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Wood's win secures Lehigh's victory over Cornell

ITHACA, N.Y. -- For the second straight year, the Lehigh-Cornell dual came down to the final bout. This time junior heavyweight Jordan Wood was the hero, beating Brendan Furman 5-0 to clinch a 19-14 victory for the 14th-ranked Mountain Hawks over the 19th-ranked Big Red Saturday at the Friedman Wrestling Center. Lehigh won five of the first seven bouts, but wins at 184 and 197 brought Cornell within 16-14 heading into the final bout.

The win is Lehigh's second straight over the Big Red and fifth overall in 2019-20. The Mountain Hawks are now 6-3 overall and 2-1 against EIWA foes in dual competition this season.

"You never sleep on Cornell," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. "They're well coached. They're a good team. They really slowed us up a lot today. We couldn't get to our offense very well. We have to get better at that. It was a great dual. There were about four tossup matches and we knew we had to win a couple. They were thinking the same thing. We were fortunate to come out of here with a win."

With the dual on the line, Wood converted a single leg takedown with 51 seconds left in the opening period and rode out to lead 2-0 after one. He continued his strong work on top, riding out the second period. In the third, Wood scored a reversal and rode out to secure the 5-0 victory.

"Over the last 10 days, Jordan is showing that his power is back," Santoro said. "He lifted a 280 pound guy up in the air twice. His power is back and that's what we needed from him. When the dual is on the line, I'll take Jordan every day."

The dual began at 125 with junior Brandon Paetzell holding off Dom LaJoie. Paetzell scored the first takedown but gave one up in the second. A reversal and ride out had the match tied at 4-4 after two periods. Paetzell escaped in the third to take a 5-4 lead and that stood to give Lehigh a 3-0 lead.

Junior Nick Farro battled fourth-ranked Chas Tucker at 133. Farro scored the first takedown but Tucker answered in the third period and the match went to overtime tied 4-4. A Tucker shot resulted in a lengthy scramble, with Tucker awarded the winning takedown in the final seconds of sudden victory to tie the dual at 3-3.

Sophomore Dan Moran battled Noah Baughman at 141 and came away with a 2-1 decision, with the winning point coming on a second stall call against Baughman early in the third period.

Cornell took its lone lead of the day following 149 as Hunter Richard won a 13-3 major decision over sophomore JT Cooley.

The Mountain Hawks went on a three-bout run from there to take a 16-7 lead. Sophomore Josh Humphreys controlled Adam Santoro with two takedowns and over three minutes of riding time. He gave up two penalty points in the first period but posted a 6-2 decision.

Freshman Brian Meyer took on Jake Brindley at 165 and came through with one of his biggest wins in the brown and white. With the match tied 1-1 in sudden victory, Meyer converted a double leg takedown to win 3-1 and put the Mountain Hawks in front by five.

"He has been working so hard and does all the right things," Santoro said of Meyer. "When he gets into those overtime matches he's confident, because he's in great shape."

Senior Jordan Kutler delivered the lone bonus point win of the day for the Mountain Hawks, scoring three takedowns over the final two periods and securing exactly one minute of advantage time in a 9-1 major decision over Milik Dawkins at 174.

Cornell (4-4) got back within striking distance after Jonathan Loew rallied for an 8-6 win over junior Chris Weiler at 184 and sixth-ranked Ben Darmstadt won an 8-0 major at 197 over junior Jake Jakobsen.

The Mountain Hawks will return home for two duals next weekend inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Lehigh will host American Friday at 7 p.m. and Navy Saturday at 2 p.m. in the annual Billy Sheridan Memorial Dual and the 100th meeting of Lehigh's second most-wrestled series. Tickets for both duals are available and can be purchased at LehighTickets.com or by calling 610-7LU-GAME during business hours.

The 2019-20 Lehigh wrestling season is presented by the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Results:
125 - Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) dec. Dom LaJoie (Cornell) 5-4
133 - Chas Tucker (Cornell) dec. Nick Farro (Lehigh) 6-4, sv
141 - Dan Moran (Lehigh) dec. Noah Baughman (Cornell) 2-1
149 - Hunter Richard (Cornell) major dec. JT Cooley (Lehigh) 13-3
157 - Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) dec. Adam Santoro (Cornell) 6-2
165 - Brian Meyer (Lehigh) dec. Jake Brindley (Cornell) 3-1, sv
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) major dec. Milik Dawkins (Cornell) 9-1
184 - Jonathan Loew (Cornell) dec. Chris Weiler (Lehigh) 8-6
197 - Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) major dec. Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) 8-0
285 - Jordan Wood (Lehigh) dec. Brendan Furman (Cornell) 5-0

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