Penn State Controls Minnesota; Captures Big 10 Opener

| January 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

(From Penn State SID)

The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team (5-0, 1-0 B1G) dominated No. 9 Minnesota (3-2, 2-1 B1G) in its Big Ten opener in Minneapolis. The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts to roll to a 33-6 win in the first of two Big Ten road duals this weekend.

Penn State put the dual away early, bolting out a 24-0 halftime lead before cruising to the win. With the dual beginning at 149, Penn State got pins in three of the first half’s five bouts and had the dual capped off with senior Jimmy Gulibon’s (Latrobe, Pa.) strong victory at 141.

Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, pinned Carson Brolsma at the 2:28 mark of the first period. Sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, followed that up by pinning No. 9 Jake Short in the second period (3:44). Red-shirt freshman Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 165, put Penn State up 15-0 with a strong 7-4 victory over No. 14 Nick Wanzek.

Senior Geno Morelli (DuBois, Pa.) got the nod at 174 and dominated Gopher Chris Pfarr, posting a strong 5-2 decision. Sophomore Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 2 at 184, closed out the first half by pinning Gopher Bobby Stevenson at the 2:36 mark of the first period.

Junior Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.), ranked No. 11 at 197, took on No. 2 Brett Pfarr in one of the dual’s marquee match-ups to start the second half. McCutcheon nearly notched the upset with a late takedown attempt, but Pfarr was able to defend long enough to kill the clock and post the hard-fought 3-2 win over the Lion junior. Sophomore Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 5 at 285, dominated No. 8 Michael Kroells, rolling to a 4-0 win with 2:28 in riding time, including a third period ride out. Nevills’ win clinched the dual for the Nittany Lions.

True freshman Nick Suriano (Paramus, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 125, took on No. 6 Ethan Lizak in a much anticipated match-up. Suriano’s offense stole the show as the Lion freshman remained unbeaten with an 8-6 victory, thanks to four takedowns (including three in the first period). With No. 13 Jered Cortez (Carol Stream, Ill.) held out for one more dual, sophomore George Carpenter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) stepped in at 133 and nearly pulled off a major upset, falling to No. 16 Mitch McKee 2-1. Senior Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 141, posted perhaps the dual’s most impressive win, dominating No. 9 Tommy Thorn on his way to a strong 6-3 victory. The Gulibon win gave Penn State a final 33-6 margin in the dual.

Penn State dominated the dual from start to finish, winning eight of ten bouts. Penn State posted a 22-5 takedown margin and picked up nine bonus points off its three early pins. Retherford has now won 45 straight matches dating back to the end of the 13-14 season. He is 10-0 with nine pins and a tech. Retherford now tied for 15th on Penn State’s all-time pins list with 28. Nolf is 10-0 with seven pins and three techs and has 22 career falls. Nickal is 9-0 with eight pins and a major this season and has 16 career falls. Nevills and Suriano both remain unbeaten with 9-0 records as well.

The Nittany Lions are now 5-0 on the year, 1-0 in the Big Ten, and have won 22 straight duals dating back to the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Minnesota falls to 3-2, 2-1 B1G. The win broke a string of three straight losses for Penn State as the two teams tied 18-18 here in Minnesota back on Feb. 13, 2011 (the victory was Penn State’s first over the Gophers in 14 meetings).

Penn State will visit No. 6 Nebraska in its second Big Ten road dual of the weekend on Sunday, Jan. 8. Action in Lincoln, Neb., begins at 3 p.m. Eastern. Penn State’s next home dual is set for Friday, Jan. 13, when Rutgers invades Rec Hall for a 7 p.m. Big Ten dual. All Rec Hall dual meets are sold out, but a very limited number of Standing Room Only tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at and on Instagram at

#2 Penn State 33, #9 Minnesota 6
January 6, 2017 – Minneapolis, Minn.

149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU pinned Carson Brolsma MINN, WBF (2:28) / 6-0
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU pinned #9 Jake Short MINN, WBF (3:44) / 12-0
165: #5 Vincenzo Joseph PSU dec. #14 Nick Wanzek MINN, 7-4 / 15-0
174: Geno Morelli PSU dec. Chris Pfarr MINN, 5-2 / 18-0
184: #2 Bo Nickal PSU pinned Bobby Stevenson MINN, WBF (2:36) / 24-0
197: #2 Brett Pfarr MINN dec. #11 Matt McCutcheon PSU, 3-2 / 24-3
285: #5 Nick Nevills PSU dec. #8 Michael Kroells MINN, 4-0 / 27-3
125: #3 Nick Suriano PSU dec. #6 Ethan Lizak MINN, 8-6 / 30-3
133: #16 Mitch McKee MINN dec. George Carpenter PSU, 2-1 / 30-6
141: #12 Jimmy Gulibon PSU dec. #9 Tommy Thorn MINN, 6-3 / 33-6

Attendance: 2,831
Records: Penn State 5-0, 1-0 B1G; Minnesota (3-2, 2-1 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: at #6 Nebraska, Sunday, Jan. 8, 3 p.m. Eastern / 2 p.m. Central

Category: College Wrestling

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