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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Shuts Out Navy In Season Opener

No. 1 Penn State started the 2019-2020 wrestling season Sunday afternoon when it hosted Navy at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions rolled to a 45-0 win and their 60th consecutive dual win by securing six bonus-point wins and four falls. Four wrestlers made their Penn State debuts, including 149-pounder Luke Gardner who picked up a fall.

How It Happened

No. 3 Nick Lee kicked off the season with a pin over Cody Trybus at 141 lbs. Lee took down Trybus just over 30 seconds into the match and continued to score from that point on. Before recording the fall at the 6:16 mark, Lee registered six takedowns.

At 149 lbs., Luke Gardner looked impressive in his dual debut by giving Penn State its second fall in as many matches. Gardner pinned Jon Park at 1:46, setting up a 12-0 lead.

A timely escape and an equally timely takedown set up Bo Pipher to lead Scout Skidgel 5-4 at the end of the first period in their bout at 157 lbs. After taking a 5-4 lead in the first period, Pipher rode out Skidgel in the second period. Another escape in the third gave Pipher the 6-4 lead, but Skidgel took him down seconds later to tie the match. With the score tied late, Pipher had a last-second escape to come out with the 7-6 victory, giving Penn State a 15-0 lead.

No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph got his senior season started with an electric showing on offense against No. 11 Tanner Skidgel. Joseph jumped out to a 14-3 lead after the first period, before cruising to a 20-5 tech fall with less than a minute remaining in the third period. In addition to flashing his scoring potential on offense, Joseph looked very strong and in control on top against Skidgel, who spent most of the afternoon on bottom.

No. 1 Mark Hall proved exactly why he is the top wrestler at 174 lbs. After putting No. 17 Spencer Carey into double over-hooks and tripping him directly onto his back, Hall captured his first fall of the season less than a minute into the match. Penn State’s third fall of the day gave the Nittany Lions a 26-0 lead heading into intermission.

After the intermission, redshirt freshman Creighton Edsell started at 184 lbs in place of No. 3 Shakur Rasheed, who seems to be playing it safe as he approaches a return from a torn ACL. Edsell and Navy’s Andrew Buckley were tied 2-2 after the second period before Edsell quickly escaped to take the 3-2 lead. A late Edsell takedown ended the match, securing his first win in a Penn State dual, a 5-2 decision.

No. 3 Kyle Conel also made his Penn State debut this afternoon at 197 lbs. after transferring from Kent State as a sixth-year senior. He and Navy’s Jacob Koser exchanged multiple shots to start the match, but Conel was the first to finish a takedown. Conel finished the first period looking very much in control despite only being up 2-1. After what seemed like an eternity of not getting up, Conel showed off his brute strength to score a late reversal and clinch the 4-3 win. Conel’s win extended the Nittany Lions’ team lead to 32-0.

Defending NCAA heavyweight champion, No. 1 Anthony Cassar took the mat in his bout against John Birchmeier who he pinned at the 4:41 mark. He didn’t seem to have missed a beat from his breakout season last year, showing an equally balanced attack of both overpowering strength and quick attacks.

Freshman Brody Teske made his Penn State dual debut at 125 lbs. against Navy’s Logan Treaster. The only point in the match heading into the third and final period belonged to Teske who had an escape in the second period. Teske survived a late takedown attempt by Treaster in the final seconds of the match as he held onto the 2-1 victory.

The dual concluded with a 133-lb. bout between No. 3 Roman Bravo-Young and Navy’s Casey Cobb. Bravo-Young’s quick and lethal shots and late bonus points earned him the win with a 17-6 major decision and wrapped up Penn State’s first dual of the season with a final score of 45-0.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel to West Point to wrestle in the Army-West Point Invite on Sunday, November 17.

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