Lehigh went undefeated at the Sheridan Duals for the third time in four years, defeating American 38-9 in the early match before taking down Rider 23-10 in the late match.
A scheduled match with Rutgers was cancelled when the New Jersey team was unable to make the trip due to inclement weather. Lehigh has now won six straight duals after a season-ppening loss to Iowa State.
In the match against American, Lehigh controlled from the very beginning. Head coach Greg Strobel elected to use the match to get some mat time for more of the wrestling squad, as Mario Stuart, Matt Ciasulli, and Matt Cassidy were the only starters to wrestle. The match only included seven matches, as American forfeited at three weights.
At 125, Mario Stuart came out firing, executing a takedown and a three-point near fall in the first period. He never let up either, winning over Matt Pelligrino by tech fall at 6:44 by a score of 20-3. Then, at 133, Matt Ciasulli gained his team-leading third pin of the season, toppling Ben Lamson in just 1:13.
Mark McCauley made his first appearance of the year at 141, losing a very close match to Daniel Lobsenz. Lobsenz executed a takedown with just :10 left on the clock in the third period to take the victory, 3-2. Tommy Rohn returned to the mat at 149, and Lehigh lost another thriller when Tim Kneizewski beat the buzzer with a match-tying takedown in the third, then scored another takedown in overtime to win 11-9.
The Mountain Hawks then took the next three weights by forfeit, with Derek Zinck, Mike Maceroli, and Brad Dillon picking up the wins. At 184, Dan Waters continued American’s efforts, beating Dave Helfrich with the only takedown of the match, winning 3-2. At 197, Matt Cassidy improved to 5-1 on the season with his first pin, taking down Adam Montgomery at 1:51. Finally, at heavyweight, Anthony Livecchi won his first match by besting Jared Hyman 8-6.
Rider provides tougher test
In the afternoon, the Mountain Hawks got bonus points at only one weight while defeating Rider 23-10.
Senior Mario Stuart began the match by picking up his second win of the day with a 5-3 win over Jim DiCisco in a match that was tight throughout. Don Fisch of Rider then controlled the next match as he defeated Matt Ciasulli of Lehigh by a score of 7-1, tying the team scores at three.
Ninth-ranked Cory Cooperman helped the Mountain Hawks regain the lead with a 12-6 victory over Mike Molosky of the Broncs, in a match that Cooperman controlled throughout.
Freshman Matt Anderson then dueled with Labe Black in a bout at 149 that was close throughout. But Anderson was able to prevail with a 5-4 victory. At 157, Derek Zinck engaged in a very close and entertaining battle with Dave Miller, as both wrestlers tried to gain control of the bout. But neither was able to pull away. In the end, Zinck prevailed with a 3-1 victory and the Mountain Hawks led 12-3.
Mike Macerolli then got on the mat for the first time this season, after winning a decision by forfeit earlier in the day against American. Macerolli had a tough time against Ryan Cunningham, who came out fired up early and took control. Cunningham won the 165-pound bout by major decision with a score of 15-7, as the Broncs closed to within 12-7 overall.
But senior All-American Brad Dillon slammed the door shut with a win by technical fall, as he defeated Chris Marold 20-5, and put the Mountain Hawks back up by 17-7. And Travis Frick scored a tough 3-2 victory over Nick Catone to put Lehigh ahead 20-7, putting the match out of reach.
Freshman Matt Cassidy then went up against Jeff Black in a very intense match, which was interrupted midway through when Black spit on the mat, which turned into a technical point being awarded to Cassidy. Cassidy then countered Black’s outburst with a balanced attack of his own, which turned into a 6-2 victory.
In the final bout of the day, Carmelo Marrero of Rider defeated Paul Weibel by a score of 11-6, but it did not matter at that point, as Lehigh was already in control.
It wasn't a totally lost day for Rider, though, as they defeated American 46-3. Rider leaves with a record of 1-1, while American is now 0-3.
Lehigh, now 6-1, returns to the mat on Jan. 3, when the Mountain Hawks travel to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the Buckeye Duals. Lehigh will take on three opponents, in host Ohio State, Buffalo and Eastern Illinois.