Posted: 02/18/2012 | Last updated: February 18, 2012 at 09:44 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – No. 15 Lehigh closed out the dual meet season in style, winning nine of ten bouts in a 38-4 rout of Princeton Saturday night inside Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. On a night when Lehigh recognized its seven seniors, Joe Kennedy and Zach Rey closed out the match with back-to-back falls, as the Mountain Hawks scored bonus points in six of their wins. Lehigh finishes the dual season at 12-5 overall, 7-1 against EIWA opponents.
“This was the last one and we wanted to set a tempo for the Easterns,” said Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “We wrestled well last week and wrestled well again this week. Now it’s about tightening a few things up and opening up when we get to the Easterns.”
The Mountain Hawks won the first four bouts to open up an early 16-0 lead in the dual. At 125, sophomore Alex Abreu posted his second straight win, defeating Ryan Cash 9-3. Abreu scored two early takedowns and added a third period score plus two escapes and a healthy 4:20 riding time advantage. Freshman Mason Beckman then followed with a dominant 17-5 major decision over Joe DeQuinzio at 133. Beckman totaled six takedowns and also scored a three point near fall in the first period en route to his 23rd win of the season.
One of the most anticipated bouts of the night matched ranked sophomores Steve Dutton and Adam Krop at 141. In the first period, Dutton and Krop were engaged in a scramble, and Krop tweaked his leg right before a stalemate. Following a lengthy injury timeout Krop continued on in the match, and escaped to open the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Dutton kept the pressure on however and took Krop down in the second period, but shortly thereafter the injury proved too much for Krop to continue, so Dutton won by injury default to put the Mountain Hawks up 13-0.
Lehigh’s opening run was capped by a 7-3 decision by junior Shane Welsh over Zach Bintliff at 149. Princeton’s only win came at 157 as ninth-ranked Dan Kolodzik built a 12-1 first period lead on senior Brian Tanen before eventually winning by a 15-3 major decision. The Tigers, who fell 24-10 to Penn earlier in the day, close out the dual season at 6-14 (2-7 EIWA).
The second half of the dual began with senior Brandon Hatchett’s return to action for the first time since the Midlands where he defaulted with a shoulder injury. Hatchett scored two first period takedowns in his return, which was enough to down Rich Eva 8-2 at 165.
“He wanted to feel things out,” Santoro said. “We would have liked to see him open up more, but when you’ve been off the mats for almost two months that’s what happens. He held himself back a bit, but we needed to get him a match before Easterns.”
Freshman Nate Brown extended Lehigh’s lead with a 9-4 win over Andy Lowy at 174, while junior Robert Hamlin matched Beckman with his 23rd win of the season, a 14-4 major over Daniel Santoro at 184, setting the stage for Lehigh’s two senior upper weights.
Kennedy appeared to be headed for a technical fall win in his match with Kurt Brendel. By the third period Kennedy had built a 15-1 lead and went for one more wrist tilt to close out the match, but for the second time in as many bouts, Kennedy actually worked his opponents shoulders to the match with the tilt, and referee Anthony Zullo slapped the mat for Kennedy’s second pin of the season at 6:47.
In the final bout of the dual, Rey scored an early takedown against Bobby Grogan, and then utilized an arm bar to work the Tiger over for a fall in just 1:20, Rey’s eighth pin of the season and his 110th career victory.
“Anytime you get a pin that’s a good thing,” Santoro said. “I’m always happy to see seniors win in their last match and to get pins as well that’s great.
Santoro then offered his thoughts on the upcoming EIWA tournament, “We just want to sure things up. The Eastern’s are like playoffs. The intensity is really high. It’s a great tournament with great individuals and then there’s the ultimate goal two weeks after that in St. Louis.”
The Mountain Hawks will now shift their focus to the 108th EIWA Championships, March 3-4 hosted by Princeton at Jadwin Gym.
Lehigh 38, Princeton 4
125 – Alex Abreu (Lehigh) dec. Ryan Cash (Princeton) 9-3
133 – Mason Beckman (Lehigh) major dec. Joe DeQuinzion (Princeton) 17-5
141 – Steve Dutton (Lehigh) injury default Adam Krop (Princeton) 4:48
149 – Shane Welsh (Lehigh) dec. Zach Bintliff (Princeton) 7-3
157 – Dan Kolodzik (Princeton) major dec. Brian Tanen (Lehigh) 15-3
165 – Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) dec. Rich Eva (Princeton) 8-2
174 – Nate Brown (Lehigh) dec. Andy Lowy (Princeton) 9-4
184 – Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) major dec. Dan Santoro (Princeton) 14-4
197 – Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) Fall Kurt Brendel (Princeton) 6:47
285 – Zach Rey (Lehigh) Fall Bobby Grogan (Princeton) 1:20
Attendance – 1,627
Referee – Anthony Zullo