Lehigh starts fast, finishes strong in 33-8 home win over American

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- In its first Grace Hall appearance since late November, No. 12 Lehigh ran its dual win streak to six with a 33-8 victory over American Friday night inside Leeman-Turner Arena. The Mountain Hawks won eight bouts, scoring bonus points in six of the eight victories.

Junior Chris Weiler opened the dual by rallying for a win over a ranked foe at 184, a win that was followed by four straight bonus victories as Lehigh built a 22-0 lead at intermission and never looked back.

The win improves the Mountain Hawks' record to 7-3 overall and 3-1 against EIWA opponents. The brown and white showed resiliency throughout the evening. Lehigh gave up the first takedown in three of its eight victories, with Weiler and sophomore Josh Humphreys erasing third period deficits to win matches.

"Wrestling three periods was very important for us tonight," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. "We were finding ways to win, and that's important. We have to step it up a little more tomorrow because Navy is going to bring it. We're going to have to match that high intensity."

Weiler took on No. 18 Tanner Harvey in a battle of ranked men at 184. Harvey started fast with two quick takedowns to build a 4-1 lead, but Weiler rallied with two takedowns to lead 7-6 after one period. A Harvey reversal and Weiler escape tied the match at 8-8 through two periods. In the third, Weiler had trouble getting out from bottom, but worked his way to a late reversal to go in front 10-8 and rode out to win 10-9 for his second win over a ranked opponent in eight days.

"I didn't even think Chris was wrestling until this morning when he told me he was going," Santoro said. "He wasn't on the mat much all week. He got off to a slow start. He didn't have his feet under him early but he got better as the match went on."

Junior Jake Jakobsen followed with Lehigh's lone fall of the night, as he took down Will Jarrell and then locked up a cradle, securing his second fall of the season in just 51 seconds.

Heavyweight Jordan Wood made it three straight wins to open the dual, scoring 14 points over the final two periods in a 16-3 major decision.

Junior Brandon Paetzell was the second Mountain Hawk to yield the first takedown, but he answered back with one of his own to lead Gage Curry 3-2 after one period at 125. Paetzell took over from there, scoring an escape, takedown and near fall in the second period and adding one more takedown in the third to post a 13-4 major decision.

Sophomore Jaret Lane made his first Grace Hall dual appearance at 133 and rolled to a 19-4 technical fall in 5:23 over Daniel Kidd. Lane hit a headlock throw for six points in the first period to lead 8-1 after three minutes and never looked back, as Lehigh led 22-0 at the break.

"Going out and scoring points is what we've been doing the last month or so," Santoro said. "We're getting better each week. We just need to stay the course. Try to get better. Try to be dangerous. Keep scoring late."

American (2-4, 2-2 EIWA) opened the second half of the dual with its two victories, as Sal Profaci defeated sophomore Dan Moran 6-3 at 141 and eight-ranked Kizhan Clarke won a 20-5 technical fall over sophomore JT Cooley at 149.

Humphreys saved his best for the third period against Ethan Karsten at 157. After losing a scramble for two points in the first period and getting ridden out in the second, Humphreys trailed 2-1, but in the third, Karsten chose bottom and Humphreys rode out to erase riding time advantage, while turning the Eagle for four points and turning the 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 decision that clinched the dual for the Mountain Hawks.

"Josh made some mistakes but he also showed a lot of grit and toughness," Santoro said. "That's what you have to do at the NCAA Tournament. Matches might not go your way. You might not feel your best or be wrestling your best but you can always fight your best and Josh never stopped wrestling."

Freshman Brian Meyer followed with his fourth dual win in five outings and his first non-forfeit bonus win in a dual. Meyer dominated Anthony Wokasch in a 13-3 major decision at 165.

Senior Jordan Kutler closed the dual with an impressive 11-2 major decision over Ben Root at 174 as he ran his season record to 12-1.

The Mountain Hawks are back at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall to host Navy in the 100th meeting of Lehigh's second most-contested series. It is also the annual Billy Sheridan Memorial Dual and Salute to Service Day with free admission for military and first responders. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Grace Hall ticket window prior to the match.

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

184 - Chris Weiler (Lehigh) dec. Tanner Harvey (AU) 10-9
197 - Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) Fall Will Jarrell (AU) 0:51
285 - Jordan Wood (Lehigh) major dec. Niko Camacho (AU) 16-3
125 - Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) major dec. Gage Curry (AU) 13-4
133 - Jaret Lane (Lehigh) tech fall Daniel Kidd (AU) 19-4, 5:23
141 - Sal Profaci (AU) dec. Dan Moran (Lehigh) 6-3
149 - Kizhan Clarke (AU) tech fall JT Cooley (Lehigh) 20-5, 7:00
157 - Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) dec. Ethan Karsten (AU) 5-2
165 - Brian Meyer (Lehigh) major dec. Anthony Wokasch (AU) 13-3
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) major dec. Ben Root (AU) 11-2
Attendance - 1,303


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