The Mountain Hawks and Big Red were knotted at 16-16 through nine bouts. A takedown 37 seconds into sudden victory by senior Cortlandt Schuyler over Jonathan Furnas at 149, gave Lehigh the victory and sent the Mountain Hawks and their fans into celebration. Schuyler’s 3-1, sudden victory win clinched Lehigh’s first win over Cornell since 2016 and its first in Bethlehem since 2011.
“I’m really happy for Cortlandt,” Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. “He battled a really good kid there. It came down to overtime. It doesn’t really get more dramatic than that. But this was a total team effort. Every single point counted in this match. Everybody fought.”
The teams split the 10 bouts 5-5 with the bonus points scored in the opening bout ultimately providing the difference. The dual began at 157 with freshman Josh Humphreys facing Fredy Stroker. Humphreys scored early on a low single leg shot and then used a power half nelson to turn Stroker for two points to go up 4-0 before Stroker called for injury time. Stroker was unable to continue due to his injury and the injury default win at 1:39 gave Lehigh a 6-0 lead.
Both teams were missing several projected starters and Lehigh took advantage at the next two weights to build a 13-0 lead after three bouts. Senior Gordon Wolf started fast with three first period takedowns in a 10-6 win over Adam Santoro at 165, while junior Jordan Kutler opened up after a scoreless first period at 174, scoring five takedowns over the final two periods in a 13-4 major decision over Andrew Berreyesa.
Cornell claimed wins at 184 and 197 to cut Lehigh’s lead to 13-6 at intermission. Tenth-ranked Max Dean topped sophomore Chris Weiler 8-4 at 184, and Ben Honis won a 6-2 decision over sophomore Jake Jakobsen at 197.
The first bout after intermission did not start the Mountain Hawks’ way. Sophomore heavyweight Jordan Wood gave up the first takedown to Jeramy Sweany and then needed an injury timeout, finishing the period in a 3-0 hole. The deficit grew to 5-0 early in the second period before Wood stormed back, showing dominance on his feet and scoring three takedowns in the second period and four more in the third to rally for a 17-12 decision.
“Jordan Wood trains harder than anybody in the country,” Santoro said. “He trains for being down 5-0. He kept coming and coming and coming. That was a spark we needed at that point.”
With ranked wrestlers at the first three weight classes, Cornell had the firepower needed to get back in the match, but the Big Red could only muster 10 team points from 125 through 141.
Freshman Luke Resnick battled Vitali Arujau at 125 and only conceded an 18-6 major decision. At 133, sophomore Brandon Paetzell fell behind Chas Tucker 7-1 after two but came back in the third before falling 8-4.
Junior Ryan Pomrinca trailed top-ranked and defending national champion Yianni Diakomihalis 11-4 after one period but did his part over the final four minutes to keep the match to a regular decision. Pomrinca worked out a takedown in the second period and added an escape in the third while only conceding a pair of second period escapes as Diakomihalis eventually won a 13-7 decision.
The decisive bout at 149 saw a scoreless first period with Furnas escaping two seconds into the second period and Schuyler getting his escape two seconds into the third. Midway through the sudden victory period Furnas came in towards Schuyler’s left leg, but the senior spun around and covered for the winning takedown with 23 seconds remaining.
“This win builds momentum and momentum is always a good thing,” Santoro said. “We have two really big ones next weekend that we have to get ready for. We’ll enjoy this one and get back to work on Monday and be ready to go next weekend.
“We all want to win dual meets but at the end of the day these guys want to be on the podium in March,” Santoro continued. “That’s what we’re training for. Whatever happened to our team in the fall, we have to deal with it. Our guys are responding well. They’re not feeling sorry for themselves. They’re going out and trying to get better. As a coach, I want them to become better people and better wrestlers. If we do that every day, we’ll be all right.”
Lehigh wins its third straight dual overall, improving to 3-7 on the dual season, while Cornell falls to 5-2, dropping its second straight.
The Mountain Hawks will hit the road for two EIWA duals next weekend as Lehigh travels to American Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Navy Sunday at 2 p.m. Audio coverage of both duals will be available on WLVR-FM (91.3).
The 2018-19 Lehigh wrestling season is presented by the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.
157 – Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) injury default Fredy Stroker (Cornell) 1:39
165 – Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) dec. Adam Santoro (Cornell) 10-6
174 – Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) major dec. Andrew Berreyesa (Cornell) 13-4
184 – Max Dean (Cornell) dec. Chris Weiler (Lehigh) 8-4
197 – Ben Honis (Cornell) dec. Jake Jakobsen (Lehigh) 6-2
285 – Jordan Wood (Lehigh) dec. Jeramy Sweany (Cornell) 17-12
125 – Vitali Arujau (Cornell) major dec. Luke Resnick (Lehigh) 18-6
133 – Chas Tucker (Cornell) dec. Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) 8-4
141 – Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) dec. Ryan Pomrinca (Lehigh) 13-7
149 – Cortlandt Schuyler (Lehigh) dec. Jonathan Furnas (Cornell) 3-1, sv
Attendance – 1,820
Officials – Nathan Chatman and Jesse Rawls Jr.