PRINCETON – The University of Pennsylvania wrestling team dropped a close dual meet to Ivy League rival Princeton, 19-15, as the Quakers were unable to maintain a lead with three bouts to go.
The heavy hitters for the Quakers came through with wins – led by wins in the waning seconds from No. 17 Casey Kent and No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas to give Penn a 15-9 lead with three matches remaining. However, Princeton claimed the final three matches for the win which wasn’t decided until the final whistle of a 3-2 match at 125 pounds.
Caleb Richardson got Penn off to a great start with a first-period pin of Jake Adkins at 133 pounds. Richardson had four takedowns in the first period before securing the fall at 2:30.
After a decision win from Princeton’s Jordan Laster at 141 pounds, 9-5, Penn responded with a decision win of its own from No. 10 C.J. Cobb at 149 pounds.
Cobb defeated the man who beat him at EIWAs last March, Chris Perez, 3-0, to give Penn a 9-3 lead. Perez was called for an illegal hold early in the second period, and then Cobb would escape for a 2-0 lead. In the third, Cobb rode the entire period – building up 1:24 of riding time for the 3-0 win.
The tide may have first turned in Princeton’s favor with wins at 157 and 165 pounds. No. 20 May Bethea scored first at 157, connecting on a double leg to put Adam Krop behind early. Krop, a veteran of the Penn-Princeton battle, escaped and scored a takedown of his own to help send the match to the second period at 3-3. In the middle frame, an escape and takedown for Krop had Bethea down, 6-3, heading to the third period. Bethea chose neutral in the third and quickly scored to close the gap. However, Krop escaped and iced the match with a takedown for a 10-5 decision.
Brooks Martino found himself in a 4-1 hole after one period to Judd Zeigler at 165 pounds. A reversal from Martino in the second helped close the margin a bit to 5-3, but Martino’s attempts at a turn in the third period went for not in a 5-3 loss.
With the dual tied, 9-9, two of Penn’s top guys came through with gutty wins to put Penn ahead, 15-9.
First, it was No. 17 Casey Kent rallying to defeat No. 14 Jonathan Schleifer at 174 pounds. Schleifer was in control early, scoring three takedowns for a 6-3 lead after one period. There was no scoring in the second period, but Kent was tough on top for a full two minutes of riding. In the third, Kent escaped quickly and then scored a takedown to tie the match. However, Schleifer would reverse before Kent could build more riding time. Kent would escape, though, and then score a takedown for a brief lead. Schleifer would escape, however, and tie the match with short time remaining. A final takedown attempt from Kent would connect with 0:22 left and he would secure an 11-9 win to avenge a loss to Schleifer at the Bearcat Open to start the season.
The match at 184 between No. 12 Lorenzo Thomas and No. 19 Abram Ayala was just as wild. Ayala would score first, and an escape from Thomas made it 2-1 after one period. Thomas would tie the match with an escape in the second. Ayala chose neutral in the third, and a wild sequence would lead to the finish. Thomas was called for stalling, and immediately initiated a scramble. At first it appeared that Thomas came out on top for a takedown, but Princeton challenged. It was determined that Ayala had control first, and the match was deemed to be 4-2 for Ayala with 1:05 left instead of 4-2 Thomas with under 0:30 remaining. Thomas was undaunted, though, escaping and scoring a takedown for a 5-4 win.
The Quakers needed a win in the final three matches to lock up the win, but it never came.
No. 11 Brett Harner defeated Joe Heyob – usually competing at 184 for Penn – via major decision, 15-3 to cut Penn’s lead to two. At heavyweight, Ray O’Donnell broke open a 1-0 match with four nearfall to start the third and defeated Patrik Garren, 6-1.
With the dual in the balance, Pat D’Arcy connected on a takedown in the first period, and that was the ultimate difference in a 3-2 decision. Jeremy Schwartz would escape from the takedown, and get out again in the third period, but was unable to power through a scramble in the final 15 seconds that would have eked out the win.
The Quakers are back at The Palestra tomorrow for a dual with Rider at noon.
Princeton defeats Penn, 19-15
133: Caleb Richardson (Penn) FALL Jake Adkins (Princeton) 2:30 Penn leads, 6-0
141: Jordan Laster (Princeton) DEC Marc Mastropietro (Penn), 9-5 Penn leads, 6-3
149: #10 C.J. Cobb (Penn) DEC Chris Perez (Princeton), 3-0 Penn leads, 9-3
157: Adam Krop (Princeton) DEC #20 May Bethea (Penn), 10-5 Penn leads, 9-6
165: Judd Zeigler (Princeton) DEC Brooks Martino (Penn), 5-3 Match Tied, 9-9
174: #17 Casey Kent (Penn) DEC #14 Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton), 11-9 Penn leads, 12-9
184: #12 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) DEC #19 Abram Ayala (Princeton), 5-4 Penn leads, 15-9
197: #11 Brett Harner (Princeton) MD Joe Heyob (Penn), 15-3 Penn leads, 15-13
285: Ray O’Donnell (Penn) DEC Patrik Garren (Penn), 6-1 Princeton leads, 16-15
125: Pat D’Arcy (Princeton) DEC Jeremy Schwartz (Penn), 3-2 Princeton leads, 19-15