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Lehigh rolls past Penn, edges Drexel

PHILADELPHIA -- It was a tale of two duals for No. 5 Lehigh Sunday in a pair of EIWA duals in Philadelphia. The Mountain Hawks won both but after beginning the day with a dominant performance in a 41-6 win over Penn at the Palestra, but Drexel made things much tougher in match No. 2. The Dragons scored bonus points in three of their four wins, but six bout wins for Lehigh gave the Mountain Hawks the criteria in a 21-20 win at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Five Mountain Hawks went 2-0 on the day: senior Darian Cruz, junior Ian Brown, sophomore Jordan Kutler and freshmen Luke Karam and Jordan Wood, while Lehigh's duo of freshman 197-pounders each beat a ranked opponent.

With the two victories, Lehigh closes out the fall semester at 6-1 overall and 4-0 against EIWA opponents.

12/10/2017 Lehigh Wrestling at Penn & Drexel Lehigh Wrestling at Penn & Drexel

"Two extremes for sure," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said, "In the Penn match everything flowed our way, but tonight we were in a dogfight. (Drexel) came out ready to wrestle and we knew they would. They put a lot of bonus points on us and we were fortunate that we got the bonus points that we did. We talked before the match about how bonus points would be huge, and they were."

In the first dual of the day against Penn, Lehigh won eight of the nine contested bouts and benefitted from a forfeit to Cruz at 125. Kutler opened things up with a 14-point first period against Khamari Whimper and closed out the technical fall with a second period escape. Lehigh added three first period pins, with Wood decking Tyler Hall at 285, junior Cortlandt Schuyler using a headlock for a 31-second fall over Joe Oliva at 149, and sophomore Cole Walter closing the dual by pinning Ryan Farber in 1:11 at 165.

One of the most impressive wins of the day came from freshman Jake Jakobsen, who knocked off 10th-ranked Frank Mattiace 3-0 at 197. Jakobsen used a strong effort on top to ride out the second period, while earning a penalty point for stalling and added a third period escape plus riding time advantage.

The Mountain Hawks were without second-ranked junior Scott Parker at 133 but freshman Nick Farro used a late takedown to the back for two-and-two to defeat Gianni Ghione 5-1 in his dual meet debut.

The only downside to the Penn dual was an injury default by junior Ryan Preisch in the third period of his match with Joe Heyob at 184. Preisch was leading 5-1 and was injured after Heyob reversed to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Penn falls to 3-2 in duals with the loss.

The absence of Parker and Preisch against Drexel created opportunities for the Dragons to post bonus points.

Kutler opened the dual with a 5-1 win over Austin Rose but sophomore Paul Dunn, making his dual debut at 184 in place of Preisch was pinned in the third period by Owen Brooks, giving the Dragons an early 6-3 lead.

Lehigh got a big win from another freshman 197-pounder to re-take the lead as Chris Weiler knocked off 20th-ranked Stephen Loiseau in an 8-0 major decision. Weiler scored a late first period takedown and added a late second period reversal after being ridden for most of the period. In the third, Weiler rode out and scored a late four point near fall to secure the major.

Wins by Wood and Cruz put Lehigh up 13-6 at intermission, but Drexel climbed back within 13-11 after sixth-ranked freshman Austin DeSanto posted a first period technical fall over Farro.

Karam delivered a big win and bonus point, using a late third period takedown and 4:28 of riding time advantage to earn a 9-1 win over Chandler Olson.

"Our freshmen are the ones that got us some bonus points," Santoro said. "This has been a great class. They came in last year really hungry and motivated and pushed each other. We had two 197-pounders come out with two huge wins today over two ranked wrestlers. Those guys are going to be battling at the Scuffle and hopefully we'll have some things figured out. Two pretty special people and we'd love to find a spot for both of them, but I don't know if we can. The message is, for our freshmen class, age is just a number and they're just trying to get better. Going out there to win matches and scoring points and going for bonus points when necessary."

Drexel's Trevor Elfvin knocked off Schuyler in a high-scoring 14-7 match at 149, but Brown used a third period takedown to defeat Evan Barczak 3-2 at 157 earning Lehigh's sixth win.

Leading 20-14 heading into the final bout, Walter was unable to hold what was a 10-5 lead. Drexel's Ebed Jarrell came back and pinned Walter at the 6:33 mark to tie the dual at 20-20, but Lehigh claimed the win on criteria after winning six of the 10 bouts. The Dragons fell to 4-2 with the loss.

"The effort has been good all fall, but we saw some areas we really got exposed in," Santoro said. "Six of our guys wrestled well, but we have to control our minds deep in those matches. We're usually strong, but for some reason today we lost a little bit of focus. It's something we can fix. We need to build off of this and off the whole fall. We have the Southern Scuffle. We have finals coming up in a couple of days. We have to regroup and we have a lot of guys banged up so we have to get as healthy as we can for the Southern Scuffle."

The Mountain Hawks will now be off until the Southern Scuffle, Jan. 1-2 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Lehigh's next dual action will be against EIWA rivals American (Jan. 12) and Navy (Jan. 14) inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall.

No. 5 Lehigh 41, Penn 6
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) tech fall Khamari Whimper (Penn) 15-0, 3:08
184 - Joe Heyob (Penn) injury default Ryan Preisch (Lehigh) 5:28
197 - Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) dec. Frank Mattiace (Penn) 3-0
285 - Jordan Wood (Lehigh) Fall Tyler Hall (Penn) 2:45
125 - Darian Cruz (Lehigh) won by forfeit
133 - Nick Farro (Lehigh) dec. Gianni Ghione (Penn) 5-1
141 - Luke Karam (Lehigh) dec. Jacob Lizak (Penn) 8-2
149 - Cortlandt Schuyler (Lehigh) Fall Joe Oliva (Penn) 0:31
157 - Ian Brown (Lehigh) dec. Jon Errico (Penn) 6-2
165 - Cole Walter (Lehigh) Fall Ryan Farber (Penn) 1:11

No. 5 Lehigh 21, Drexel 20
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) dec. Austin Rose (Drexel) 5-1
184 - Owen Brooks (Drexel) Fall Paul Dunn (Lehigh) 6:12
197 - Chris Weiler (Lehigh) major dec. Stephen Loiseau (Drexel) 8-0
285 - Jordan Wood (Lehigh) dec. Vincenzo Pelusi (Drexel) 5-1
125 - Darian Cruz (Lehigh) dec. Zack Fuentes (Drexel) 3-2
133 - Austin DeSanto (Drexel) tech fall Nick Farro (Lehigh) 22-6, 3:00
141 - Luke Karam (Lehigh) major dec. Chandler Olson (Drexel) 9-1
149 - Trevor Elfvin (Drexel) dec. Cortlandt Schuyler (Lehigh) 14-7
157 - Ian Brown (Lehigh) dec. Evan Barczak (Drexel) 3-2
165 - Ebed Jarrell (Drexel) Fall Cole Walter (Lehigh) 6:33

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