Lehigh grinds out 23-9 win over Navy in annual Sheridan Dual

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- In a dual that featured a number of close matches that were decided in the third period or later, No. 12 Lehigh picked up its seventh straight dual win, topping Navy 23-9 Saturday inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. The match was the 100th in what is Lehigh's second most-wrestled series, with this year's edition serving as the annual Sheridan Dual.

The Mountain Hawks (8-3, 4-1 EIWA) won seven bouts, but picked up bonus points in just one, a technical fall by sophomore Josh Humphreys at 157. The victory was the 200th career dual win for Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro, who won 48 duals at Maryland and has now won 152 at Lehigh.

"Most of the guys wrestled really well, but there where about three matches where I felt we were lazy on finishes and shut down," Santoro said. "We had been doing such a good job of continuing to get better, but today we didn't do some of those things right in key matches.

The first four bouts of the afternoon were tight into the third period and beyond.

Junior Brandon Paetzell kicked things off against Logan Treaster at 125. The bout went into the third period tied 1-1 before Paetzell went ahead on a second penalty point for stalling. Paetzell followed the stalling point with a takedown and rode out to win 5-1 with the riding time point.

At 133, junior Nick Farro trailed Jacob Allen 3-2 early in the third period, but rallied behind a pair of third period takedowns to take a 6-5 lead. Allen picked up his second takedown of the match with five seconds remaining to get Navy on the board with a 7-6 decision.

Senior Ryan Pomrinca and Navy's Cody Trybus engaged in the only overtime bout of the day. Pomrinca scored a takedown in the first period, while Trybus went ahead in the third with his lone takedown. A Pomrinca escape sent the bout to sudden victory tied 4-4. With Pomrinca being selective about his shots, he finally pulled the trigger late and secured the winning takedown with 12 seconds remaining to win 6-4 and put Lehigh back in front 6-3.

"Ryan's really good," Santoro said. "He took two shots and scored two takedowns. He just needs to pull the trigger more so he can open matches up. You don't want to lose a match on a stall call in overtime. He ended up finding a way to win and that was big for him."

Sophomore Dan Moran bumped up to 149 to face Wyatt Long. Moran gave up an early takedown but stayed on the attack through most of the match although he was unable to convert. Down 3-2 in the third, Moran finally secured a takedown and added a four-point near fall late to win 8-3.

"Danny just wrestles hard for seven minutes," Santoro said. "He kept wearing him down and finally hit that shot and put him on his back to finish the match, which was awesome."

Humphreys made it four straight wins for Lehigh and gave the Mountain Hawks a 14-3 lead at intermission with a 17-2 technical fall over Jack Stanton-Taddeo at 157. Humphreys scored three first period takedowns, added a takedown and four point near fall in the second, and closed out the match at 5:26 with another four point near fall.

Navy (4-4, 1-1 EIWA) picked up its second win as eighth-ranked Tanner Skidgel beat freshman Brian Meyer 2-0 at 165. Skidgel rode out the second and escaped in the third for the only scoring of the bout.

Senior Jordan Kutler bested Spencer Carey in a matchup of top 20 grapplers at 174, scoring takedowns in the first and third periods in a 5-1 decision.

Sophomore Eli Grape made his dual debut at 184 in place of Chris Weiler and clinched the dual for the Mountain Hawks with a 9-5 decision over Hunter Johns. Grape scored takedowns in each of the first two periods plus a reversal and takedown in the third to put Lehigh up 20-6 with two bouts remaining.

The Midshipmen picked up their third win at 197 as Jacob Koser won a 6-5 decision over junior Jake Jakobsen. Koser won a scramble for a takedown in the first period and used a cradle to turn Jakobsen for four points to lead 6-0 after one. Jakobsen rode out the second and turned Koser for four, but could not secure the necessary takedown in the third period.

Junior Jordan Wood capped the dual with a 4-1 decision over John Birchmeier at 285.

Lehigh has now won nine straight duals to take a 53-47 lead in the all-time series.

"We have almost two weeks until our next dual," Santoro said. "We'll give the guys a few days off. We have to be able to fight through some of those mental mistakes we had today."

The Mountain Hawks will be off next weekend and will return to action on Friday, January 31 when they battle No. 20 Army West Point in a match that will be held at West Orange High School in N.J. The 20th-ranked Black Knights moved their Senior Night dual to West Orange to honor late wrestler C.J. Morgan, an alumnus of West Orange High School, who passed away last summer due to injuries sustained from a military vehicle accident in the U.S. Military Academy's training area. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start.

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

125 - Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) dec. Logan Treaster (Navy) 5-1
133 - Jacob Allen (Navy) dec. Nick Farro (Lehigh) 7-6
141 - Ryan Pomrinca (Lehigh) dec. Cody Trybus (Navy) 6-4, sv
149 - Dan Moran (Lehigh) dec. Wyatt Long (Navy) 8-3
157 - Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) tech fall Jack Stanton-Taddeo (Navy) 17-2, 5:26
165 - Tanner Skidgel (Navy) dec. Brian Meyer (Lehigh) 2-0
174 - Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) dec. Spencer Carey (Navy) 5-1
184 - Eli Grape (Lehigh) dec. Hunter Johns (Navy) 9-5
197 - Jacob Koser (Navy) dec. Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) 6-5
285 - Jordan Wood (Lehigh) dec. John Birchmeier (Navy) 4-1
Attendance - 1,486


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