ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy wrestling team (4-2, 2-1 EIWA) suffered its first setback in conference action with a 28-6 loss to Lehigh (5-7, 4-1 EIWA), but regrouped to post a 22-16 victory over Duke (2-2) in the second match of a rare doubleheader Sunday afternoon held at Alumni Hall.
"Our Superintendent, Admiral Carter, addressed the coaches recently and spoke about key aspects the Navy expects of our graduates," said fifth-year Navy head coach Joel Sharratt. "Tonight our Midshipmen had an experiential learning lesson in grit, determination, doing what's right in the face of adversity and team cohesion. There are several lessons to learn from today, but one of the most significant is being an inspirational leader as a teammate even in the face of adversity. Our wrestlers faced it today and they overcame it as a team.
"Both of these teams came in and wrestled physical matches and it is critical for us to be prepared for the biggest venues with the highest stakes. The way the team rallied after the first dual was a great test of character and peer to peer leadership. Our team captain, Nick Gil, is like concrete holding these guy together as the demands contintue to get higher and higher.
• Navy never led in its match against Lehigh and never trailed in the match against Duke. The Mids jumped out to a 13-0 lead against the Blue Devils, but Duke forged a comeback by winning four of the next five bouts. Navy, however, won the final two to earn the six-point victory.
• Today's match against Lehigh marked the 99th meeting in the series with the Mountain Hawks hold a slight 52-47 advantage.
• Navy is now 14-2 all-time against Duke, including 10-1 in matches wrestled in Annapolis.
• It was Navy's first Div. I doubleheader since the 2011-12 season when the Mids beat North Carolina 25-12 in Chapel Hill before picking up a 23-9 win at Campbell later that evening. The last time the Mids wrestled a doubleheader at home was during the 2009-10 season when they beat North Carolina, 21-15, and followed up with a 38-3 victory over NC State.
• 141-pound Nicholas Gil and 197-pound Joshua Roetman were the lone Navy wrestlers to produce wins in both of their matches.
• Team captain Nicholas Gil is on the brink of becoming the 16th wrestler in program history to reach 100 wins. Gil earned decisions on Sunday over Lehigh's Ryan Pomrinca (6-3) and Duke's Josh Finesilver (13-6) to push his career record to 99-38.
• Joshua Roetman improved to 16-6 on the year, but more impressive is his 6-0 mark in dual action.
• Roetman's reverse with 10 seconds left in the match secured his win (7-5) over Lehigh's Chris Weiler. Weiler bumped up from 184 pounds after an injury to 18th-ranked Jake Jakobsen against American on Saturday evening left Jakobsen sidelined. Remarkably, there were NO takedowns in the match, rather five reversals and an escape.
• Roetman also faced a tough match in the nightcap against Duke. With the team score tied up at 16 and trailing 2-1 heading into the third period of his match, Roetman scored the match-winning takedown with just over a minute to go and was able to fend off a late comeback by Alec Schenk to give the Mids' a three-point advantage going into the final bout.
• Two years ago in its match against Duke, Navy held a four-point lead going into the final match at heavyweight. Thomas Ott, then a sophomore, would lose that match to All-American and sixth-ranked Jacob Kasper by major decision. The win by Kasper leveled the match at 17. Navy, however, would be awarded the win by third criteria in the tie-breaking procedure which is total match points scored from decisions, major decisions and tech falls.
• Ott was reminded of that match prior to stepping on the mat against Duke's undersized heavyweight Araad Fisher on Sunday. Navy held a three-point advantage going into the match and Ott did not let his teammates down. He went on to beat Fisher, 6-1, and seal the win for the Midshipmen.
More from the Coach
• The team showed grit and determination by bouncing back after a tough dual with Lehigh. I felt like Jacob Allen really came out and lit a fire for the team to rally behind in the Duke match. He was very aggressive and got better and stronger as the match went on. Gil followed suit at 141 and remains a hammer in consistent performance for this team.
• I really liked what I saw in Tanner Skidgel in the second bout. He had a tough match with Lehigh and showed the character of a champion by being resilient and self motivating to demand more of himself in the second match against a guy he has struggled with in the past. He is stepping up to another level and it's very exciting to see.
• Thomas Ott really came through to close the door on a close dual meet. He has been getting better with his skills every week and there are few athletes who wrestle with bigger heart. I am looking forward to how his season plays out over the next two months.
What the Wrestlers Had to Say
• Heavyweight Thomas Ott - While the 184-pound match was going on, Coach Sharratt reminded me of the position I was in the last time we wrestled Duke here. Unfortunately I lost by major decision, but thankfully we won the tie-breaker. I told him, "I'm going to win this match." It took all 10 of us to win the match and I felt like I was just doing my job.
• 197-pound Joshua Roetman - When you wrestle at home, you should go into a match with a chip on your shoulder. It's a point of pride, it's where we go to school, it's where we compete. It's absolutely a different feel when you wrestle at home and especially when you are in a match like the one against Duke where it's so close. For me personally, I try to focus on things that I can control - effort, getting in good position, wrestling to the next point - and I know things will work themselves out and be alright. That mentality came into play in both my matches tonight. I had game planned all week to wrestle Jakobsen and then he got hurt and I faced a guy that wrestles completely different. Against Duke, the team score was tied and it was a close match with my competitor. Again, you go back to what you can control.
• The Midshipmen will partake in the 25th edition of the All-Academy Championship presented by USAA next Saturday in Northfield, Vt.
• Eight military institutions - Air Force, Army West Point, The Citadel, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine Academy, Navy, Norwich and VMI - will vye for the team title and 10 individual crowns with action beginning at 10:00 am at Norwich's Plumley Armory. This is the first time Norwich has played host to the event.
Lehigh 28, Navy 6
125 | Luke Resnick dec over Jacob Allen (NAVY), 3-1
133 | Brandon Paetzell dec over Casey Cobb (NAVY), 3-1
141 | #17 Nicholas Gil (NAVY) dec over Ryan Promrinca, 6-3
149 | Cortland Schuyler major dec over Adam Davis (NAVY), 18-6
157 | #18 Josh Humphreys major dec over Quentin Hovis (NAVY), 10-0
165 | Gordon Wolf dec over Tanner Skidgel (NAVY), 10-6
174 | #7 Jordan Kutler major dec over #19 Spencer Carey (NAVY), 13-3
184 | #7 Ryan Preisch major dec over Anthony Cable (NAVY), 13-1
197 | Joshua Roetman (NAVY) dec over Chris Weiler, 7-5
285 | #7 Jordan Wood dec over Thomas Ott (NAVY), 5-0
EXH | Cody Trybus (NAVY) dec over Nick Farro, 5-4
Navy 22, Duke 16
125 | Jacob Allen (NAVY) major dec over Harrison Campbell, 14-5
133 | Casey Cobb (NAVY) wins by forfeit
141 | #17 Nicholas Gil (NAVY) dec over Josh Finesilver, 13-6
149 | #6 Mitch Finesilver fall over Chris Hisey (NAVY), 6:29
157 | Benjamin Anderson dec over Quentin Hovis (NAVY), 6-4
165 | Tanner Skidgel (NAVY) dec over Zach Finesilver, 12-7
174 | #17 Matt Finesilver dec over #19 Spencer Carey (NAVY), 5-0
184 | Kaden Russell major dec over Anthony Cable (NAVY), 11-2
197 | Joshua Roetman (NAVY) dec over Alec Schenk, 4-3
285 | Thomas Ott (NAVY) dec over Araad Fisher, 6-1