PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 17, 2011) ?The No. 7 Rutgers wrestling team (20-2, 8-1 EIWA) had its 16-match win streak snapped by No. 10 Lehigh (14-6, 6-1 EIWA), 21-9, Thursday night in front of a record crowd of 5,011 at the RAC.
The 5,011 fans in attendance marked the largest crowd for the wrestling team in program history.
To start the dual, Joe Langel (Howell, N.J.) was taken down by Mitch Berger early in the 125-pound bout, but Langel bounced back to get a quick reversal for two points tying the match. After starting down in the second, Langel recorded another reversal to go up two points. A third period takedown pushed Langel?s lead to 6-2 and riding time gave the redshirt sophomore a 7-2 victory which gave RU and early 3-0 lead.
Rutgers pushed its lead to 6-0 after redshirt sophomore Matt Fusco (Belleville, N.J.) downed No. 17 Frank Cagnina, 5-2. In his first match at 133 pounds this season, Fusco used a second period takedown as time expired to take a 5-1 lead which he would not relinquish.
A pair decisions by Lehigh?s Stephen Dutton (141) and Joey Napoli (149) gave Lehigh momentum and tied the score up at six apiece.
At 157 pounds, redshirt senior No. 15 Daryl Cocozzo (River Edge, N.J.) took down Sean Bilodeau early in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. After an escape by the Mountain Hawk, Cocozzo brought him down a second time, taking a 4-2 lead into the third period. Earning the riding time point, Cocozzo put the Scarlet Knights up 9-6 with a 5-3 decision.*
Following the Cocozzo decision, the Mountain Hawks regained the momentum after a trio of decisions at 165, 174 and 184 pounds which pushed their lead to 15-9.
In a heated match at 197 pounds, Joe Kennedy escaped freshmanMike Wagner (South Plainfield, N.J.) to take a 1-0 lead in the second. Wagner fought back with one minute left in the second period earning a takedown to take a 2-1 lead. Kennedy escaped again and used riding time to take a slim 3-2 decision. The match ended in controversy as the RU coaching staff and fans felt that Wagner had earned the victory on a reversal in the final seconds.
Although the crowd thought heavyweight No. 4 DJ Russo (Netcong, N.J.) took down No. 1 Zach Rey in the final seconds, the referees disagreed and the top-ranked Mountain Hawk earned an extra point for riding time to take a 2-1 decision and close out the match for Lehigh, 21-9.
The Scarlet Knights return to action Sunday, Feb. 20 as they travel to Drexel for a 5 p.m. dual at the Daskalakis Athletic Center to close out the dual season.
Lehigh 21, Rutgers 9
125: Joe Langel (RU) dec. Mitch Berger (LU), 7-2; Rutgers leads, 3-0*
133: Matt Fusco (RU) dec. No. 17 Frank Cagnina (LU), 5-2; Rutgers leads, 6-0
141: Stephen Dutton (LU) dec. Trevor Melde (RU), 6-1; Rutgers leads, 6-3
149: Joey Napoli (LU) dec. No. 9 Mario Mason (RU), 7-2; Match tied, 6-6
157: No. 15 Daryl Cocozzo (RU) dec. Sean Bilodeau (LU), 5-3; Rutgers leads, 9-6
165: No. 19 Brandon Hatchett (LU) dec. No. 5 Scott Winston (RU), 7-2; Match tied, 9-9
174: No. 10 Austin Meys (LU) dec. Alex Caruso (RU), 4-1; Lehigh leads, 12-9
184: No. 4 Robert Hamlin (LU) dec. Dan Rinaldi (RU), 5-2; Lehigh leads, 15-9
197: No. 19 Joe Kennedy (LU) dec. Mike Wagner (RU), 3-2; Lehigh leads, 18-9
285: No. 1 Zach Rey (LU) dec. No. 4 DJ Russo (RU), 2-1; Lehigh wins, 21-9