NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Second-ranked Lehigh earned a 40-4 victory over Rutgers on Saturday night in wrestling action at the College Avenue Gymnasium. The Scarlet Knights fell to 0-1 on the season and 0-1 in the EIWA, while Lehigh, who defeated Rider earlier in the day, improved to 7-1 on the season and 1-0 in the EIWA.
Lehigh opened a 28-point lead with victories in the first six matches of the evening, including three pins and a major decision.
Sophomore Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ) dropped a 14-4 major decision to John Stout of Lehigh in the opening match at 125 pounds.
The Mountain Hawks then got back-to-back pins at 133 and 141 to take a 16-0 lead heading into the fourth bout of the evening. Lehigh’s Jeff Santo, ranked 16th nationally, pinned red-shirt freshman Ryan Jablonski (Norristown, PA) in 4:24 at 133, before third-ranked Cory Cooperman of Lehigh pinned RU’s Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ) in 3:49 at 141.
Sophomore Mike Ferrara (Effort, PA), making his dual-match debut as a Scarlet Knight, wrestled evenly with former New Jersey high school state champion Matt Anderson of Lehigh at 149 pounds with the pair entering the third and final period scoreless. Anderson opened the third period with a one-point escape and earned a two-point escape later in the period to take a 3-0 victory.
At 157 pounds, red-shirt freshman Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ) fought hard against seventh-ranked Derek Zinck of Lehigh before dropping a 12-7 decision. Top-ranked Troy Letters of the Mountain Hawks followed with a pin of red-shirt freshman Joe Sacco (Johnson City, NY) in 1:57 at 165 pounds to give Lehigh a 28-0 lead through six matches.
Fans in attendance did not get the matchup they had hoped for at 174 between sixth-ranked Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) of Rutgers and seventh-ranked Travis Frick of Lehigh as Frick was unable to compete due to injury. Roy made easy work of his replacement, posting a 10-2 major decision against Brian Lamay to give the Scarlet Knights their first points of the evening. Roy is now 4-0 on the season.
Senior Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) looked sharp early and entered the final period scoreless against David Helfrich. But the 184-pound wrestler was unable to further cut into the Mountain Hawks’ lead as he dropped a 5-0 decision to David Helfrich. Lehigh’s Jon Trenge, ranked first nationally, followed with a first-period pin (1:06) against RU’s John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) at 197.
In the final bout of the evening at heavyweight, freshman John Slevin (Montclair, NJ), making his dual meet debut, nearly knocked off 16th-ranked Paul Weibel, but fell short, dropping a 6-3 decision. Slevin nearly pinned in Weibel in the second period but was unable to finish him off.
Rutgers will return to action next Saturday, Dec. 11, welcoming the University of Maryland to the College Avenue Gymnasium for a 5 p.m. match.
Lehigh 40, Rutgers 4
125 – John Stout (L) maj. dec.Dan Hilt (RU), 14-4
133 – Jeff Santo (L) pinned Ryan Jablonski (RU), 4:24
141 – Cory Cooperman (L) pinned Steve Adamcsik (RU), 3:49
149 – Matt Anderson (L) dec. Mike Ferrara (RU), 3-0
157 – Derek Zinck (L) dec. Gene Zannetti (RU), 12-5
165 – Troy Letters (L) pinned Joe Sacco (RU), 1:59
174 – Andy Roy (RU) maj. dec. Brian Lamay (L), 10-2
184 – Chris Ressa (RU) dec. David Helfrich (L), 5-0
197 – John Foscolo (RU) pinned Jon Trenge (L), 1:06
285 – Paul Weibel (L) dec. John Slevin (RU), 6-3