PHILADELPHIA - Penn may have only won three bouts against No. 7 Lehigh in a 30-9 loss on Sunday, but those three wins came in a variety of thrilling ways.
At 157, No. 17 Matt Dragon came up with a four-point move in the third period to defeat Sean Bilodeau, 9-7. Two bouts later, No. 19 Scott Giffin pulled an upset according to the rankings, taking No. 16 Robert Hamlin down five times en route to a 12-5 decision. Penn's final win came at 197 pounds, with freshman Micah Burak knocking off No. 17 Joe Kennedy, 3-2, in a tiebreaker.
Dragon entered the third period of his match against Bilodeau trailing 6-5 and with riding time working against him. At about the 5:45 mark, Dragon rolled over and came out on top for the reversal, adding two backpoints in the process for a 9-6 lead. After Dragon required a second injury stoppage - this one to reset his injured shoulder - Bilodeau chose neutral looking to get the tying takedown. Dragon was able to keep Bilodeau at bay, picking up the decision.
Giffin won the only match between two ranked wrestlers, seemingly taking Hamlin down at will throughout the match. Giffin scored a pair of takedown in both the first and third period, finishing strong on shots to the right hip each time.
At 197, Burak picked up his second win over a ranked wrestler this season, needing a tiebreaker to do so. After a scoreless first period, 17th-ranked Joe Kennedy escaped quickly in the second to take a 1-0 lead. In the third period, Burak chose neutral. His strategy paid off with a takedown at 6:15. Burak, got in low on the right leg and was able to finish on the edge of the mat to take the lead. Kennedy escaped off a restart to tie the bout. In overtime, Kennedy had the first good shot, but Micah countered midway through. Late in the extra period, Burak was close to scoring a takedown but Kennedy hung on to force tiebreakers. Burak selected down for the first 30-second period, and was out in four ticks. In the second 30-second stanza, Burak was able to ride the full frame, earning the decision.
Those wins could have helped cap off a stunning upset for the Red and Blue if two matches at the beginning of the dual had gone differently. The Quakers dropped a pair of heartbreakers at 133 and 141 to turn a possible lead into an insurmountable 13-0 deficit.
At 133, Bryan Ortenzio had a late 3-1 lead on No. 14 Matt Fisk thanks to an escape and a pair of penalty points - for locked hands and a third caution. Fisk fought to the end, however, and scored a takedown with three seconds left. The timing of the takedown was important because at that moment, Fisk had 58 seconds of riding time. The takedown provided just enough added advantage time for the extra point and the 4-3 decision.
Zack Kemmerer also was close to an upset at 141, taking No. 15 Seth Ciasulli to sudden victory before Ciasulli scored a fall at 7:53 from neutral position for a big point swing. Kemmerer was able to get in on Ciasulli all match, but could only capitalize for a takedown once - at 3:58. Kemmerer was close again in overtime, but the situation was ruled potentially dangerous. Off the restart, Kemmerer came in once more, but in the ensuing scramble, Ciasulli was able to get Kemmerer's shoulders down and score the late fall.
No. 7 Lehigh def. Penn, 30-9
125 - John McDonald (Lehigh) def. Mark Rappo (Penn), 8-0; Lehigh leads 4-0
133 - No. 14 Matt Fisk (Lehigh) def. Bryan Ortenzio (Penn), 4-3; Lehigh leads 7-0
141 - No. 15 Seth Ciasulli (Lehigh) def. Zack Kemmerer (Penn), Fall 7:53 (SV); Lehigh leads 13-0
149 - Joey Napoli (Lehigh) def. Zack Ellis (Penn), 11-2; Lehigh leads 17-0
157 - No. 17 Matt Dragon (Penn) def. Sean Bilodeau (Lehigh), 9-7; Lehigh leads 17-3
165 - No. 18 Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) def. Gabriel Burak (Penn), 5-0; Lehigh leads 20-3
174 - No. 19 Scott Giffin (Penn) def. No. 16 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh), 12-5; Lehigh leads 20-6
184 - No. 15 David Craig (Lehigh) def. Harrison Cook (Penn), Fall 4:12; Lehigh leads 26-6
197 - Micah Burak (Penn) def. No. 17 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh), 3-2 (TB); Lehigh leads 26-9
285 - No. 6 Zach Rey (Lehigh) def. Tyler Blakely (Penn), 14-6; Lehigh leads 30-9