ITHACA, N.Y. – Facing its toughest challenge to open Ivy League action, the Harvard wrestling team (3-2, 0-1 Ivy) dropped a tough dual match against No. 11 Cornell (7-2, 2-0 Ivy), 35-3, on Saturday afternoon.
Senior captain Josef Johnson (174) scored the lone Crimson points of the day following a 6-3 decision over No. 17 Brandon Womack. It was the New Jersey native's first win against a ranked opponent since defeating Forrest Przbysz at the Keystone Classic earlier in the season.
Harvard saw solid performances from its junior class. Junior Nolan Hellickson (125) opened the second period against the Big Red's Noah Baughman, but Baughman responded with six unanswered points to earn the 6-1 decision. At 133 pounds, junior Ryan Friedman evened the match with an escape in the second period against Chaz Tucker, but with a minute remaining, Tucker brought down Friedman with two-point, takedown. Tucker held on for the 3-2 decision to give Cornell the 6-0 advantage over Harvard.
Trailing by four, sophomore Hunter Ladnier (149) closed out the second period with a takedown of Will Koll to cut the deficit to two, and swing momentum over to Harvard. Ladnier began the final period with an escape before grabbing the one point lead on a takedown with a minute left in the third period. However, with three seconds remaining Koll evened the bout with an escape, before winning in sudden victory.
- Senior captain Josef Johnson (174) picked up his second win against a ranked opponent with a 6-3 decision against No. 17 Brandon Womack.
- Sophomore Hunter Ladnier (149) scored five unanswered points against Will Koll, before being edged out in sudden victory.
Harvard returns to the mats on Feb. 3, hosting Princeton and Penn, beginning at noon against the Tigers. Both matches will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.