Penn State Wrestling Remains Unbeaten In Rout Of Northwestern
The Penn State wrestling team traveled to Evanston, Illinois for its dual against Northwestern on Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions entered with a perfect 9-0 record and a 4-0 record in the B1G, a vastly different scenario from the struggling Wildcats. Although Northwestern only had one win coming into this dual, the Wildcats were still ranked No. 25 in the InterMat tournament rankings. They were not ranked in the InterMat dual meet rankings or the NCAA rankings, where Penn State earned a No. 1 ranking in all three polls. Penn State dominated the entire match, winning 46-4 to improve to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten.
How It Happened
The dual began with No. 4 Nico Megaludis and Garrison White in the 125 pound weight class. Megaludis dominated throughout, never giving white a chance. He got a technical fall, 23-7, to give the Nittany Lions the early 5-0 lead. In the 133 division, No. 5 Jordan Conaway wrestled Dom Malone. The match was fairly even throughout the first and most of the second, as Conaway found a way to get a pin to put Penn State up 11-0. A forfeit win for Penn State in the 141 awarded to Jimmy Gulibon gave the Nittany Lions a comfortable 17-0 lead.
In the most anticipated match of the day, No. 1 Zain Retherford took on No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis in the 149 pound class. After one period, Retherford went up 2-0 with 38 seconds of riding time. At the start of the second, Retherford was able to record an escape only four seconds into the period to record another point. He continued to record takedowns in the second to take a 7-2 lead. In the third, Retherford wore down Tsirtsis to get a major 15-5 win, putting the Lions up 21-0.
In the 157, redshirt freshman and No. 3 Jason Nolf took on Anthony Petrone in what was only Petrone’s second collegiate match. Nolf led the Nittany Lions in falls and take downs coming into the match, and he only added onto those numbers as he recorded a fall late in the first period. In a dominant first half performance, the Nittany Lions led 27-0.
After halftime, No. 16 Shakur Rasheed wrestled Luke Norland in the 165. Although he only recorded two points, Rasheed got 2:08 of riding time in the first period alone in a dominant first period performance. Rasheed continued the impressive amount of riding time in the second, recording 2:52 of it as he took a 5-0 lead in the second. Rasheed recorded 4:52 of riding time in a 6-0 decision to put Penn State up 30-0. In the 174, No. 1 Bo Nickal wrestled Mitch Sliga, and got a pin 1:13 into the match to give the Nittany Lions a 36-0 lead.
In the 184, No. 13 Matt McCutcheon wrestled Regis Durbin, where McCutcheon won by medical forfeit. Penn State led 42-0. In the 197, No. 1 Morgan McIntosh took on Jacob Berkowitz as McIntosh was looking for victory 100 in his collegiate career. McIntosh dominated his match to get the victory as he won a 17-4 major with nearly five minutes of riding time. In the heavyweight, Wes Phipps made another appearance for the Nittany Lions as he took on Conan Jennings from Northwestern. At the end of one, it was even at a score of 0-0. In the second, Jennings got a few take downs and a four point near fall to go up 8-0. In the end, Jennings got a 10-0 major, but Penn State won 46-4.
Wrestler Of The Match
Zain Retherford | Sophomore | 149 Pound Weight Class
The top ranked wrestler in his weight class took on the fourth ranked wrestler in what was predicted to be the most competitive match of the dual. Retherford made it look easy he glided to a 15-5 major victory.
The Nittany Lions will stay on the road next week as they travel to Illinois to take on the No. 8 Fighting Illini. Illinois has been solid this year overall, but has struggled in conference play. The Fighting Illini have a 9-3 overall record, but the three losses have all come within the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions will look to continue their dominant streak with another conference victory.