ITHACA – The University of Pennsylvania’s wrestling team put a serious scare into No. 6 Cornell on Saturday at Newman Arena, winning three of the first five bouts before momentum would shift to the Big Red after halftime in a 26-9 loss for the Quakers.
The highlight win for the Quakers came at 149 pounds where No. 14 C.J. Cobb knocked off No. 7 Chris Villalonga in sudden victory, 4-2. Cobb had the only two takedowns of the match, connecting on his second with three seconds remaining in overtime to secure the win.
The win from Cobb finished a run of three consecutive wins for the Quakers as they built a 9-5 lead. Caleb Richardson started the run with a 4-3 decision over Bricker Dixon at 133 pounds. Richardson rallied for the win, coming back from conceding the opening takedown. Richardson trailed, 3-1, after two periods but an early reversal tied the match to start the third period. Richardson did not allow Dixon to escape, holding him down and building 2:06 of riding time for the win.
Jeff Canfora gave the Quakers the lead with a 9-2 decision at 141 over Ryan Dunphy. Canfora scored in a multitude of ways, connecting on a takedown in the first period and a reversal in the second. In the third, he worked three backpoints and built 1:44 of riding time for the decision.
Brooks Martino rode out returning All-American No. 7 Brian Realbuto in the third period at 157 pounds, but was unable to find any backpoints to erase Realbuto’s 7-2 lead.
The Red and Blue led, 9-8, at halftime but could not hold that lead following a momentum-changing and somewhat controversial pin from No. 11 Dylan Palacio at 165 pounds. Ray Bethea opened the scoring with a double leg takedown, but Palacio answered on the edge of the mat for a takedown. After the takedown, Palacio locked in a side headlock and was able to work the fall after it appeared that Bethea was knocked out.
Brad Wukie had a lead on Duke Pickett midway through their match at 174 as he looked to regain momentum for Penn, scoring two takedowns in the second period. In the third, Pickett scored a late takedown and added riding time to force overtime. Pickett ended the match 24 seconds into overtime.
There was not much scoring in a highly anticipated match at 184 pounds, No. 1 Gabe Dean edging No. 5 Lorenzo Thomas, 3-1, in sudden victory. Each wrestler had an escape in regulation, Dean connecting 15 seconds into overtime for the deciding points.
Another close loss went against the Quakers at 197 as No. 14 Jace Bennett edged Canaan Bethea, 3-2. Bethea escaped early in the third to tie the match, but takedown for Bennett provided enough separation for the win. Jacob Aiken-Phillips closed out the dual with an 8-2 decision over Patrik Garren .
The Quakers are back in action on Sunday, completing an EIWA swing through New York with a dual at Binghamton at 1 p.m.
#6 Cornell 26, Penn 9
125: #3 Nahshon Garrett (CU) TF5 Jeremy Schwartz (Penn), 19-4 (7:00) Cornell leads, 5-0
133: Caleb Richardson (Penn) DEC Bricker Dixon (CU), 4-3 Cornell leads, 5-3
141: Jeff Canfora (Penn) DEC Ryan Dunphy (CU), 9-2 Penn leads, 6-5
149: #14 C.J. Cobb (Penn) DEC #7 Chris Villalonga (CU), 4-2 (SV) Penn leads, 9-5
157: #7 Brian Realbuto (CU) DEC Brooks Martino (Penn), 7-2 Penn leads, 9-8
165: #11 Dylan Palacio (CU) WBF Ray Bethea (Penn), 2:17 Cornell leads, 14-9
174: Duke Pickett (CU) DEC Brad Wukie (Penn), 7-5 (SV) Cornell leads, 17-9
184: #1 Gabe Dean (CU) DEC #5 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn), 3-1 (SV) Cornell leads, 20-9
197: #14 Jace Bennett (CU) DEC Canaan Bethea (Penn), 3-2 Cornell leads, 23-9
285: Jacob Aiken-Phillips (CU) DEC Patrik Garren (Penn) 8-2 Cornell leads, 26-9