No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Rolls Past Army West Point In Home Opener

No. 2 Penn State wrestling (3-0) dominated Army West Point (0-1) 32-7 Thursday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions grabbed two major decisions and three technical falls en route to their third win of the young season.

Cael Sanderson’s group dropped just two bouts, while Roman Bravo-Young, Beau Bartlett, Carter Starocci, and Aaron Brooks, among several others, helped lead the charge in front of a packed Rec Hall. RBY earned a technical fall early, while Starocci and Max Dean did the same later in the dual to help solidify a win for the Nittany Lions in this season’s home opener.

How It Happened

Sophomore Baylor Shunk opened things up in the 125-pound bout against Army’s Ryan Chauvin. The Centre Hall, Pa. native grabbed two points early with a takedown to the delight of a packed Rec Hall, and never looked back from there. Shunk accumulated 3:24 in riding time and finished with a 8-4 decision to open the dual for Cael Sanderson’s team.

No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young did his thing at 133 pounds to follow. The star senior grabbed 10 points and 1:23 in riding time in the first period against Dominic Carone, and made an unbelievable reversal to finish the second. Bravo-Young hit Carone with a ridiculous leapfrog move to finish with a 26-11 technical fall with 24 seconds left in the final period.

In the 141-pound bout, Brandon Meredith moved up to Nick Lee’s spot to take on No. 29 Corey Shie of Army. Meredith went down 2-0 and gave up 1:46 in riding time after the first period, but held his own in the second and earned a takedown in the third. That wasn’t enough, however, as the Limerick, Pa. native eventually fell in a tight 5-2 decision.

No. 27 Beau Bartlett helped the Nittany Lions bounce back against No. 20 P.J. Ogunsanya at 149 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Bartlett grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second. Ogunsanya earned a point in the third, however, and the pair entered a two-minute sudden victory period tied at one. After an intense battle, the Nittany Lion made an electric takedown to finish the bout and got the 3-1 decision.

Up next was Terrell Barraclough at 157 pounds to take on No. 32 Markus Hartman. Barraclough made an awesome entrance to the mat with The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman” playing, but couldn’t get any points for the Nittany Lions. Hartman won with a 9-0 major decision, and Penn State held an 11-7 lead at intermission.

No. 32 Creighton Edsell opened the second half of the match against Christian Hunt in the 165-pound bout. The pair went to the final period tied at two, while Hunt had accumulated 21 seconds of riding time. In the final seconds of the third period, Edsell made a fantastic move to earn a takedown and win a 4-3 decision.

With Penn State up 14-7, No. 1 Carter Starocci took the mat to take on Clayton Fielden. The stud sophomore out of Erie, Pa. quickly earned a 2-0 lead in the 174-bout on a perfect takedown. From there, Starocci grabbed a 10-2 lead and 1:18 in riding time after the first period. The domination continued for the rest of the bout, as Starocci grinded out a 23-5 technical fall with four seconds left in the bout.

No. 1 Aaron Brooks, one of the Nittany Lions’ four top-ranked wrestlers nationally, kept the good vibes rolling at 184 pounds against No. 28 Brad Laughlin. Brooks went up 11-3 with 1:51 in riding time after two periods, and after plenty of Rec Hall requests for stalling in the third period, finished with a 21-7 major decision.

After Brooks and Starocci’s dominating performances, Penn State held a 23-7 lead with just two bouts left.

No. 4 Max Dean then made his Rec Hall debut at 197 pounds against No. 21 JT Brown. Dean jumped out to a 2-1 lead with 47 seconds of riding time, and after a few more takedowns took a 9-1 lead into the final period. Dean then took care of Brown in the third, as he won with a 17-1 technical fall with 11 seconds left in the bout.

No. 5 Greg Kerkvliet took the mat against Brandon Phillips to finish the dual with the 285-pound bout. Kerkvliet made a menacing takedown to get up 4-1 early. He opened the second period with yet another takedown to get up 8-1, and carried a 10-2 lead and 3:24 in riding time into the final period. Kerkvliet handled Phillips with ease in the final two minutes and grabbed a 13-3 major decision.

That final victory handed the Nittany Lions the 32-7 win at Rec Hall.

What’s Next?

Cael Sanderson’s group will hit the road after Thanksgiving for a dual in Philly against the University of Pennsylvania. That will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, December 3.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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