BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Quakers finally have their signature win.
After a couple close calls against top-ranked teams last season, the Red and Blue silenced the Leeman-Turner Arena crowd on Saturday in a 24-12 win over No. 21 Lehigh. The win is the first in Grace Hall for the Quakers since a 21-15 win on Feb. 18, 2007 and is Penn's first road win over a ranked opponent since a 20-13 win over No. 24 Penn State in Happy Valley on Feb. 20, 2009 - a span of seven such matches.
The Red and Blue won the first four matches to take a 15-0 lead, but it was a pair of impressive wins after intermission that sealed the win for the Quakers. In the first bout after the break, Casey Kent scored a takedown with five seconds left in the match to break a tie and defeat No. 17 Eric Hess, 4-2, and give Penn a commanding 18-4 lead. After a pair of losses at 174 and 184,
Canaan Bethea came through up a weight and defeated John Bolich, 3-1, at 197 pounds to secure the win for the Quakers. After twice getting called for stalling before a single shot was taken in the match, Bethea rebounded for the decisive takedown in the first period, riding out the opening frame. Steven Graziano concluded the dual with a 3-1 win at heavyweight.
Momentum came quickly in the form of a pin from #20 Mark Rappo over Alex Abreu in just 1:05. Rappo took down Abreu just before the one-minute mark, locking in a cradle and securing his first fall of the season.
Geoffrey Bostany added points to the team score with a 6-0 win over Cody Kievman at 133 pounds. Bostany scored a takedown in the first period and added a second in the middle period at the 4:25 mark. Bostany was tough on top, looking for backpoints, but settled for 5:02 of riding time.
C.J. Cobb rallied after conceding the first takedown to Anthony Salupo, scoring with five seconds left in the first period to lead, 3-2. In the second period, Cobb added three more points on an escape and a takedown before opening up in the third for three takedowns in hunt of bonus points. The major decision did not materialize, but a 12-5 decision gave Penn a 12-0 lead after three bouts.
Andrew Lenzi picked up his biggest win as a Quaker, defeating defending EIWA champion and national No. 19 Shane Welch, 3-2. Lenzi scored the only takedown of the match at the 1:20 mark, getting the decisive point via his 1:09 of riding time gained with riding to start the second period. Just as important was Lenzi's defense in the final seconds, stuffing two late shot attempts from Welch.
In the final match before intermission, Lehigh got on the board via an 11-1 major decision from No. 4 Joey Napoli at 157 pounds over Troy Hernandez. After a scoreless first period, Napoli escaped and then took Hernandez down before adding three nearfall points. Hernandez fought in the third period, allowing three more nearfall points, but keeping his shoulders off the mat and keeping the team score damage to just four points.
The Quakers open the home portion of their 2012-13 dual season on Sunday against Hofstra at 1 p.m.
125: #20 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Alex Abreu (Lehigh), FALL 1:05 Penn leads, 6-0
133: Geoffrey Bostany (Penn) def. Cody Kievman (Lehigh), 6-0 Penn leads, 9-0
141: C.J. Cobb (Penn) def. Anthony Salupo (Lehigh), 12-5 Penn leads, 12-0
149: Andrew Lenzi (Penn) def. #19 Shane Welch (Lehigh), 3-2 Penn leads, 15-0
157: #4 Joey Napoli (Lehigh) def. Troy Hernandez (Penn), 11-1 Penn leads, 15-4
165: Casey Kent (Penn) def. #17 Eric Hess (Lehigh), 4-2 Penn leads, 18-4
174: #19 Nathaniel Brown (Lehigh) def. Ian Korb (Penn), 7-1 Penn leads, 18-7
184: #3 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) def. Harrison Cook (Penn), 17-2 Penn leads, 18-12
197: Canaan Bethea (Penn) def. John Bolich (Lehigh), 3-1 Penn leads, 21-12
285: Steven Graziano (Penn) def. Jack Delia (Lehigh), 3-1 Penn leads, 24-12