Feb. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Penn State


February 19, 2010 - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 10 nationally, closed out the dual meet season with a hard-fought 26-16 loss at No. 10 Minnesota. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad got four wins in the road dual, including victories from seniors Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) and David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio) in the final dual of their careers.

Junior Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 125, was set to tangle with No. 6 Zach Sanders of Minnesota. But with Sanders battling injuries of late, Minnesota elected to forfeit 125 and give the Nittany Lions an early 6-0 lead. The win improved Pataky's Big Ten dual record to 7-1. The Gophers got a pin from top-ranked Jayson Ness at 133 to tie the dual at 6-6 before No. 8 Mike Thorn pinned No. 20 Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.) at the 2:18 mark to give UM a 12-6 lead. Sophomore All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 4 at 149, dominated No. 16 Mario Mason in a 7-3 win with over 2:00 of riding time (with a full third period ride) to pull Penn State to within three. Minnesota responded as No. 2 Dustin Schlatter earned a hard-fought 4-0 win over No. 6 Cyler Sanderson at 157. The victory gave the Gophers a 15-9 lead at the break.

Senior All-American Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.), ranked No. 7 at 165, got Penn State closer with a convincing 10-3 win over Cody Yohn but Minnesota answered once again, this time getting a major win at 174 from No. 8 Scott Glasser. Senior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio), ranked No. 10 at 184, notched a convincing 12-3 major over Minnesota's Kaleb Young to cut the Gopher lead to 19-16. But Minnesota got a major at 197 from No. 13 Sonny Yohn to clinch the dual win with a 23-16 lead. Sophomore Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 12 at heavyweight, gave up a last second takedown to lose 4-2 to Minnesota's Ben Berhow and giving Minnesota a 26-16 win.

The Golden Gophers won six of the dual's ten bouts and picked up eight bonus points to Penn State's four. Minnesota also won the takedown battle 16-13.

Penn State closes out the 2009-10 season with a 13-6-1 dual meet record, 5-3 in Big Ten dual and ending the year in fourth place in the dual meet standings. Minnesota is now 12-5, 7-1 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions will head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the 2010 Big Ten Championships on Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7. The two day event is hosted by the University of Michigan. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC?(1390 AM) or 3WZ (95.3 FM) and on www.GoPSUsports.com as well. The 2009-10 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.

#10 Penn State 16, #5 Minnesota 26
February 19, 2010 - Minneapolis, Minn.
25: #13 Brad Pataky PSU win by forfeit 6-0
133: #1 Jayson Ness MINN pinned Bryan Pearsall PSU, WBF (1:37) 6-6
141: #8 Mike Thorn MINN pinned #20 Adam Lynch PSU, WBF (2:18) 6-12
149: #4 Frank Molinaro PSU dec. #16 Mario Mason MINN, 7-3 9-12
157: #2 Dustin Schlatter MINN dec. #6 Cyler Sanderson PSU, 4-0 9-15
165: #7 Dan Vallimont PSU dec. Cody Yohn MINN, 10-3 12-15
174: #8 Scott Glasser MINN maj. dec. Justin Ortega PSU, 12-3 12-19
184: #10 David Erwin PSU maj. dec. Kaleb Young MINN, 12-3 16-19
197: #13 Sonny Yohn MINN maj. dec. David Crowell PSU, 14-5 16-23
285: Ben Berhow MINN dec. #12 Cameron Wade PSU, 4-2 16-26

Attendance: 2,903
Records: Penn State 13-6-1 (5-3 Big Ten); Minnesota 12-5 (7-1 Big Ten)
Up Next for Penn State: at 2010 Big Ten Championships, March 6-7, Ann Arbor, Mich.

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

125: 13th-ranked Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) was set to take to the mat at 125 to face No. 6 Zach Sanders of Minnesota, but with Sanders battling some injuries of late, Minnesota elected to not weigh anyone in at 125 and forfeit the match, giving Penn State a 6-0 lead early on. The win improved Pataky's Big Ten record to 7-1 heading into the tournament.

133: Freshman Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) took on No. 1 Jayson Ness just a week after facing the defending national champion at 133. Ness entered the dual with a 22-0 mark and 16 pins. Ness used a fast double leg to take Pearsall down seven seconds into the bout to lead 2-0 early. Ness then turned Pearsall to his back to his back and got the pin at the 1:17 mark, tying the dual at 6-6 after two bouts.

141: Senior Adam Lynch (Mifflinburg, Pa.) newly ranked at No. 20 at 141, battled No. 8 Mike Thorn of Minnesota in another key match-up of ranked opponents. Thorn got the firs takedown to lead 2-1 at the :30 mark after a quick Lynch escape. The eighth-ranked Gopher quickly added a second takedown to up his lead to 4-1 before putting together a solid ride and turning Lynch for two near fall points and a 6-1 lead midway through the opening period. Thorn turned the Lion senior one more time and this time worked his way to another first period Gopher pin, this time at the 2:18 mark. The second straight fall gave Minnesota a 12-6 lead. Despite the loss, Lynch heads to the Big Ten Championships on a high, sporting a 6-2 conference dual record and a national ranking.

149: Sophomore Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 4 at 149, faced off against No. 16 Mario Mason. Mason had the first solid chance to score, working in on a single at the 1:50 mark, but Molinaro was able to counter, work himself out of trouble and force a reset. Molinaro then had his first chance, trying to turn a single into a takedown with :55 left, but this time Mason worked his way out of bounds to keep the bout scoreless. The Lion All-American was relentless, however, using a high double off the reset to take a 2-0 lead with :21 left on the clock. Molinaro then rode Mason out to carry that 2-0 lead into the second period. Molinaro chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. Another high double-turned-single leg gave Molinaro a second takedown and a 5-1 lead at the 1:15 mark after a Mason escape. Mason answered with a high double to cut into Molinaro's lead, but the Nittany Lion sophomore quickly escaped to a 6-3 lead with :50 on the second period clock. Trailing 6-3, Mason chose down to start the final period but could not work free of a strong Molinaro ride. Molinaro was able to control Mason long enough to build up more than a minute's worth of riding time, controlling the Gopher for the entire period. Molinaro's dominating performance, a 7-3 win, cut the Gopher lead to 12-9.

157: Senior Cyler Sanderson (Heber City, Utah), ranked No. 6 at 157, met No. 2 Dustin Schlatter in the dual's marquee bout. The talented duo battled each other evenly for half the period before Schlatter scored on a low single to take a 2-0 lead. Schlatter then rode Sanderson for the remainder of the period to lead 2-0 with 1:26 in riding time after the opening period. Schlatter chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. The second period's first scoring chance was a Sanderson high single that Schlatter, the 2006 national champion at 149, was able to thwart to maintain his 3-0 lead. Sanderson, down by three, chose neutral to start the third period. Sanderson worked to break through Schlatter's tough defense, but each Lion shot was countered as the Gopher was able to step out of trouble each time Sanderson shot. As the clock wound down, Schlatter's lone takedown midway through the first period was the difference as the Gopher earned a hard-fought 4-0 win. The decision put UM up 15-9 heading into halftime.

165: Senior Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.), ranked No. 7 at 165, met Minnesota freshman Cody Yohn. Yohn looked to score right out of the gates, getting in on a single leg early, but Vallimont was able to work out of trouble and force a stalemate at the 2:33 mark. The Nittany Lions All-American then countered a Yohn shot to get the first takedown and lead 2-1 at the 2:00 mark. A low single leg allowed Vallimont to get a second takedown with 1:20 on the clock and this time the senior was able to put together a strong ride. While building up a minute-plus in riding time, Vallimont worked to turn the Gopher for back points. Yohn was able to keep his stomach to the mat, avoiding any near falls, but Vallimont led 4-1 with 1:28 in riding time after one period. Vallimont chose down to start the middle stanza and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. Another quick Vallimont takedown gave the Nittany Lion a 7-1 lead. This time, Vallimont was able to work his way towards a cradle. He was able to work his hands into position, but was not able to turn the Gopher to his back. Trailing 7-1 and giving up nearly 3:00 in riding time, Yohn chose down to start the third period and was cut loose by Vallimont. The Nittany Lion senior, looking for bonus points, clinched the riding time point first and then turned a low single into a scoring chance with :45 left. But a stalemate was called and action resumed in the center circle. Needing one more takedown for the major, Vallimont swung behind Yohn for two points at the :18 mark. But the Lion senior could not ride Yohn out as the Gopher escaped with just :02 left to give Vallimont a 10-3 win. The victory cut the Gopher lead to 15-12.

174: Freshman Justin Ortega (Oxford, Pa.) battled No. 8 Scott Glasser at 174. Glasser bolted out to an early 2-1 lead with a quick takedown, but Ortega was able to escape quickly. Ortega then began forcing the offense, sending the ranked Gopher back towards the outside circle with solid counters and low singles. But Glasser was able to stave off any real threats from Ortega and then getting a second takedown with :15 left to lead 4-1 with :28 in riding time after one period. Glasser chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. He then added a third takedown at the 1:10 mark, upping his lead to 7-1 and then controlling Ortega long enough to kill the clock. Trailing 7-1 and giving up 1:31 in riding time, Ortega chose down to start the third period. Glasser cut the Lion loose to a 7-2 score and then quickly added another takedown and cut to lead 9-3 with 1:40 on the clock. Looking for the major, Glasser took Ortega down with 1:00 left to up his lead to 11-3. With a riding time point secured, Glasser then spend the rest of the period in control of Ortega to post the 12-3 major and put Minnesota up 19-12 with just three bouts left.

184: Senior David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio), ranked No. 10 at 184, took on Minnesota's Kaleb Young. Young got in deep on Erwin early, looking to turn a low double into a takedown. But the Lion senior was able to force a stalemate and keep things scoreless early on. Erwin then got his first takedown, using a low single to take a 2-0 lead at the 1:52 mark. Erwin then controlled Young for the rest of the period to lead by two heading into the second stanza. Erwin chose down and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. A second takedown on a low ankle pick, followed by a cut, gave Erwin a 5-1 lead with 1:06 on the clock. The Nittany Lion added another takedown with :25 left, cut Young loose to a 7-2 lead, and then worked a high double into a takedown at the buzzer to lead 9-2 with 1:41 in riding time, heading into the final period. Young chose down to start the final period, but Erwin was able to control the Gopher as he began looking for a chance to turn him. Young managed to escape at the 1:17 mark, but Erwin had clinched the bonus point. Erwin then found himself scrambling out of a low Young shot to work his way on top of the Gopher for a fifth takedown and an 11-3 lead. Erwin spent the final seconds of the bout trying to turn Young. While not getting any back points, the convincing 12-3 major cut the Gopher lead to 19-16.

197: Sophomore David Crowell (Easton, Pa.) got the call for Penn State at 197 to face No. 13 Sonny Yohn of Minnesota. Yohn countered an early Crowell shot to take a 2-0 lead at the 2:34 mark. The ranked Gopher then put together a strong ride, building up over a minute's worth of riding time while trying to turn Crowell. But the Nittany Lion sophomore was able to work his way into a possible reversal. But a stalemate was called with :45 on the clock and the Lion still trailing by two. Yohn was able to ride Crowell out for the rest of the period and led 2-0, with 2:34 in riding time, heading into the second period. Crowell chose neutral to begin the next period and began looking for a chance to score. The Nittany Lion sophomore worked in on a low single, nearly scoring. But Yohn steadily worked his way behind the Lion for a takedown of his own and a 4-1 lead with :45 left. Crowell turned a low single into his first takedown to cut into the lead, but Yohn was able to reverse the Lion to lead 6-3 with 2:43 in riding time at the period's end. Yohn chose down to start the third period and was cut loose by Crowell to a 7-3 lead. With a riding time point secured, Yohn worked for, and got, a third takedown to lead 9-4 after a Crowell escape. Another takedown gave Yohn an 11-4 lead as action moved out of bounds with :49 on the clock. Yohn cut Crowell loose at the reset to an 11-5 score and the Nittany Lion sophomore worked to avoid giving up the major. But Yohn was awarded a late contested takedown to get the major, posting a 14-5 major and clinching the dual for Minnesota.

HWT: Sophomore Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 12 at heavyweight, took on veteran Gopher junior Ben Berhow. The duo battled evenly for the first three minutes, with neither man managing a takedown. Berhow chose down to start the second period and, as Wade looked to turn the Gopher, managed to work out from underneath the Lion and get a reversal to lead 2-1 after a Wade escape. Wade worked to score, but Berhow was able to keep the Lion at a distance to carry the 2-1 lead into the final period. Wade chose down to start the third and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie (riding time was not a factor). Like the first two periods, offensive chances were hard to come by as each wrestler worked for an advantage. Berhow shot at Wade's waste, forcing a scramble over the final :30 that, in the end, led to a Berhow takedown with just :02 left, giving the Gopher a 4-2 upset win and Minnesota a 26-16 dual meet victory.