelynne Pringle (USA) dec. Natasha Ballas (Germany), 1-1, 1-0, 1-0
51kg/112.25 lbs. - Alexandra Engelhardt (Germany) dec. Clarissa Chun (USA), 7-0, 5-4
55 kg/121 lbs. - Cherae Pascua (USA) dec. Jessica Bechtel (Germany), 3-0, 1-0
55kg/121 lbs. - Katharina Peter (Germany) pin Trinity Plessinger (USA), 0-5, 1:08
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Rachel Bernardes (USA) dec. Nicole Hofmann (Germany), 2-0, 1-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Maria Mueller (Germany) dec. Othella Lucas (USA), 1-1, 1-0