Posted: January 6, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – In a hotly contested match Tuesday night, Penn State took a decision in the last weight class of the evening to upset No. 3 Lehigh by a final of 19-15. The Mountain Hawks (9-2, 1-0) took victories in the first four weight classes, only to see the Nittany Lions (2-0, 0,0) reel off six straight from there to take home the victory.
Matt Anderson got the night off to a great start for the Mountain Hawks at 149, as the lanky freshman scored a major upset over No. 8 Matt Storniolo 9-2. Storniolo took Anderson down in the first period and rode him out the rest of the way, but Anderson rallied furiously, getting a two-point and three-point near fall to finish off Storniolo. At 157, Derek Zinck continued his strong showing off his three pins at the Buckeye Duals with a 13-7 decision over James Woodall.
At 165, top-ranked Troy Letters lived up to his billing, giving the Mountain Hawks their third straight weight class with a pin of Chris Taylor in just 43 seconds. Then, at 174, No. 2 Brad Dillon got a tough test from the Nittany Lions’ James Yonushonis, leading just 4-3 entering the third period. But a late takedown for Dillon would keep Yonushonis at bay as Dillon won 7-4 for Lehigh’s fourth straight win to start the night, making the match score 15-0.
However, starting at 184 Penn State would rally. No. 12 Eric Bradley won a battle with No. 10 Travis Frick 6-2. Then, at 197, in a very close contest, Penn State got another win as No. 16 Joel Edwards scored only an escape plus riding time to defeat No. 19 Matt Cassidy 2-0. At heavyweight, No. 2 Pat Cummins took a major decision over Paul Weibel 15-7 with six takedowns.
In a pivotal matchup at 125, Adam Smith used a takedown and a two-point near fall to beat No. 9 Mario Stuart 4-2. Then at 133, No. 3 Josh Moore scored only one takedown, but it was enough to best Matt Ciasulli 4-1, giving Penn State their first lead of the night at 16-15. Finally, in the night’s deciding match, Dewitt Driscoll overcame a very determined Taylor Graham with an 8-3 decision to give Penn State the victory.
“It was a tough loss,” said head coach Greg Strobel, “this one will hurt for awhile. The pivotal matches were at 184 and 197. I knew we needed to get a win there, and when we didn’t I knew we were in trouble. Obviously if we had Cory Cooperman (out with an illness) at 141, maybe things would have been different, but that is no consolation to our team. We fought hard, but tomorrow is another day, and we will get ready for the Virginia Duals this weekend.”
The loss snapped a nine-match winning streak for the Mountain Hawks, and puts them at 1-2 on the season at Grace Hall. Penn State was one of only three teams to beat Lehigh last year as well, although the Mountain Hawks paid them back in the semis of the Virginia Duals.
Just like last year, when the team went into Virginia a week after a loss to Penn State, this year Lehigh will attempt to shake it off again and take the title. Last season the Mountain Hawks defeated Edinboro, Penn State, and Nebraska to claim the crown. This years opponents have yet to be determined for the matches beginning Friday in Hampton, VA.
Weight matchup result score
149 Matt Anderson (LU) over Matt Sterniolo (PS) 9-2
157 Derek Zinck (LU) over James Woodall (PS) 13-7
165 Troy Letters (LU) over Chris Taylor (PS) WBF, 0:43
174 Brad Dillon (LU) over James Yonushonis (PS) 7-4
184 Eric Bradley (PS) over Travis Frick (LU) 6-2
197 Joel Edwards (PS) over Matt Cassidy (LU) 2-0
HWT Pat Cummins (PS) over Paul Weibel (LU) MD, 15-7
125 Adam Smith (PS) over Mario Stuart (LU) 4-2133 Josh Moore (PS) over Matt Ciasulli (LU) 4-1
141 Dewitt Driscoll (PS) over Taylor Graham (LU) 8-3