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Cornell Defeats Lehigh Wrestling 18-15, Match Breakdown and Recap


#4 Cornell defeated #22 Lehigh 18-15 in a close and exciting dual at the Friedman Wrestling Center in Ithaca, New York.

Although Cornell was without #3 Vito Arujau, Lehigh looked really impressive and made this dual a lot closer than many people thought. Lehigh only had a 6 point deficit going into the final bout at 133-pounds, and won a lot of key bouts to make it such a close dual. Lehigh’s Malyke Hines got a big upset at 141-pounds, knocking off Cornell’s #12 Vince Cornella with a match-winning takedown with just seconds remaining in the third period.

Here is a breakdown of every bout that went down tonight:

141 – Malyke Hines over #12 Vince Cornella, 4-2

The dual kicked off at 141-pounds, and after a scoreless first period Cornell’s #12 Vince Cornella got points on the board first with a reversal to take a two-point lead. 

However, Lehigh’s Malyke Hines was right back to his feet for his first points, and the second period ended with not much action.

 In the third period, Hines earned another escape to tie the match at 2-2 with less than a minute to wrestle. With less than 20 seconds on the clock, Hines darted in on a low single-leg, and finished after a wild scramble from Cornella to pick up a huge upset at 141-pounds for the Mountain Hawks.

149 – #1 Yianni Diakomihalis over Drew Munch, 17-1

#1 Yianni Diakomihalis and the Big Red swung the momentum right back with a dominant 17-1 win at 149-pounds. Diakomihalis found most of his offense on top after two takedowns in the opening period, and worked for a turn with a trapped-leg turk for another four points. 

Munch didn’t have much to offer for Diakomihalis, as Yianni started to run up the score in the second period, getting back to his trapped-leg turk and ended the second period with a 15-1 lead. It didn’t take Yianni much longer, earning another takedown just seconds into the third period for a tech fall.

157 – Cole Handlovic over Max Brignola, 2-0

After the Mountain Hawks got a big upset at 141-pounds, some strategy has come into play. It seems that Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro decided to bump up Brignola to 157-pounds. Brignola was set to face #1 Diakomihalis, but instead went up to Cole Handlovic looking to make it two wins in three matches for the Mountain Hawks. 

However, the one issue with that strategy is the weight difference. After nearly scoring a takedown in the first period, Brignola chose down to start the second. Handlovic dominated the second period on top, earning two full minutes of riding time. Handlovic then went down to start the third, and quickly got to his feet. Brignola threw everything at Handlovic in the third period, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.

165 – #9 Julian Ramirez over Luca Frinzi, 13-2

Three straight matches, three straight wins for Cornell as #9 Julian Ramirez cruised to a 13-2 win over Lehigh’s Luca Frinzi. Ramirez found two takedowns in the opening period, and finished the period with a quick turn and a solid ride to enter the second period with a 6-1 lead. 

Ramirez continued to score, earning a quick escape and then another takedown to extend his lead to 10-1 going into the final period. 

Ramirez’s offense was open the entire match, as he scored off a low-double on the edge of the mat that earned him the major decision for the Big Red at 165-pounds.

174 – #4 Chris Foca over Jake Logan, 9-5

Cornell’s #4 Chris Foca is known to start off bouts like a ball of fire, but this time it was Lehigh’s Jake Logan who scored the opening takedown with a slick head-outside single. However, it wasn’t that far into the opening period before Foca got through trouble, as he reversed Logan with a switch to take a 4-2 lead going into the second period after a set of stalling calls were awarded to Logan.

In the second period, Foca started the action off with an escape, but Logan continued to pressure and scored once again off a single-leg and cut Foca’s lead to just two points. Although it wasn’t easy, Foca continued to find ways to score as he got back to his feet and scored another takedown to take a 8-4 lead into the final period.

Positions didn’t change in the third period after Foca rode out Logan the entire third period, and accumulated over three minutes of riding time. Foca did a great job wrestling through some adversity early on, and has made it four straight wins for Cornell.

184 – #20 Tate Samuelson over Ethan Hatcher, 6-1

Lehigh’s #20 Tate Samuelson found his offense first with a head inside single, and fought hard through a scramble for a finish and two points. Samuelson got to work on top, controlling Hatcher and riding him out to end the first period with a 2-0 lead.

Samuelson chose down to start the second period, and got right to his feet to keep a hold of his riding time advantage. The second period didn’t hold much action, but Samuelson continued to bluff attacks, and nearly scored off a takedown. 

Hatcher had choice in the third, and went down to look for his first points of the bout. However, Samuelson continued the dominant ride he started in the opening period, accumulating over two minutes of riding time before cutting Hatcher to look for more points. Samuelson attempted to get the major decision, but came up short in a 6-1 win.

197 – #5 Michael Beard over #18 Jacob Cardenas, 6-2

Cornell’s #18 Jacob Cardenas got right to his game plan with a really nice takedown to give himself an early lead over Lehigh’s #5 Michael Beard. Beard’s offense showed up however, earning a quick escape and fought off a great shot from Cardenas for his first takedown and the lead after the opening period.

Beard has shown to be great on top to start the 2022-2023 season, and proved it to be true after he rode out Cardenas for the entire second period. Cardenas had a serious issue even getting to his base, and in response he was called for a set of stall calls to extend Beard’s lead to 4-2 after the second period.

Beard kept it rolling in the final period, blasting right to his feet for an escape, and was relentlessly searching for another takedown. Beard had a few opportunities off re-attacks, but couldn’t find one in a commanding 6-2 victory over Cardenas.

285 – Nathan Taylor over Brendan Furman, 7-3

Lehigh’s Nathan Taylor was forced to be defensive right off the whistle, as Cornell’s Brendan Furman blasted in right off the whistle. Unexpectedly, Taylor dove overtop and rolled through Furman, and eventually earned a takedown after a wild heavyweight scramble.  

Taylor continued to find ways to score in the second period, scoring off a double on the edge of the mat to extend his lead going into the third period.

Taylor finished the third period with a dominating ride, having Furman broken down the entire period and forcing him to get hit for stalling. Furman eventually got to his feet, but it was just to get taken down again with seconds left. Taylor accumulated over 2:30 minutes of riding time throughout the bout, most of it coming in the third period.

125 – #16 Brett Ungar over Jaret Lane, 3-1 

This 125-pound matchup went to sudden victory, and it was Cornell’s #16 Brett Ungar blasted in for the only takedown of the match and scored. Most of the bout was spent on the feet, and consisted of mostly hand-fighting as neither wrestler wanted to get in trouble. Both wrestlers had success getting to their feet, and neither seemed pressed to get the takedown in the third period. Ungar’s win put the Big Red up by 6 points going into the final bout at 133-pounds.

133 – Connor McGonagle over Ethan Fernandez, 4-0

In the final bout of the night, Lehigh’s Connor McGonagle worked his way to a 0-0 win over Cornell’s Ethan Fernandez. Although he was set to square off against #3 Vito Arujau, McGonagle looked great in an impressive win. 

McGonagle found his offense quickly in the opening period, and continued it with a tough ride on top to cruise to over a minute of riding time. In the second period, McGonagle stayed with his ride on top, and rode out Fernandez for the entire second period and had over four minutes of riding time going into the final period.

In the third period, Fernandez couldn’t find much offense, as McGonagle defended off attacks and finished the bout with a 4-0 victory.

FINAL: Cornell over Lehigh, 18-15

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Cael Turnbull
Cael Turnbull
Journalism Major at Temple University Graduating in May of 2023

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