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    Lehigh downs Navy in EIWA opener

    BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Behind pins from senior Matt Fisk and sophomore Brandon Hatchett, Lehigh won seven of ten bouts over Navy as the Mountain Hawks won their EIWA dual opener 28-9 over the Mids Saturday inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Senior Seth Ciasulli added bonus points with a major decision win at 141 for Lehigh, which improves to 11-3 on the dual season. The loss drops the Midshipmen to 2-1 in duals.

    “Those two seniors really did a nice job in getting us back where we needed to go,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “They were physical; they were there to score points. Any time you wrestle a conference match it’s a big match, but we knew they’d be prepared.”

    For the second straight night, Fisk was counted upon to give the Mountain Hawks a boost after Lehigh dropped the opening bout when Aaron Kalil blanked sophomore John McDonald 4-0 at 125. Fisk took down Pat McCaffrey in the first period and slapped on a cradle to force McCaffrey to his back where the fall was called in 2:46.

    Ciasulli also delivered bonus points with a 14-5 major decision over Matt Pagan at 141. The Easton native started strong with three first period takedowns and a fourth takedown in the second period, but Ciasulli cemented the major decision with a takedown and two point near fall with a leg scissors in the final seconds of the third period.

    Freshman Joey Napoli kept the momentum on Lehigh’s side with a 4-3 win over John Majka at 149, but a 10-3 win by Navy’s Bryce Saddoris over sophomore Sean Bilodeau put the Mountain Hawks up 13-6 at intermission.

    The second half of the dual began with bonus points as Hatchett scored his first fall in dual competition this season, pinning Robby Neill in 3:55. Hatchett led 2-1 after one period and in the second period, caught Neill trying to roll through on the bottom securing the fall with just over a minute remaining.

    Lehigh captured the next three bouts, all by decision. At 174, freshman Robert Hamlin overcame a slow start to defeat Matt DeMichiel 10-4. Senior David Craig was never in danger as he scored takedowns in each of the first two periods to defeat Greg Prioleau 6-1 at 184, while at 197 sophomore Joe Kennedy broke open a 1-0 bout with two third period near falls off tilts to defeat Charles Carafano 197.

    Almost all of the 1,565 in attendance stayed for the final bout of the dual, pitting eighth-ranked Scott Steele against fifth-ranked Lehigh sophomore Zach Rey. Steele went ahead in the second period with an escape and takedown and led 3-1 after two periods. In the third Rey escaped to pull within one, but his late shots were unsuccessful, as Steele held on for a 3-2 win.

    “Teams like Navy are teams we need to be seeing,” explained Santoro. “That’s the type of schedule we have. Navy pushes the pace and that’s why our conference keeps getting better; with these teams that really push it all the way through.”

    The Mountain Hawks will return to action next Friday night when they travel to Ithaca N.Y. to take on the seventh-ranked Cornell Big Red. First match is set for 7 p.m. from Newman Arena and all the action can be heard on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 as well as online at Lehighsports.com.

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