Penn State Wrestling: Nittany Lions dominate Lock Haven 44-3 in home opener

Penn State's Aaron Brooks is introduced before wrestling at 184 pounds in the finals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.Syndication The Des Moines Register
Penn State's Aaron Brooks is introduced before wrestling at 184 pounds in the finals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.Syndication The Des Moines Register /

Penn State Wrestling gives the home crowd plenty to cheer about as they raised the 2022 National Champions banner and dismantled Lock Haven 44-3 to kick off the 2022-2023 season

The title pretty much says it all. The Nittany Lions came, they saw, and they conquered Lock Haven 44-3 in front of a packed Rec Hall crowd Friday evening.

It has been exactly 237 days since Penn State wrestling crowned five National Champions and won its ninth team title in the 2022 NCAA Championships. And now the 2022-2023 wrestling season is finally upon us!

This is truly the best time of the year.

Now onto the action!

The dual meet started out at 125 where Gary Steen made his long awaited debut for the Nittany Lions. The only problem? His initial opponent was No. 13 ranked Anthony Noto.

Steen put up a solid fight but he ultimately fell to Noto in a major decision 14-4 and Lock Haven took the early lead 4-0.

But fret not because Roman Bravo-Young took to the mat next. And as most Penn State fans would expect, it was an RBY takedown clinic as he racked up roughly 29 takedowns (it sure seemed like it) and earned the technical fall 23-8 late in the third period. Penn State then claimed their first lead of the dual meet and their first lead of the season 5-4 going into the 141 match.

That’s more like it!

For his Penn State career, Beau Bartlett has wrestled in a total of 36 matches, however tonight marked the first time he suited up at 141. And Bartlett did not disappoint in shutting out his Lock Haven foe 10-0 for a major decision. The Nittany Lions then pushed their lead to 9-4 on the dual.

Shayne Van Ness then added yet another tick in the column of “firsts” on the evening as he also made his Nittany Lion debut at 149. And Van Ness looked confident, he looked decisive, and he finished his takedowns with authority through the majority of the first two periods. And late in the second, Van Ness nearly got the fall but the clock simply ran out on him. Had there been five more seconds on the clock he would have cinched it in for sure.

Luckily for Shayne and unfortunately for his Lock Haven foe there is a period which follows the second period. And Van Ness picked up where he left off late in the period as he locked in a cradle, spun Eck’s back to the mat, and recorded his first win and first pin inside the halls of Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions extended their lead to 15-4 on the evening.

Not a bad start!

Terrell Barraclough then hit the mat for Penn State at 157 against a tough and highly competitive opponent, Ashton Eyler.

Barraclough was awarded a takedown on Eyler with seconds remaining in the first period, however following a challenge brick from Lock Haven, the officials reversed the call and the match was tied 0-0 going into the second period.

Terrell started down in the second and he quickly spun around to pull the reversal and take a 2-0 lead. Going into the third period Barraclough was clinging to a 2-1 lead with him set to start on top. Eyler would certainly be eyeing a quick escape to tie the match and try to win in with both guys squared up and on their feet.

But Barraclough had other ideas. And he rode Eyler out for the entire third period to earn the riding time bonus and win the decision 3-1! The Nittany Lions continued to pour it on as they were now leading Lock Haven 18-3. Lock Haven also lost a team point which is why their total fell to three on the evening.

Coming out of a quick halftime, it was then time for Alex Facundo to make his Nittany Lion debut in Rec Hall. And all I have to say is “What an amazing performance!”.

Facundo earned takedown after takedown on his way to a commanding 27-12 technical fall to push the lead for Penn State 23-3.

And the bonus points parade continued in Rec Hall as reigning NCAA Champions Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks, and Max Dean did was NCAA Champions do in crushing their opponents. The trio earned a major decision, a technical fall, and a fall respectively and the lead for Penn State grew to 38-3 on the evening.

Greg Kerkvliet then tied a bow on the impressive evening by walking through his Lock Haven opponent on his way to a fall and Penn State’s third pin of the night.

What else needs to be said?

Next up for Penn State is the Black Knight Open in West Point, New York on November 20th.

Lock Haven 3 No. 1 Penn State 44

125 No. 13 Anthony Noto (LH) major dec. over Gary Steen (PSU) 14-4, LH 4 PSU 0
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) tech. fall over Gable Strickland (LH) 23-8, LH 4 PSU 5
141 No. 13 Beau Bartlett (PSU) major dec. over Ty Linsenbigler (LH) 10-0, LH 4 PSU 9
149 No. 25 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) fall over Connor Eck (LH) 6:31, LH 4 PSU 15
157 Terrell Barraclough (PSU) dec. over Ashton Eyler (LH) 3-1, LH 3 PSU 18
165 No. 18 Alex Facundo (PSU) tech. fall over Aiden Gaugler (LH) 27-12, LH 3 PSU 23
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) major dec. over Tyler Stoltzfus (LH) 19-5, LH 3 PSU 27
184 No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) tech. fall over Colin Fegley (LH) 24-9, LH 3 PSU 32
197 No. 1 Max Dean (PSU) fall over Brad Morrison (LH) 2:03, LH 3 PSU 38
285 No. 2 Greg Kervliet (PSU) fall over Ethan Miller (LH) 1:21, LH 3 PSU 44