Nittany Lion Wrestlers Close Out Dual Season With Shut-Out Win at Rutgers
Feb. 24, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's Tournament Power Index, capped of the 2012-13 dual meet season by shutting out Rutgers 34-0 in New Brunswick on Sunday. Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.) capped off the victory with a last second tie-breaker win at heavyweight and head coach Cael Sanderson notched his 100th career dual meet win as a coach.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, got Penn State off to a fast start with a dominating 8-2 win over Rutgers senior Joe Langel at 125. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 133, was equally impressive, rolling to a 6-1 lead with 1:51 in time over Rutgers' Vincent Dellafave.
Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) then pushed Penn State out to a 12-0 lead with a pin of RU senior Trevor Melde at the 2:40 mark. Pearsall gave up an early takedown but locked up the cradle from the bottom position. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 149, the posted a strong 11-7 win over RU's Ken Theobold. Sophomore All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, closed out the first half with a dominant win over Rutgers' senior Scott Winston, posting the 10-3 decision to give the Lions an 18-0 lead at halftime.
Junior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, opened up the second half with a strong 14-6 major over Nick Visicaro. In the first of two bouts featuring ranked foes, No. 7 Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), downed No. 14 Greg Zannetti 6-2 at 174 to give Penn State a 25-0 lead. Junior All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, remained undefeated with a dominating 11-4 win over No. 10 Dan Rinaldi.
Senior Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 197, worked his way to a 7-4 win over Rutgers' junior Dan Seidenberg to remain undefeated as well. Sophomore heavyweight Lawson, ranked No. 12 at 285, then closed out the shutout with a thrilling 3-2 tie-breaker win Rutgers' Billy Smith. With just :06 left, Lawson worked his way to his feet in his tie-breaker period and rolled down to a reversal at Smith's ankles with just :02 left, pushing Penn State to the 34-0 shut-out win.
The Nittany Lions rolled to a 28-3 edge in takedowns and picked up four bonus points off Pearsall's pin and Taylor's major. Ruth and Wright remain undefeated on the year, with the former sitting at 25-0 and the latter at 24-0. Taylor improved to 23-1 with his win. The victory was Sanderson's 100th as a collegiate head coach and his 57th at Penn State. The attendance of 3,557 was the largest of the year for Rutgers. Penn State closes out the dual meet season with a 13-1 record while Rutgers concludes an outstanding dual season with a 15-4 mark.
Penn State will now prepare for the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 9-10 in Champaign, Ill., hosted by the University of Illinois. The two-day event crowns the conference champion (and Penn State is the two-time defending champion) and serves as the national qualifier for the conference's 12 teams. Action begins on Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. (Eastern) and concludes Sunday, March 10. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
133: Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 13 nationally at 133, took on RU junior Vincent Dellafave. Conaway, like Megaludis, set the early tempo, forcing the Rutgers junior backwards while looking to set up his shot. The Lion freshman's pressure paid off on the edge of the mat as Conaway started high on a shot and then finished low with a single leg to takedown at the :22 mark. Conaway then kept a scrambling Dellafave down for a ride out and a 2-0 lead. Dellafave chose down to start the second period but could not work his way free of a strong Conaway ride. The Nittany Lion maintained control long enough to build up a 1:25 time edge before the Knight escaped to a 2-1 score. Dellafave got in on a single leg with :10 left in the period but Conaway forced a scramble that killed the clock to lead 2-1 after two. Conaway chose down to start the third period and escaped at the 1:35 mark, maintaining a one-minute plus riding time edge. Conaway used a swift duck-under for a second takedown and upped his lead to 5-1 with :45 left to secure the match. Conaway broke Dellafave down at the end of the match and rolled to a 6-1 with 1:51 in riding time.
141: Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) took on Rutgers senior Trevor Melde at 141 in his final dual meet as a Nittany Lion. Melde blew through a high double to start the match and took Pearsall to his back for two quick nearfall points. Down 4-0 with 2:25 on the clock, the Lion senior worked to break free of a strong Melde ride. Pearsall steadily found his base and then began working not for a reversal, but to lock up a cradle. The Nittany Lion senior completed the outstanding move from underneath, hitting the cradle and pinning Melde at the 2:40 mark to put Penn State up 12-0.
149: Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 149, met Rutgers' Ken Theobold. Alton scored quickly, opening up a 2-1 lead less than :30 into the bout. Alton dominated the action early, picking up a second and third takedown to lead 6-2 with 1:30 left in the opening period. Alton then controlled Theobold for the rest of the period and led 6-2 after one period. Alton chose down to start the second stanza and quickly reversed the Knight to lead 8-3 after a Theobold escape. Alton quickly notched his fourth takedown and built his time edge up to 2:45 before the Knight escaped. Theobold chose down to start the third period. Alton clinched the bonus point before Theobold escaped and then the Lion rolled through a low single, forcing a scramble that led to a stalemate with 1:20 left to wrestle. Theobold picked up his first takedown, cutting the lead to 10-7 with :38 left to wrestle. The offense was not enough for the Knight and Alton rolled to an 11-7 win including 2:23 in riding time.
157: All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 nationally at 157, met RU senior Scott Winston. The duo battled evenly for the first half of the period with no one finding an opening to score. Alton nearly took the lead with 1:30 left, using a single leg for a near takedown on the edge of the mat. But action moved out of bounds and the duo resumed with 1:05 in the middle of the mat. Alton nearly pinned Winston at the :15 mark, but action was stopped for potentially dangerous and the bout moved to the second period in a scoreless tie. Alton chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Alton began to string low singles together, working for a chance to get the bout's first takedown. With 1:04 on the clock, Alton used a low single to secure a takedown and up his lead to 3-0. The Lion sophomore then maintained control of the Knight senior for the rest of the period and carried that lead, with 1:01 in time, into the third period. Winston chose down to start the third period but Alton once again dominated action from the top. Winston escaped to a 3-1 score with 1:10 left. Alton then countered a slight Winston shot and led 5-2 with a clinched bonus point at the :40 mark. Looking for a major, Alton added on two more late takedowns and posted the dominating 10-3 decision with 2:08 in riding time.
165: Two-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, battled Scarlet Knight Nick Visicaro. Taylor fought off an early Visicaro shot and worked action out of bounds. The Nittany Lion junior then used a low single leg for his first takedown and a 2-0 lead. He then nearly turned the Knight for back points but Visicaro was able to roll out of trouble and keep the bout close with 1:00 left in the period. Taylor let Visicaro loose and then added a second takedown with :12 left to lead 4-1 after the opening period. Taylor chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped. He then rolled through a Visicaro single, forced a scramble on the edge of the mat and finished off a takedown of his own to lead 7-1 with 1:29 on the clock. After a Visicaro escaped, Taylor notched another takedown and then spent the rest of the period looking for a turning combination. Taylor led 8-3 with 2:46 in time after two. Taylor went on to pick up two more takedowns and with, 3:43 in time, post the 14-6 major.
174: In one of two match-ups featuring ranked opponents, sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) faced off against RU senior Greg Zannetti. Brown was ranked No. 7 and Zannetti No. 14. The duo battled evenly for the better part of the opening period before Brown connected on a low single and turned it into a takedown and a 2-0 lead with :31 on the clock. Leading by two, Brown chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. The Lion sophomore then countered a Zannetti shot and worked his way around for a second takedown and a 5-1 lead after Zannetti escaped. Trailing 5-1, Zannetti chose down to start the final stanza. Brown maintained control long enough to build up over 1:00 in riding time before Zannetti escaped to a 5-2 score. The duo then traded shots for the next minute plus with Brown going on to post a strong 6-2 decision with 1:14 in time.
184: In another marquee match-up, two-time All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, battled No. 10 Dan Rinaldi of Rutgers. Ruth nearly scored on an early low single but Rinaldi was able to step back out of trouble and keep the bout scoreless early on. Ruth's offensive pressure paid off as the Lion connected on a solid high double to lead 2-0 with 1:05 in the opening stanza. The Nittany Lion waited for an opening to hit a cradle but Rinaldi was able to get out of the period without giving up any back points. Leading by two, Ruth chose down to start the second period. A quick escaped gave Ruth a 3-0 lead with 1:35 and the Nittany Lion continued to pressure the Knight back to the outside circle. Ruth used a solid high shot to up his lead to 5-0 at the 1:05 mark and once again went to work from the top position. Ruth cut Rinaldi loose at the :42 mark and then fought off a Rinaldi shot with :22 left. Rinaldi chose down to start the third period but quickly got hit with a stall warning from the bottom. Ruth continued to look for a cradle. After clinching the bonus point and picking up a stall point, Ruth upped his lead to 8-3 with a takedown and cut. Ruth added a late takedown and rolled to an 11-4 win with 2:32 in riding time.
197: Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 197, met RU's Dan Seidenberg in his final dual meet as a Nittany Lion. The duo traded early shots with neither man finding an opening. But Wright's steady offense led to a late takedown and a 2-0 lead with :21 on the clock. A short ride out gave Wright a 2-0 lead after one. Wright chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed the Scarlet Knight junior for a 4-0 lead with 1:30 on the clock. Wright then put together a dominating ride, working for a chance to turn Seidenberg. Seidenberg was able to escape only to get taken down by Wright again with :15 left in the period. Another ride out and Wright led 6-1 with 1:47 in time after two periods. Seidenberg chose down to start the second and Wright cut him loose to a 6-2 lead. Wright shot low on Seidenberg but the Knight was able to counter the move and get a takedown of his own, cutting the Lion's lead to 6-4 with :40 on the clock. A Rutgers ride out was not enough and, with 1:04 in riding time, Wright posted the 7-4 win.
285: Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 at 285, battled talented Rutgers freshman Billy Smith. The tandem of big men wrestled even up for over two minutes with neither man working an offensive combination to score. With time winding down in the period, Lawson fought off a Smith shot but was not able to complete the counter move and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Smith chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Like the first period, the duo wrestled evenly in the middle of the mat but no scoring opportunities arose. Lawson countered a Smith shot and nearly locked his shoulders up for a throw, but action moved out of bounds and the Knight led 1-0 heading into the final stanza. Lawson chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. Both men worked for shoulder control for the next minute-plus but no one found the scoring column. The bout moved to a sudden victory period tied 1-1. The first sixty seconds were scoreless and a first tie-breaker ensued. Smith escaped with :18 left in his tie breaker period to lead 2-1. Lawson then secured the shutout with a thrilling reversal in his tie breaker period. With just :06 on the clock, Lawson worked his way to his feet and with time running out, the Lion bulled his way around for control of Smith's ankles with just :02 on the clock. The swift move gave Lawson the 3-2 (TB) decision and secured the 34-0 shut-out.