No. 1 Penn State Wrestling was overwhelming in their 44-3 win against No. 28 Maryland in Rec Hall
The Penn State Wrestling Team was back in action Sunday afternoon as they hosted Maryland in Rec Hall for the final Big Ten dual meet of the 2022-2023. The Nittany Lions were fresh off their lambasting of the Scarlet Knights 35-8 Friday evening in the Jersey Mike’s Arena in New Jersey.
This year’s Terrapins team is a much improved one than what Penn State has seen in the past. Alex Clemson and his coaching staff have done an incredible job in trying to bring Maryland out of the basement and into the mix in the best wrestling conference in the nation.
But on this day it was busy as usual and the final score resembled pretty much exactly how it normally looks when Maryland wrestled Penn State. The Nittany Lions once again racked up bonus points in a handful of matches and they bulldozed Maryland to the tune of 44-3.
Now onto the action!
The dual meet started out at 125 and Gary Steen was back in action for Penn State, however he faced a difficult opponent in No. 15 ranked Braxton Brown. And while I’ve been a little hard lately on Steen, he completely wrestled his butt of in this match.
Even though he dropped the 1-0 decision, this is the best Gary has looked since taking down Michigan State’s Tristan Lujan back in late January. Hopefully he can gain some confidence from this match going forward.
Roman Bravo-Young was back in the lineup for the Nittany Lions and he was immediately back to his takedown-a-thon ways. RBY piled up takedown after takedown on his Maryland opponent and mercifully he ended the match by winning a 28-13 technical fall in the final period.
After the first two matches of the dual, Penn State was up on Maryland 5-3.
Then at 141, Beau Bartlett punched the work clock and breezed to a rather pedestrian 5-2 decision. I’ll give his Terrapin counterpart some credit. He didn’t give Bartlett many openings, which certainly explains the narrow score, but make no mistake about it, this match was not close at all.
In the first ranked matchup of the afternoon, Shayne Van Ness locked horns with Ethan Miller.
Miller landed a takedown on Van Ness in the first period, however Shayne notched two of his own. Then in the second period, Van Ness really started to open up on Miller and it looked like he was going to cruise to a decision or major decision victory.
But then the third period happened. And with less than 30 seconds left in the final period, Shayne landed a single leg, powered through for a takedown, and managed to get Miller in a bad position in the process.
Van Ness’ six point move in the final seconds of the match gave him the 19-4 technical fall win and it extended Penn State’s lead to 13-3.
Then at 157, Levi Haines only needed 102 seconds to end his match in the first period. Haines snagged a single leg, then turned it into a cradle, and then it was lights out for his opponent.
Going into the intermission, the Nittany Lions were up 19-3.
Alex Facundo hit the mat at 165 and he was all over his guy from the word “go”. Taking a commanding 15-5 lead going into the third period, Facundo, like Van Ness, was looking to waltz his way to the finish line.
But Alex was on the prowl and he kept his foot on the gas the entire time.
Starting on top position in the third period, Facundo instantly worked a reverse headlock on Cordio and his continued pressure finally got his opponents back to the mat.
Maybe I should stop projecting my laziness on Penn State wrestlers. Because look, while I would most likely loaf to the end of a match with a big lead, they never do. And that’s exactly why they wrestle for Cael Sanderson and the Nittany Lions.
Next up at 174, Carter Starocci continued his dominant as he dispatched of his Maryland foe in a 14-6 major decision. Following this win, Penn State pushed their lead to 29-3 on the afternoon.
Donovon Ball got the call at 184 and he look super committed in his shot all match. Ball got to his opponent early and he got to him often as he took the 10-3 decision. The win moves his record to 12-3 on the season and it gave the Nittany Lions a 32-2 lead in the dual meet.
At 197 Max Dean was awarded a forfeit and this gave Penn State a free six points and a 38-3 lead with one match remaining on the day.
And at 285, Seth Nevills got his first action in the starting lineup since wrestling in the Ohio State dual meet back January of 2021.
Big Snacks made quick work of his Maryland counterpart as he got in on the the fall-fest. He worked his opponent’s back to the mat 1:56 in the first period and put the cherry on top of Penn State’s 44-3 win.
Next up for Penn State is their last dual meet of the season as they host Clarion on Sunday, February 19th at 1pm in Rec Hall.
No. 28 Maryland 3 No. 1 Penn State 44
125 No. 15 Braxton Brown (UM) dec. over Gary Steen (PSU) 1-0, UM 3 PSU 0
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) tech. fall over King Sandoval (UM) 28-13, UM 3 PSU 5
141 No. 6 Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec. over Kal Miller (UM) 5-2, UM 3 PSU 8
149 No. 13 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) tech. fall over No. 18 Ethan Miller (UM) 19-4, UM 3 PSU 13
157 No. 8 Levi Haines (PSU) fall over Kevin Schork (UM) 1:42, UM 3 PSU 19
165 No. 8 Alex Facundo (PSU) fall over Lucas Cordio (UM) 5:38, UM 3 PSU 25
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) major dec. over Dominic Solis (UM) 14-6, UM 3 PSU 29
184 Donovon Ball (PSU) dec. over Kevin Makosy (UM) 10-3, UM 3 PSU 32
197 No. 3 Max Dean (PSU) forfeit, UM 3 PSU 38
285 Seth Nevills (PSU) fall over Jordan Gabriel (UM) 1:56, UM 3 PSU 44