With the 27-8 victory over Michigan, Lehigh is now 3-0 on the season before traveling to Princeton (John Lindenau/B&W Staff)

No. 10 Lehigh wrestling routs No. 4 Michigan 27-8 to remain undefeated

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Pete Yozzo, ’87, is one of Lehigh’s most accomplished wrestlers. A three-time national champion and EIWA conference champion, Yozzo cemented his name in the historic wrestling program’s legacy. On Sunday afternoon in Grace Hall, Yozzo was honored before the match.

In a clash of nationally-ranked wrestling programs, No. 10 Lehigh dismantled No. 4 University of Michigan by a score of 27-8.

After the match, Yozzo approached Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro and said it was one of the best matches he’d ever seen by Lehigh wrestling.

The Mountain Hawks (4-0) tallied eight victories over the Wolverines (2-1). Michigan came into the match with seven top ten ranked wrestlers. Three of those wrestlers were knocked off on Sunday. The talented line-up was without No. 2 Stevan Micic and No. 6 Kevin Beazley, but saw No. 8 Alec Pantaleo, No. 4 Myles Amine, and No. 5 Domenic Abounader take losses.

 

In the first upset of the afternoon, junior Ian Brown upset Pantaleo with an upper body throw for six points that sent a sold out crowd in “The Snakepit” to its feet. His victory was the fifth in a row as Lehigh went up 18-0 on Michigan behind wins from returning national champion Darian Cruz, Scott Parker, Luke Karam, and Cortlandt Schuyler. Parker scored bonus points with a pin in 5:33.

With Micic out of the lineup, Parker handled Michigan’s back up Mike Volyanyuk. His third period cradle gave Lehigh a 9-0 lead.

“I was looking forward to wrestling Micic, but obviously didn’t happen. The team needed me to step up and get bonus points, and I did.” said Parker. “We haven’t had a big win like this in a while, so it felt good to do in front of our home fans.”

Santoro knew a red-hot start would be necessary if his team was going to take down the fourth-ranked team in the country.

“We knew those first five matches were going to be crucial. To win all of them, it was a great way to start the dual,” Santoro said. “Ian beating a returning All-American was really big for us. He was kind of down after the loss Friday night, but he came into today with a positive attitude and performed.”

Brown wasn’t the only one to deliver for the Mountain Hawks. Jordan Kutler and Ryan Preisch both provided come from behind upsets between highly ranked wrestlers. Kutler, a sophomore at 174 pounds and ranked ninth in the country, defeated fourth-ranked Myles Amine. Amine scored the first takedown, and was up 3-2 with a minute left when Kutler took him down and locked up riding time before Amine escaped. Kutler’s 5-4 decision put Lehigh up 21-5.

Lehigh junior Ryan Preisch followed up at 184 pounds with a win over senior Domenic Abounader in dramatic fashion. The match was tied 1-1 with 20 seconds remaining when Preisch made his winning move. He worked a leg attack to a takedown and won the bout 3-1 sending Grace Hall into bedlam. Preisch’s win put the team score to 24-5 which locked up the victory for the Mountain Hawks.

Jake Jakobsen carried his momentum from Friday night into Sunday. The freshman rode out a 2-0 victory over Michigan’s Jackson Striggow, who was filling in for No. 6 Kevin Beazley.

Michigan’s two wins on the day came from a dominant performance by sophomore and third-ranked Logan Massa. He defeated Cole Walter by 18-2 technical fall at 165 pounds. In the last match of the dual, senior and second-ranked Adam Coon beat No. 13 Jordan Wood by 6-2 decision to bring the final score to 27-8.

 

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Lehigh sophomore Luke Karam faces off against the University of Michigan’s Sal Profaci on Nov. 19, 2017. Karam defeated Profaci in the dual, and helped to secure an overall win for the Mountain Hawks, 27-8, at the Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. (B&W Staff/Michelle Wolff)

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7 Comments

  1. Bruce Haines ‘67 on

    Clearly one of the most exciting matches in decades with Grace Hall electrified crowd intimidating the Wolverines. Reminded me of the glory days of the 60’s in Grace Hall when Lehigh knocked off Iowa State before overflow crowd & made Sports Illustrated. This was awesome & students need to discover their powerhouse team & join in the foot stomping!!

    • Jeff Gallagher on

      Bruce, just because Lehigh crushed the #4 nationally ranked team from the Big 10, is no reason for students to turn out and support the team.

  2. Jeff Gallagher on

    Matthew Bonshak needs to go to the record book on the the wrestling page. Pete Yozo was a National Champion in 1987. Pete was a three-time All-American. In addition, I’m surprised that no mention was made of three time National Champion, former member of Lehigh’s Bord of Directors and benefactor Mike Caruso ’67 who served as honorary team captain for the match.

  3. Joseph Gothie, '94 on

    I was at Cole Field House in Maryland to see Yozzo’s title in 1987. He won his title by pinning current Lehigh coach, Pat Santoro. Lots of connections there. Yozzo did not win three national titles, as the article notes. Fix it, B&W.

    Congratulations to Lehigh on a big win at Grace!

  4. Bruce Haines ‘67 on

    Students truly don’t understand the wrestling tradition here & the team until this year has not performed to the Top 10 level to which we are accustomed. Let’s hope for a dynamic season that brings out students by the time we meet Oklahoma because the team is so dynamic.

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