In front of a raucous crowd at the Friedman Center, the No. 15 wrestling team (3-6) put up a valiant effort against No. 7 Lehigh (14-3) only to suffer another close loss on a tiebreaker against one of the top teams in the nation. The match remained close for the entire two hours with the lead and momentum shifting back and forth between the two sides. Both squads registered five wins and one major decision each, with the score tied 16-16 after the final bout. The Mountain Hawks, however, possessed a tiebreaker in near-falls, 1-0, giving them their 14th victory of the season while handing Cornell its sixth loss on the year.
“It is pretty upsetting,” said junior All-American Travis Lee. “It’s a tough situation to be in. All we can do is wrestle our best.”
Junior heavyweight Matt Bogumil added that there “were close matches that could have gone either way. If things had gone differently we would have won.”
The match started off with Lehigh’s Mario Stuart, ranked 13th in the country and junior Mike Mormile, ranked 17th in the country, battling in the 125-pound weight division. Stuart started off strong with a takedown of Mormile taking an early lead of 3-1. Mormile held strong for most of the match and came back for awhile making the score 3-2, but Stuart continued to press hard in the third period to earn a 7-3 win.
Lehigh’s Matt Ciasulli held strong for two periods against junior Travis Lee, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 133-pound weight class, trailing the defending national champion by only a point. Lee was able, however, to take over late in the match, scoring two takedowns and earning an 8-3 win for the Red.
Freshman Keith Dickey had trouble handling Lehigh’s Cory Cooperman, ranked No.7 in the 141-pound weight class. Cooperman was able to score five points early and then keep Dickey on his back for most of the bout with over three minutes of riding time, securing a 6-1 victory. Sophomore Dustin Manotti ranked 5th in the nation in the 149-pound weight class had more trouble than expected from Lehigh’s Matt Anderson, who rallied late in the match. Manotti was able, however, to hold on for a 5-4 victory, tying the match at six all.
Senior Scott Roth scored a huge victory over Lehigh’s Derek Zinck in the 157-pound weight class. Controlling the tempo of the entire contest, he earned a 12-4 major decision, giving Cornell a 10-6 lead. Lehigh came back, however. With sophomore Dan Miracola filling in for injured junior Joe Mazzurco in the 165-pound weight class, Lehigh’s Troy Letters, ranked No.1 in the country, was able to secure a 22-8 major decision as well as a near-fall, tying the score at 10 apiece. Miracola was able to prevent Letters, from getting a technical fall.
Senior Tyler Baier nearly pulled off an upset against Lehigh’s Brad Dillon ranked No. 2 in the country in the 174-pound division. Even for most of the match, Dillon was able to hold off Baier for the final 3:52 of the match and escape with a 3-2 victory. The 184-pound weight class also proved to be a close competition with Lehigh’s Travis Frisk pulling out a 4-2 victory over freshman Jerry Rinaldi. The match was tied 2-2 going into the final period, but Frisk was able to score points on an escape and for a minute of riding time.
With Lehigh leading 16-10, eighth-ranked Matt Greenberg was able to score a big 2-1 victory with 1:01 of riding time over Lehigh’s Matt Cassidy, making the score 16-13. Down to the last match, Cornell’s Matt Bogumil faced off against Lehigh’s Paul Weibel. Weibel scored the first takedown and held a 4-3 advantage after two periods. Bogumil made an escape at the start of the third period to tie the score. With the crowd screaming at its loudest the whole day, Bogumil scored a takedown and nearly a near-fall.
“I fed off the crowd,” said Bogumil. “It was so loud that I couldn’t hear. I was looking to try to get back points. I was close to a pin but the ref stopped the match.”
Weibel came back with an escape but Bogumil scored another takedown to secure a 9-6 victory, tying the match at 16, though with the tiebreaker in Lehigh’s favor.
Cornell will look to rebound with two important matches on the road next Saturday against Ivy rivals Penn and Princeton.
Archived article by Chris Callanan