BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1, 0-0 B1G) rolled over No. 14 Lehigh (1-3) in the latest edition of Penn State's longest running dual series. Penn State dominated the Mountain Hawks 23-10 in front of 6,047 fans, a new Lehigh Stabler Arena attendance record.
Penn State won seven of ten bouts and picked up an impressive season debut win from sophomore Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.) at 157 and a Lion dual debut win from true freshman Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.) at 184.
The dual began at 125 where redshirt freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) made his Lion dual debut, stepping in for classmate Brody Teske (Duncombe, Iowa). Meredith battled No.11 Brandon Paetzell tough but dropped a 15-5 major in his Lion dual debut. Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 4 at 133, took care of Lehigh's Jaret Lane, totaling three third period takedowns to post an impressive 7-2 win. Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 3 at 141, gave Penn State a lead in the next bout, rolling to a 22-7 technical fall at the 7:00 mark over Lehigh's Joe Lobeck with 3:28 in riding time.
Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) got the nod at 149 and battled Lehigh's Jimmy Hoffman through seven minutes and into extra time before dropping a hard-fought 3-1 (sv) decision. Sophomore Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 6 at 157, made his season debut against a nationally ranked foe and came out on top. The Lion sophomore posted takedowns in the first and third periods to post an impressive 5-3 victory over No. 13 Josh Humphreys. Penn State led 11-7 at the midway point.
Senior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, posted a 7-4 win over Lehigh's Brian Meyer to open up the second half, giving Penn State a 14-7 lead. Senior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, took on No. 2 Jordan Kutler in the dual's premier bout. Hall dominated the first period with a takedown and ride-out and added a takedown in the third period to roll to a 7-2 win with 2:17 in riding time.
True freshman Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.) made his collegiate debut for Penn State at 184 with No. 2 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) still out. Brooks was impressive, picking up three early takedowns to roll to a 10-5 win over Lehigh junior Chris Weiler. Brooks' win gave Penn State a 20-7 lead. Graduate senior Kyle Conel (Ashtabula, Ohio), ranked No. 20 at 197, was the aggressor through his match with No. 15 Jake Jakobsen, but Jakobsen used a late counter takedown to post the 3-1 win to cut Penn State's lead to 20-10. Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 1 at 285 closed out the dual by dominating No. 10 Jordan Wood in a 9-4 win. Cassar's decision made the final score 23-10 in Penn State's favor.
The Nittany Lions won seven of ten bouts and had a lopsided 24-12 advantage in takedowns. Penn State had one bonus victory, Lee's technical fall.
Penn State is now 2-1 overall, 0-0 in the Big Ten. Lehigh falls to 1-3. The Nittany Lions return to State College for a dual with Penn this weekend. Penn State hosts the Quakers in Rec Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
125: #11 Brandon Paetzell LU maj. dec. Brandon Meredith PSU, 15-5 0-4
133: #4 Roman Bravo-Young PSU dec. Jaret Lane LU, 7-2 3-4
141: #3 Nick Lee PSU tech fall Joe Lobeck LU, 22-7 (TF; 7:00) 8-4
149: Jimmy Hoffman LU dec. Jarod Verkleeren PSU, 3-1 (SV) 8-7
157: #6 Brady Berge PSU dec. #13 Josh Humphreys LU, 5-3 11-7
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU dec. Brian Meyer LU, 7-4 14-7
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU dec. #2 Jordan Kutler LU, 7-2 17-7
184: Aaron Brooks PSU dec. Chris Weiler LU, 10-5 20-7
197: #15 Jake Jakobsen LU dec. #20 Kyle Conel PSU, 3-1 20-10
285: #1 Anthony Cassar PSU dec. #10 Jordan Wood LU, 9-4 23-10
Attendance: 6,047 (new Lehigh Stabler Arena record)
Records: Penn State (2-1, 0-0 B1G); Lehigh (1-3)
Up Next for Penn State: Sunday, Dec, 7, home vs. Penn, 2 p.m. in Rec Hall
125: Redshirt freshman Brandon Meredith (Limerick, Pa.) made his Penn State dual debut at 125, stepping in for teammate Brody Teske (Duncombe, Iowa), and took on No. 11 Brandon Paetzell. Paetzell worked position into a scramble at the 2:20 mark and finished off the takedown to lead 2-0 early. The Lion freshman escaped to a 2-1 score and then fought off a Paetzell single leg for a bit before the Mountain Hawk scored again to up his lead to 4-1. Paetzell cut Meredith loose and quickly took him down to open up a 6-2 lead at the :45 mark. The Mountain Hawk maintained control for the rest of the period and carried the four-point lead into the second stanza. Meredith chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 6-3 score. Paetzell tacked on two more quick takedowns to lead 10-4 at the 1:00 mark in the second. A late stall point gave Paetzell an 11-4 lead after two periods. Paetzell chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 12-4 lead. Paetzell countered a Meredith shot for another takedown and a 14-5 lead. Meredith got in on a low single with :40 left on the clock and battled over the final seconds for a takedown. But Paetzell fought off the move and, with 2:40 in riding time, posted the 15-5 major decision.
133: Sophomore Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 4 at 133, met Lehigh's Jaret Lane. The Lion sophomore looked to set the tempo over the first minute, countering a Lane shot and nearly connecting on a low single. But Lane was able to slip away and action continued to the midway point tied 0-0. Bravo-Young worked his way in on a second shot but Lane scrambled his way to a stalemate at the :50 mark. The Lion sophomore had one more shot stopped late in the period and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Lane chose down to start the second period. Bravo-Young put together a strong ride and build up over 1:00 in riding time. The Lion continued to maintain control for the entire period and finished the period on top. The bout moved to the third period tied 0-0 but Bravo-Young had 2:00 in riding time. Bravo-Young chose neutral to start the third period. He quickly moved in on a low shot and finished off the move to lead 2-0 with a clinched riding time point at the 1:10 mark. Bravo-Young cut Lane loose on a reset and nearly locked up a cradle off the start. He settled for a takedown and a 4-1 lead. Bravo-Young cut Lane loose at the :25 mark and then nearly locked up a second cradle. He settled for a last second takedown and, with 2:47 in riding time, rolled to the 7-2 victory.
141: Junior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 3 at 141, took on Joe Lobeck. Lee and Lobeck battled through a scoreless first :30 before Lee countered a slight Lobeck shot for a takedown and a 2-0 lead. Lee cut Lobeck loose and went to work from neutral again, working in on a low shot and taking a 4-1 lead with another takedown. Lee built up a sizeable riding time edge while trying to turn the Mountain Hawk for back points. Lee carried the 4-1 lead with 1:41 in riding time into the second period. The Lion junior chose down to start the second period and, after :45 of work, reversed Lobeck to lead 6-1. Lee cut Lobeck loose and took him down once more to lead 8-2. Lee picked up a stall point and another takedown to lead 11-3 after two periods, with 2:30 riding time in hand. Lobeck chose neutral to start the third period but Lee quickly moved in for a high double and a takedown to lead 13-3. Lee added three more takedowns and, after one final cut, a fifth. With 3:28 in riding time, Lee posted the 22-7 technical fall at the 7:00 mark.
149: Sophomore Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) got the call at 149 and took on Lehigh's Jimmy Hoffman. The duo battled evenly for the first minute-plus with neither wrestler finding an opening. Hoffman tried a single at the 1:20 mark but Verkleeren muscled his way out of the move to keep things neutral and scoreless with 1:00 left in the opening period. Hoffman worked his way in on a single again, but Verkleeren quickly turned the move into a scramble that nearly killed the clock and the bout moved to the second stanza tied 0-0. Verkleeren chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. The Lion sophomore battled Hoffman through the final 1:30 of the second period in the middle of the mat and carried a 1-0 lead into the third period. Hoffman chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. Verkleeren continued to work the middle of the mat with the Mountain Hawk with neither wrestler breaking through the other's defense. Action finished in neutral and the match moved to a sudden victory period tied 1-1. The first extra minute mirrored the first seven with neither wrestler able to work through for a solid shot. Verkleeren worked in on a chance to throw Hoffman, but the Lion slipped on the move and Hoffman countered for the winning takedown and a 3-1 (sv) victory.
157: Sophomore Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 6 at 157, made his season debut against one of Lehigh's nationally ranked grapplers, No. 13 Josh Humphreys. The ranked duo worked the middle of the mat for over 1:00 with neither wrestler gaining an early edge offensively. Berge connected on a quick shot at the :35 mark and notched the bout's first takedown to lead 2-1 after a quick Humphreys escape. The Lion carried that one-point lead into the second period. Humphreys chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Berge quickly worked his way in on a high single. Humphreys countered the move and forced a scramble that ended in a stalemate at the 1:21 mark. Berge countered a slight Humphreys shot with 1:00 left in the period. The bout moved to the third period knotted at 2-2. Berge chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead. Humphreys got in on a low single but Berge was able to counter the move and keep control of the action, forcing a stalemate with 1:08 on the clock. Berge shot low, connected with an ankle and finished off a quick takedown to lead 5-2 at the :45 mark. Humphreys escaped to a 5-3 score but Berge's swift takedown was the difference maker in a 5-3 victory.
165: Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, faced off against Lehigh's Brian Meyer. Joseph controlled the center of the mat over the first minute, waiting for an opening on offense. The Loin broke through for an initial takedown at the 1:00 mark and led 2-0. Joseph continued to work from the top position over the final seconds and carried the 2-0 lead with 0:55 in riding time into the second period. Meyer chose down to start the second period. Joseph controlled him just long enough to build up a 1:02 riding time edge before the Hawk escaped to a 2-1 score. Joseph continued to press on offense, forcing Meyer into a first stall warning. Meyer connected on a fast shot with :08 left and Joseph quickly escaped to a 3-3 score. Joseph, tied to start the third period, quickly escaped to a 4-3 lead after choosing down. Joseph and Meyer battled evenly for the first half of the final period. Joseph countered on a slight Meyer shot to open up a 6-3 lead with :45 left in the bout. Meyer tallied one final escape but Joseph posted the 7-4 victory with 1:06 in riding time.
174: Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, took on No. 2 Jordan Kutler of Lehigh in the dual's most anticipated bout. Hall wasted no time taking a lead, working Kutler to the mat for a quick takedown and a 2-0 lead just :30 into the bout. Hall continued to work on top, building up over 1:00 in riding time with strong offense on top. The Lion senior turned Kutler to his back but did not get the near fall count and continued to lead 2-0 at the :40 mark. Kutler gave up a stall warning and Hall finished the period on top to lead 2-0 with 2:32 in riding time after the opening period. Hall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. Kutler worked his way into control of Hall's waist and took him down to cut the lead to 3-2. Hall escaped and led 4-2 after two periods with 2:00 in riding time. Kutler chose neutral to begin the third period and nearly tied the score with a takedown. But Hall was able to scramble out of trouble, forcing a stalemate at the 1:10 mark. With clinched riding time, Hall worked to control the middle of the mat. The Lion senior connected on a low single and finished off the match with a final takedown. With 2:17 in riding time, Hall rolled to the 7-2 victory over the second-ranked Kutler.
184: True freshman Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.) made his Nittany Lion dual debut at 184 with No. 2 Shakur Rasheed still out. Brooks battled Lehigh junior Chris Weiler. The Lion rookie took an early lead with a quick takedown just :25 into the bout. He countered a slight Weiler shot and picked up a second takedown to lead 4-1 with 1:52 on the clock. Weiler escaped and tried to work in on a single but Brooks muscled his way into a scramble that led to a third takedown (nearly picking up back points in the process). Brooks finished on top and led 6-2 with :30 on the clock. Leading 6-2, Brooks chose down to start the second stanza. The Lion sophomore worked his way to his feet and picked up a point on two Weiler stalls. Weiler stalled one more time and Brooks led 8-2 at the :50 mark. He then reversed Weiler, finished on top, and led 10-2 with 1:05 in riding time after two periods. Weiler chose down to start the third period. Brooks cut him loose and went to work on offense. The Lion freshman connected on a low single but Weiler countered for a takedown at the :20 mark to avoid the major. Brooks posted the dominant 10-5 victory in his Penn State debut.
197: Graduate senior Kyle Conel (Ashtabula, Ohio), ranked No. 20 at 197, took on No. 15 Jake Jakobsen. The ranked duo battled evenly in the middle of the mat for the first minute with neither wrestler breaking through on offense. Conel's offense forced Jakobsen into an early stall and action continued neutral. The Lion got in on a high single at the :55 mark but Jakobsen was able to fight off the move and force a stalemate to keep the bout scoreless. The bout moved to the second period in a scoreless tie. Jakobsen chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Conel worked his way in on another high single but once again, Jakobsen's defense forced a stalemate at the 1:00 mark. Conel continued to press, forcing Jakobsen into defense in the middle of the mat as the second period wound down. Trailing 1-0, Conel chose down to start the third period. Jakobsen controlled the action on top for a bit but Conel escaped to a 1-1 tie at the 1:25 mark. Conel continued to be the aggressor but could not work his way through Jakobsen's defense. The Lion shot once again, forcing a scramble that Jakobsen was able to counter for the late takedown. Conel dropped a hard-fought 3-1 decision after the late scramble.
285: Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 1 at 285, took on No. 10 Jordan Wood in another top ten match-up. Cassar looked to control the action early, taking a number of early shots and forcing Wood into defense as the bout moved to the 1:45 mark. The Lion senior continued to pressure Wood through the midway point of the first period. The duo battled evenly until Cassar forced a stall warning and then took Wood down in the final seconds to lead 2-0 after the opening period. Cassar chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. The Lion continued to chase Wood for a second takedown but the Mountain Hawk was able to work his way out of two different low efforts to keep the bout at 3-0. Wood chose down to start the third period and Cassar went to work on top. Lehigh quickly threw the challenge brick, looking for a locked hands call but the review failed. Wood quickly escaped to a 3-1 score then rolled through a fast shot to take Cassar down. The Lion quickly escaped to lead 4-3 with 1:10 on the clock and then went in fast on offense, picking up a quick takedown to open up a 6-3 lead with :50 left in the bout. Cassar controlled the action top until the :28 mark before Wood escaped to cut Cassar's lead to 6-4. Cassar added a late counter takedown and, with 1:06 in riding time, posted the 9-4 win.