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Wrestling falls to Lehigh, Army squads

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The wrestling team fell short against two strong programs over the weekend. The Bears headed to No. 8 Lehigh on Saturday, where they could muster up only two wins, falling 29-7. On the following day, they fought hard against Army from the beginning, opening the match with three consecutive wins to take a 13-0 lead before losing a tightly-contested match, 21-16.

Greg Einfrank ’10 began the day against national power Lehigh with a 20-8 major decision – a victory by eight or more points – over Kellen Aura at 125 pounds. Einfrank’s victory gave Brown an early 4-0 advantage for the only lead the team would claim over the Mountain Hawks on the day. Bran Crudden ’10 entered the final period scoreless in his matchup with Alex Caruso, before his opponent mustered six points on an escape and two takedowns to take the 174-pound bout, 6-1. David Craig scored a takedown in the final minute of regulation at 184 pounds to earn the win over Matt Gevelinger ’09. Branden Stearns ’09 pulled out a close 3-2 win to knock off Joe Kennedy at 197 pounds, giving the Bears their final points of the day.

“We wrestled tough,” Crudden said. “We might not have won, but tried to keep it close, scoring some points along the way. It was a small victory – lets you know that you are improving. That’s where you want to be.”

Brown used the Lehigh trip as a learning experience and came out hot against Army on Sunday afternoon. Jeff Lemmer ’12, stepping up to replace captain Chris Musser ’09 at 165 pounds in his first varsity match since the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in early December, recorded an impressive 12-5 overtime decision over Michael Gorman. He hit a five-point takedown and a reversal all in a minute to push him over the edge in double-overtime, according to Stearns. Crudden and Gevelinger picked up right where Lemmer left off, scoring a pin (3:47) over Tim Dean at 174 pounds and a 14-6 major decision over John Drew. The Bears took a quick 13-0 lead over the Black Knights and had a lot of momentum heading into the rest of the bouts.

“The momentum was heading in our direction,” Sterns said. “Bran was really aggressive – pinning his kid. Matt went out and did what he had to do, getting a solid win for us. For us to get that start, we felt like we could win.”

Stearns could not follow up on his win on Saturday afternoon, falling quickly at 197 pounds, 7-0, to Richard Starks, one of the best wrestlers on the Army squad. Einfrank almost recorded a win for the Bears, losing a close 4-3 decision to Lance Penhale at 125 pounds. The Black Knights had narrowed Brown’s lead to three, but Ross Baldwin ’09 defeated Josh Sandhaus, 7-2, to give Brown a 16-10 edge. But Army went on to shut out Bruno the rest of the way, as Steve DeLorenzo ’10 lost a close 2-0 bout at 141 pounds and Bryan Tracy ’10 dropped a 2-1 decision at 157 pounds.

“We wrestled a lot more aggressive and looked a lot better as a team on Sunday,” Stearns said. “One-point matches could have gone our way on a different day. It was tough to lose since we wrestled well.”

The Bears will take this weekend off from competition before traveling to Penn and Princeton on Feb. 7 for their first two Ivy League dates of a five-match conference schedule.

“We’re trying to prepare for the end of the season,” Crudden said. “These tough matches along the way will help us get there.”

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