Penn State Wrestling Thrashes Maryland 42-6
No. 1 Penn State wrestling (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) put on a crushing performance against the Maryland Terrapins (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) on Sunday afternoon in College Park. The Nittany Lions won eight of 10 bouts, including four by pin, en route to another lopsided victory at 42-6.
Highlighting the dual was No. 1 Carter Starocci’s 60th consecutive win as he defeated Mason Stein by fall in the second period.
How It Happened
Starting the dual at 125 pounds was No. 4 Braeden Davis taking on Maryland’s Tommy Capul. A takedown from Davis in the opening 30 seconds gave the freshman an early advantage, following it up with four-point turn to take a 7-0 lead halfway through the first period. Davis then turned the Terrapin for two more four-point near falls to take a 15-0 tech fall at 2:47.
Penns Valley grad Baylor Shunk filled in for No. 5 Aaron Nagao against No. 21 Braxton Brown in the 133-pound bout. Shunk fell victim early to a Brown takedown, however, the Nittany Lion fought for a reversal to minimize the deficit to 3-2 heading into the second period. Brown kept the pressure on in the second period, extending his lean to 7-2 going into the final two minutes. An escape from Shunk wasn’t enough to deter the Terrapin, and Brown emerged victorious 8-3 after riding time.
No. 2 Beau Barlett faced off against Maryland’s No. 17 Kal Miller at 141. After a long battle on the mat followed a Bartlett single, the Nittany Lion secured the opening takedown of the bout, taking a 3-0 lead into the second. With no points scored in the second, Bartlett took a neutral position to start the final period with the score at 3-0. The decision proved beneficial for Bartlett as he countered a Miller shot for a takedown and added another late in the bout, picking up a technical violation point along the way. With a riding time point added, Bartlett secured the 11-1 major decision.
Penn State led the dual at 9-3.
With Tyler Kasak and David Evans wrestling at the Mat-Town Open 2 in Lock Haven on Sunday, Penn State freshman Connor Pierce took on No. 14 Ethan Miller at 149 pounds. A takedown from Miller and an escape to start the second period gave the Maryland wrestler a 4-0 lead halfway through the middle period. Pierce pressured Miller in the third, but neither wrestler could convert on their shots, giving Miller a 5-0 decision after riding time.
No. 1 Levi Haines met Maryland’s No. 33 Michael North in the 157-pound bout. After a short battle, Haines worked out of a scramble for the opening takedown of the match to take a 3-0 lead after one period. Haines escaped from bottom position to start the second and snapped for his second takedown of the bout to extend his lead to 7-0 after two periods. With North taking the down position to start the third, Haines turned the Terp fo a pair of four-point near falls to record a 15-0 tech fall at 5:58.
Penn State led the dual 14-6 heading into intermission.
Restarting the action after the break was No. 7 Mitchell Mesenbrink taking on Ryan Money. After a swift takedown, Mesenbrink wasted no time turning Money to the mat for a fast fall at 0:50.
Top-ranked Starocci made easy work of Stein in the 174-pound bout. Starocci dominated the action with a staggering six takedowns in the first period, playing catch and release to take an 18-6 lead going into the second period. With Stein choosing down to start the second, Starocci worked him to his back for the Nittany Lions’ second straight fall at 4:26, marking his 60th victory in a row.
No. 5 Bernie Truax made it three consecutive Penn State pins when he took on Chase Mielnik. After an early takedown and two four-point tilts, Truax took Mielnik to his back for a fall at 1:43.
Truax’s pin pushed the dual meet score to 32-6 in favor of Penn State.
In action next was No. 1 Aaron Brooks taking on Maryland’s No. 5 Jaxon Smith. A takedown from Brooks opened the scoring in the first period, and took a 3-1 lead into the second after an escape from Smith. A persistent takedown attempt from Brooks landed to extend the Nittany Lion’s lead to 7-2 after two. Brooks added two more takedowns in the final period to take a 13-4 major decision over a top-five opponent.
Finishing off the dual was No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet against Maryland’s Jordan Gabriel. Any early Kerkvliet takedown quickly turned into another fall for the Nittany Lions at 0:55, making it four pins in the dual.
The Nittany Lions won the dual by a final score of 42-6.
Penn State will return home on Friday, Feb. 2, to take on Ohio State in Rec Hall. The dual will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.