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Lehigh rides fast start, bonus points to 25-13 win at Princeton

PRINCETON, N.J. -- No. 5 Lehigh won the first three bouts and scored bonus points in four of six match victories to knock off Princeton 25-13 in EIWA action Friday night at Jadwin Gym. Junior Scott Parker posted his third consecutive win by fall and he, senior Darian Cruz, junior Ryan Preisch and sophomore Jordan Kutler all remained unbeaten on the season.

With the win, the Mountain Hawks improve to 4-0 in dual action this season, while the Tigers dropped their season opener.

"We knew bonus points would be big tonight and we knew coming in that it could be 5-5," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. "Our guys were focused on tonight and that was the goal. Now we have to have a good tomorrow and a good Sunday. Princeton's a good team. They came to wrestle, we came to wrestle."

Cruz was actually surprised as Princeton's Jonathan Gomez gave up the opening takedown at 125 but the returning NCAA champion rallied with five more takedowns plus a reversal to open the second period and scored a late four point near fall to secure an 18-6 major decision.

Parker continued his recent strong run, scoring two takedowns and a four point near fall to lead 8-1 after one period. In the second period, Parker locked up a cradle to pin Trey Aslanian in 3:23 to stake Lehigh to a 10-0 lead.

Freshman Luke Karam completed the run scoring takedowns in each of the first period off low single shots and adding an escape a stalling point and riding time to defeat Pat D'Arcy 7-0 at 141.

"Luke's been a winner his whole life," Santoro said. "He really wants to be great. He works at it all the time and he loves to compete. We just can't rely on those first two guys all the time. We need all 10 guys helping out. We need more guys with that same consistency."

Trailing 13-0, Princeton came back to take the next three bouts to pull within 13-10 after six. At 149, fourth-ranked Matt Kolodzik defeated junior Cortlandt Schuyler 4-2 to get the Tigers on the board. Junior Ian Brown scored the first six points against Mike D'Angelo at 157, but the Tiger battled back with the next seven points of the first period and eventually scored 17 unanswered points to post a 17-6 major, cutting Lehigh's lead to 13-7 at intermission.

Junior Gordon Wolf engaged in another high-scoring affair at 165, but Princeton's Jonathan Schleifer put up a 10-point first period and nine more in the second. Wolf answered with a takedown and a turn for four near fall in the third, but the best he could do was avoid giving up bonus points as Schleifer held on for the 19-12 decision.

Kutler and Preisch answered with back-to-back wins at 174 and 184 to get Lehigh back on track. Kutler totaled four takedowns, two escapes, a two point near fall and a four-pointer in a 16-1 technical fall over Carlin Powell. Preisch then built an early 6-0 lead and went on to defeat Kendall Elfstrom by major decision 11-1, putting Lehigh up 12 with two bouts remaining.

Freshman Chris Weiler made his dual debut at 197 taking on Patrick Brucki. Weiler scored the first takedown and led 5-3 over two periods after a late second period reversal, but a third period reversal and then a late takedown was enough to give Brucki an 8-7 decision.

With the dual clinched, Lehigh sent out sophomore Christian Colucci at 285 and Colucci scored takedowns in the second and third periods in a 6-3 decision over Michael Markulec.

"We did a lot of good things tonight," Santoro said. "We really did. You can't get caught up in a match or two. Guys are going to have bad matches some times. That's okay as long as you learn from it. Ian had a tough loss two weeks ago. He came back two days later and beat an All-American. You have to be resilient in this sport and you have to keep getting better. Our guys do that. They're tough kids and we have to turn around and see what we can do on Sunday."

The Mountain Hawks will host top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Penn State Sunday at 2 p.m. at PPL Center in Allentown. The match is sold out but will be televised locally on Service Electric 2 Sports and streamed on the Patriot League Network.

Results:
125 - Darian Cruz (Lehigh) major dec. Jonathan Gomez (Princeton) 18-6
133 - Scott Parker (Lehigh) Fall Trey Aslanian (Princeton) 3:23
141 - Luke Karam (Lehigh) dec. Pat D'Arcy (Princeton) 7-0
149 - Matt Kolodzik (Princeton) dec. Cortlandt Schuyler (Lehigh) 4-2
157 - Mike D'Angelo (Princeton) major dec. Ian Brown (Lehigh) 17-6
165 - Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton) dec. Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) 19-12
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) tech fall Carlin Powell (Princeton) 16-1, 6:30
184 - Ryan Preisch (Lehigh) major dec. Kendall Elfstrom (Princeton) 11-1
197 - Patrick Brucki (Princeton) dec. Chris Weiler (Lehigh) 8-7
285 - Christian Colucci (Lehigh) dec. Michael Markulec (Princeton) 6-3

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