PHILADELPHIA – Caleb Richardson finally was able to score a win over Lehigh’s returning All-American, Mason Beckman, but that win wasn’t enough as the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team was unable to defeat the No. 10 Mountain Hawks in a 27-10 defeat at The Palestra.
Richardson scored a takedown in the first period, and his riding time edge was enough to earn a 4-3 decision over Beckman – a two-time All-American who defeated Richardson twice last year including a sudden victory decision at NCAAs.
Richardson’s win was one of three for the Quakers in the dual meet. The other victories came from No. 11 C.J. Cobb at 149 pounds, and No. 16 Casey Kent at 174 pounds.
Cobb was unable to initiate much offense against Laike Gardner, but riding time was the edge in a 2-1 decision which saw Cobb have to defend until the final whistle.
Kent opened up a bit against Gordon Wolf for a 12-3 major decision. Kent scored the first takedown of the match early in the opening period, and quickly added four points of nearfall. After a takedown in the second, Kent conceded a score in the third period. In danger of losing the bonus point, Kent was able to work a reversal in the final seconds to earn the major.
The latest installment of Lorenzo Thomas vs. Nate Brown was again a two-point decision in favor of Brown. The first score of the match was a takedown in favor of Brown, and Thomas answered with a score of his own in the second period. Thomas was unable to escape in the third period, and a late attempt a reversal ran out of time.
The dual was 11-6 in favor of Lehigh after five matches, and wins for the Mountain Hawks and 157 and 165 swung momentum squarely in Lehigh’s favor. Penn had the lead in both bouts, scoring the first takedown in each, but was unable to hold on to the advantage.
No. 8 Mitch Minotti eked out a 3-2 decision over May Bethea at 157. Bethea had the first score, connecting on a double leg in the first period. Minotti answered with an escape and takedown in the second. Bethea chose neutral for the third, but could not find the winning takedown.
At 165, No. 16 Ryan Preisch scored six points in the final 10 seconds on a takedown and nearfall to turn a 4-2 lead into an 11-2 major decision over Ray Bethea.
Other wins for Lehigh came from No. 12 Max Wessel at heavyweight (11-4 decision), No. 13 Darian Cruz at 125 pounds (26-9 technical fall), No. 19 Randy Cruz (6-3 decision) and Ben Haas at 197 (injury default at 2:09). At 197, Frank Mattiace had scored first to take the lead, but injured his knee in a scramble situation following a Haas escape. Mattiace attempted to continue, but a second injury timeout forced the default.
The Quakers are 0-1 in dual meets this season, while Lehigh improves to 9-1.
Up next for Penn is a pair of dual meets on the road on January 17. Penn will wrestle Sacred Heart at noon before a 5 p.m. dual at Army West Point.
No. 10 Lehigh defeats Penn, 27-10
285: No. 12 Max Wessel (Lehigh) defeats Patrik Garren (Penn), 11-4 Lehigh leads, 3-0
125: No. 13 Darian Cruz (Lehigh) defeats Jeremy Schwartz (Penn), 26-9 (7:00) Lehigh leads, 8-0
133: Caleb Richardson (Penn) defeats Mason Beckman (Lehigh), 4-3 Lehigh leads, 8-3
141: No. 19 Randy Cruz (Lehigh) defeats Marc Mastropietro (Penn), 6-3 Lehigh leads, 11-3
149: No. 11 C.J. Cobb (Penn) defeats Laike Gardner (Lehigh), 2-1 Lehigh leads, 11-6
157: No. 8 Mitch Minotti (Lehigh) defeats May Bethea (Penn), 3-2 Lehigh leads, 14-6
165: No. 16 Ryan Preisch (Lehigh) defeats Ray Bethea (Penn), 11-2 Lehigh leads, 18-6
174: No. 16 Casey Kent (Penn) defeats Gordon Wolf (Lehigh), 12-3 Lehigh leads, 18-10
184: No. 3 Nathaniel Brown (Lehigh) defeats No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn), 4-2 Lehigh leads, 21-10
197: Ben Haas (Lehigh) defeats Frank Mattiace (Penn), Injury Default (2:09) Lehigh leads, 27-10