BETHLEHEM, PA - Senior heavyweight Ethan Laird (Waterford, PA/General McLane) stunned nationally-ranked No. 5 Jordan Wood with an 8-5 decision as the Rider University wrestling team upset No. 25 Lehigh, 17-15, Sunday afternoon at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. With the win, the Broncs' third-straight, Rider improves to 3-1 on the season. Lehigh is now 3-4.
Lehigh built a six-point lead, 9-3, on a fall at 125 lbs. and a decision at 141 lbs. sandwiched around a R Richie Koehler (Middletown, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) decision at 133 lbs. Rider kept the match within reach with sudden victory decisions at 149 and 165 lbs. from Wyatt McCarthy (Newton, NJ/Newton) and Jake Silverstein (Hauppauge, NY/Smithtown [Nebraska]), respectively. Angel Garcia (Philadelphia, PA/Mariana Bracetti Academy) scored a takedown in the final seconds of his match at 174 lbs. to momentarily even the match at 12-12 before the Broncs were assessed a one-point team penalty for control of the mat area in celebrating the victory.
George Walton (Franklin, NJ/Bound Brook [Old Dominon]) gave Rider the lead for the first time with a 6-3 decision at 184 lbs., before Lehigh wrestled the lead back with a 2-0 decision from Jake Jakobsen over Matt Correnti (Delran, NJ/Holy Cross [Rutgers]) at 197 lbs. At heavyweight, the 14th-ranked Laird built a 5-2 advantage over No. 5 Wood, before Wood evened the score at 5-5. With less than 30 seconds left and Wood on top, Laird got the escape and then took Wood down and rode out the final 16 seconds to clinch the match.
- Rider and Lehigh hadn't wrestled since the two teams split a home-and-home series in December of 2014 and 2015, with each team win on the other's home mat. Rider similarly scored a 17-16 victory on Dec. 7, 2014, in Bethlehem.
- Garcia and Laird each moved to 5-0 on the season with their wins.
- Making the win even more impressive was that the Broncs did so without the services of nationally-ranked No. 4 Jesse Dellavecchia (Great River, NY/East Islip [Binghamton]) at 157 lbs., a weight class where Lehigh earned a decision.
- The Broncs are scheduled to return to action Thursday, Feb. 11, when they host Drexel at 7 p.m.
125 - Jaret Lane (Lehigh) Fall Jonathan Tropea (Rider) 3:49; Lehigh leads, 6-0
133 - Richie Koehler (Rider) dec. Mitch Polito (Lehigh) 6-4; Lehigh leads, 6-3
141 - Connor McGonagle (Lehigh) dec. McKenzie Bell (Rider) 6-1; Lehigh leads, 9-3
149 - Wyatt McCarthy (Rider) dec. Joe Lobeck (Lehigh) 3-1, sv; Lehigh leads, 9-6
157 - AJ Burkhart (Lehigh) dec. Cole McComas (Rider) 7-6; Lehigh leads, 12-6
165 - Jake Silverstein (Rider) dec. Brian Meyer (Lehigh) 3-1, sv; Lehigh leads, 12-9
174 - Angel Garcia (Rider) dec. Jake Logan (Lehigh) 4-3*; Match tied, 12-12
* Rider deducted a team point for control of mat area following 174 bout; Lehigh leads, 12-11
184 - George Walton (Rider) dec. Caden Wright (Lehigh) 6-3; Rider leads, 14-12
197 - Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) dec. Matt Correnti (Rider) 2-0; Lehigh leads, 15-14
285 - Ethan Laird (Rider) dec. Jordan Wood (Lehigh) 8-5; Rider wins, 17-15
125 - Sheldon Seymour (Lehigh) dec. Tyler Klinsky (Rider) 5-3
184 - Shane Reitsma (Rider) dec. Andrew Shedleski (Lehigh) 4-3