No. 7 Lehigh wrestling downs Army

WEST POINT, N Y. - No. 7 Lehigh bounced back from a loss Friday at Cornell by capturing nine of ten bouts in a 30-6 win over Army West Point Sunday at Christl Arena. The Mountain Hawks added three bonus point wins, in the opening bout and the final two bouts, to down the Black Knights in their home finale and improve to 9-2 in duals and 7-1 against EIWA opponents.

Strong third period finishes led Lehigh to all three of their bonus wins plus two other key decisions.

"The fight was really good today," Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. "We were in some dogfights. At some points we might have been over-aggressive but I'll never complain about that. We gave up some points but that's something that's easily fixable. You have to have the fight all the time especially against a team like Army. They're really young but they're going to be really good."

5The only blemish on the day for the Mountain Hawks was an injury default by junior Cortlandt Schuyler at 149. Schuyler led Will Lucie 2-1 after one period but landed awkwardly on his arm on a mat return and had to default early in the second period.

Senior Darian Cruz started things off with a 14-4 major decision over Trey Chalifoux at 125. Cruz led 6-2 after two periods and while pursuing a major decision in the third, gave up a takedown, only to reverse Chalifoux onto his back for six points that provided the margin for the major.

Freshman Nick Farro followed Cruz with a 9-3 major decision over Lane Peters at 133. Farro led 2-1 after a period and after riding out the second period, tacked on three more takedowns in the third, while adding 3:29 of riding time advantage.

At 141, freshman Luke Karam made it 3-for-3 for the Mountain Hawks, scoring a takedown in each period to defeat Austin Harry 8-1. Karam cut Harry loose following his third period takedown but was unsuccessful in his attempt to add the takedown that would have cemented a major decision.

Following the injury default at 149, Army nearly made it two straight wins, as Lucas Weiland rode out junior Ian Brown in the second period at 157. An escape by Weiland tied the score at 2-2 in the third with Weiland owning a 1:01 riding time advantage, but Brown came up with a takedown and two point near fall in the final seconds to claim a 6-2 decision.

Junior Gordon Wolf then won a back-and-forth 10-8 decision over Cael McCormick at 165 to give Lehigh a 16-6 lead after six bouts. Wolf gave up the first takedown and after trading reversals and escaping, scored a takedown in the final seconds of the first period to lead 5-4 after one. After riding out the second period, Wolf claimed an escape, a reversal and a penalty point plus riding time, while conceding a third period takedown and two penalty points for locking hands.

Lehigh dodged another bullet at 174 as sophomore Jordan Kutler appeared to be shaken up after giving up a takedown to Ben Harvey to fall behind 3-2 after one period. After being evaluated for a head injury, Kutler was cleared and rallied back with a takedown and a two point near fall in the final minute of the third period to claim an 8-5 decision.

"We knew Army was a well-conditioned team," Santoro said. "We didn't create enough opportunities on Friday night. You sometimes need to work for three or four minutes before opportunities open up. We did a nice job creating opportunities today."

With junior Ryan Preisch and sophomore Andrew Price unavailable due to injuries, sophomore Paul Dunn stepped in at 184 and delivered a 6-4 decision over Noah Stewart. Dunn rode out the second period and tilted Stewart for four near fall points plus a penalty point. He added riding time advantage while giving up just a third period takedown and two stalling points to claim his first career dual meet win.

"He stayed ready and wrestled hard," Santoro said of Dunn. "He was great and he needed that one. He was in a bit of a funk but was able to break through against a really good kid that he knows pretty well. That was a good win for him." Freshman Chris Weiler got the nod at 197 and after giving up the initial takedown to Rocco Caywood, battled back to claim a 10-2 major decision that featured 3:42 of riding time advantage. Weiler reversed Caywood and tilted him for two near fall points in the first period and added a second period takedown and third period reversal plus a stalling point.

The final bout of the dual saw freshman heavyweight Jordan Wood dominate Bobby Heald in an 11-2 major decision that was secured with a takedown in the final seconds.

The Mountain Hawks will be back on the road next weekend as they travel to No. 10 Virginia Tech Friday night with match time set for 7 p.m. from Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. 

Story courtesy of Lehigh Athletics

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