December 04, 2018
By: Tom Meikrantz
The Lehigh wrestling team is off to its worst dual meet start in more than a decade after dropping two over the weekend against Princeton and Penn State.
Now 0-3 including a 21-13 loss at number 5 Michigan November 18th, the Mountain Hawks have been hit by the injury bug and hard without as many as six projected starters from the onset of the season available for the match Sunday December 2nd against the top ranked Nittany Lions. Lehigh facing huge odds couldn’t win a bout getting shut out 42-0, the team’s first shutout loss since a 33-0 setback against Penn State in 2007. The 0-3 start is the first since going 0-4 to start the 2007-2008 season. The Nits racked up bonus points in 7 of their ten wins.
Two days earlier, Lehigh opened its home schedule hosting unranked Princeton with 7th ranked Ryan Preisch sidelined and lost to the Tigers 21-19 for the first time since 1968 snapping a 14-dual Lehigh winning streak in the series. It also marked Lehigh losing to Princeton for the first time on its home mats. Out of the four ranked wrestlers competing for Lehigh, only number 7 Jordan Kutler produced a win at 174 shutting out a popular opponent 5-0, freshman Travis Stefanik, who won a PIAA championship in 2017 at Nazareth.
Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro says they probably will have to wait until next semester before he’s back to or near full strength with his starting lineup. His focus now is improvement and consistency. The Mountain Hawks have yet another ranked team to contend with December 8th traveling to 3rd ranked Iowa before the South Beach Duals December 29th and 30th. Looks like some up-and-comers will see varsity action sooner than expected.