UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0, 6-0 B1G), ranked No. 3 in the latest InterMat Tournament Power Index, shut out visiting Maryland (0-8, 0-8 B1G) in the team's lone home dual of the season. Penn State won all ten bouts to roll to a 44-0 victory and finished the regular season with a 6-0 dual meet record, all in the Big Ten. All team and individual rankings listed are InterMat (2/16/21).
Penn State won eight of the ten bouts for bonus points. The young Nittany Lions featured a line-up that included six freshmen and a sophomore, seven underclassmen.
The dual began at 285. Freshman Greg Kerkvliet (Grove Heights, Minn.) made his season and Penn State debut at 285 and made short work of his Terrapin opponent. Kerkvliet picked up two takedowns on Garrett Kappes in the first :30 to lead 4-1 early. He then locked up a cradle and ended his Lion debut early with a fall at the 1:12 mark. True freshman Robert Howard (Cranford, N.J.) made his Rec Hall debut at 125 and followed suit. Howard opened up a big early lead and then pinned Maryland's Zach Spence in the second period, getting the fall at the 3:38 mark. Junior Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, kept Penn State rolling by majoring Jackson Cockrell 24-13. Bravo-Young tallied 10 takedowns in the bout and gave Penn State a 16-0 lead.
Senior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, made it four straight bonus wins for the Lions with a strong 14-2 major decision over Maryland's Danny Bertoni. Lee built up 4:18 in riding time in the win. True freshman Beau Bartlett (Tempe, Ariz.) made his Rec Hall dual debut up at 149 and rolled to a 9-3 win for Penn State's fifth straight win out of the gates. The Nittany Lions led 23-0 at halftime.
Being Senior Night, senior Luke Gardner (Pottsville, Pa.) took to the mat at 157 and junior Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 8 at 157, got the night off. Gardner used a takedown and four back points in the third period to post an 8-2 victory. Freshman Joe Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 14 at 165, dominated the action as well, building up a big lead over Jonathan Spadafora before pinning him at the 5:56 mark in the third period. Freshman Carter Starocci (Erie, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 174, continued his sizzling wrestling, rolling to a 15-6 major with 2:22 in riding time. Starocci's win put Penn State up 36-0.
Sophomore Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.), ranked No. 2 at 184, remained unbeaten on the year as well. Brooks dominated Phillip Spadafora in a 17-5 major decision with 1:57 in riding time. Freshman Michael Beard (Pottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 16 at 197, finished off the perfect night with a strong 13-3 major decision over Maryland's Jaron Smith. Beard's win closed out Penn State's 44-0 shutout victory.
The Nittany Lions gave up only two takedowns in the dual, posting a 47-2 margin over Maryland. The Lions gave up only five during their two final duals (Ohio State only had three on Friday). Penn State's last shutout victory was the season opener last year, a 45-0 win over Navy on Nov. 10, 2019, here in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions posted their fifth unbeaten dual meet season under Cael Sanderson.
Four extra matches were conducted during the dual meet on a separate mat. This year, with condensed schedules, these extra matches, while not counting towards dual meet scores, are official varsity bouts and count towards NCAA competition minimums.
Starters Bartlett and Kerkvliet each got extra matches. Bartlett began the extra bouts by posting a 15-7 major over Lucas Cordio at 149. Senior Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) followed that up by pinning Garrett Fisk at the 3:35 mark. Freshman Donovon Ball (New Cumberland, Pa.) used a last second takedown in extra time to post a 7-5 (sv) win over Kevin Makosy at 197. Kerkvliet closed out extra bouts and the night with a second first period cradle, this time pinning Brian Bowes at the 1:18 mark.
Penn State finishes its dual meet schedule with a perfect 6-0 mark, 6-0 in the Big Ten. Maryland falls to 0-8, 0-8 B1G. The Nittany Lions will host the 2021 Big Ten Wrestling Championship on Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, in the Bryce Jordan Center. While no public tickets will be made available for the event due to virus mitigation restrictions, the Big Ten Network will air action on Saturday, Saturday night's semifinals and Sunday's finals live nationally and the Big Ten Network+ will live stream every mat.
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.
285: Greg Kerkvliet PSU pinned Garrett Kappes MD, WBF (1:12) 6-0
125: Robert Howard PSU pinned Zach Spence MD, WBF (3:38) 12-0
133: #3 Roman Bravo-Young PSU maj. dec. Jackson Cockrell MD, 24-13 16-0
141: #2 Nick Lee PSU maj. dec. Danny Bertoni MD, 14-2 20-0
149: Beau Bartlett PSU dec. Hunter Baxter MD, 9-3 23-0
157: Luke Gardner PSU dec. Michael Doetsch MD, 8-2 26-0
165: #14 Joe Lee PSU pinned Jonathan Spadafora MD, WBF (5:56) 32-0
174: #5 Carter Starocci PSU maj. dec. Phillip Spadafora MD, 15-6 36-0
184: #2 Aaron Brooks PSU maj. dec. Kyle Cochran MD, 17-5 40-0
197: #16 Michael Beard PSU maj. dec. Jaron Smith MD, 13-3 44-0
Records: Penn State (6-0, 6-0 B1G); Maryland (0-8, 0-8 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: hosts Big Ten Championships, March 6-7, 2021
149: Beau Bartlett PSU maj. dec. Lucas Cordio MD, 15-7
157: Bo Pipher PSU pinned Garrett Fisk MD, WBF (3:35)
197: Donovon Ball PSU dec. Kevin Makosy MD, 7-5 (sv)
285: Greg Kerkvliet PSU pinned Brian Bowes MD, WBF (1:18)
285: Greg Kerkvliet (Grove Heights, Minn.) made his season and Penn State dual debut at 285. The Minnesota-native took on Garrett Kappes. Kerkvliet worked the center circle, scored two takedowns in the opening :25 and led 4-2 just :30 into the match. The Lion freshman added a third takedown, then worked his way into control of the Terrapin and locked up a cradle. He finished off the pin at the 1:12 mark for a fast fall in his Lion debut.
125: True freshman Robert Howard (Cranford, N.J.) took on Maryland's Zach Spence. Howard worked the middle of the mat and picked up his first pin just over a minute into the bout. He then turned Spence for four back points and added four near fall points to lead 6-0 with 1:22 on the clock. Howard reset, turned Maryland wrestler for four more points and led 10-0 at the 1:00 mark. Howard cut Spence loose with :35 on the clock and quickly took the Terrapin down for another takedown and a 12-1 lead after the opening period. Spence chose down to start the second period and Howard went to work on offense. The Terrapin ad
133: Junior Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 3 at 133, faced off against Jackson Cockrell. The Lion junior locked Cockrell up high on the whistle and took him down for a takedown just :15 into the bout. He cut Cockrell loose and took him down again to lead 4-2. Cockrell notched Maryland's first takedown to tie the bout at 4-4 with 1:54 on the clock. Bravo-Young quickly escaped to a 5-4 lead, fought off a Cockrell shot and countered for another takedown and a 7-4 lead. The Lion All-American added three more takedowns in the final :45 of the period to lead 13-8 after one period. Bravo-Young chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 14-8 lead. He tacked on two more takedowns in the next :20 to lead 18-9 with 1:10 on the clock. Bravo-Young led 19-10 after two periods thanks to a penalty point on cautions. Cockrell chose down to start the third period and Bravo-Young clinched the riding time point with a strong ride. Cockrell escaped to a 19-11 score but Bravo-Young used two more takedowns to roll to the 24-13 major with 2:55 in riding time.
141: Senior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 2 at 141, met Danny Bertoni. Lee scored quickly, taking Bertoni down for a 2-0 lead right out of the gates. He built up over 1:00 in riding time while trying to turn the Terrapin for back points. Lee picked up a four-point turn with 1:22 on the clock to up his lead to 6-0. The Lion All-American worked to pull Bertoni into the center circle but the Terrapin worked the outside well enough to keep from giving up another turn. Lee led 6-0 with 2:26 in time after one period. Lee chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 7-0 lead. He worked to fight off a solid Bertoni shot with 1:30 on the clock and returned to his feet to go on attack. Lee scrambled his way for another takedown with :42 left in the period to up his lead to 9-0. Trailing 9-0, Bertoni chose down to start the third period. Lee cut him loose and took an 11-1 lead with another takedown. Lee countered a Bertoni shot for takedown and a 13-2 lead. He finished the period on top and posted the 14-2 major with 4:18 in riding time.
149: True freshman Beau Bartlett, making his Penn State dual debut up at 149, battled Hunter Baxter. Bartlett fought off a slight Baxter shot in the opening seconds then went to work on offense. The Lion freshman worked the middle of the mat for the next minute, looking for a scoring opportunity. The Lion's pressure paid off with a first takedown with 1:00 on the clock. Bartlett cut Baxter loose and used a high double for a quick second takedown to lead 4-1 in the opening period's minute. Leading 4-1, Bartlett chose neutral to start the second period. Bartlett used a fast low single to take Baxter down in the middle of the mat with 1:10 on the clock. He allowed an escape and went back to work in neutral. Bartlett forced Baxter into a stall warning as the period ended and led 6-2 with 1:00 in time after two periods. Trailing 6-2, Baxter chose top to start the third period. Bartlett deftly rolled through Baxter's offense and reversed him to move out to an 8-2 lead. He spent the next minute plus trying to turn Baxter then cut him to an 8-3 score with :25 left. Bartlett scrambled for a late takedown to get bonus points but Baxter fought him off and Bartlett posted the 9-3 win with 2:23 in time.
157: Being senior night, senior Luke Gardner (Pottsville, Pa.) got the call at 157 and junior Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 8 at 157, got the evening off. Gardner took on Maryland's Michael Doetsch. Gardner worked the middle of the mat for the opening minute, forcing Doetsch's head to the mat while trying to scramble around for a takedown. Doetsch was able to force a stalemate for a reset with 1:40 on the clock. Gardner took a low shot that Doetsch countered, forcing a scramble as the clock moved to :40. The Lion senior finished off the takedown for two points and a 2-1 lead after the opening period. Gardner chose down to start the second period but Doetsch was able to control the Lion for the entire period. Trailing by one but with nearly 2:00 riding time, Doetsch chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 2-2 tie. Gardner took a high shot, locked up a cradle and, after securing the takedown, rolled Doetsch for four back points. He finished with the cradle locked and posted an 8-2 win.
165: Freshman Joe Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 14 at 165, met Jonathan Spadafora. Lee scored quickly, taking a 2-0 lead off the opening whistle. He built up :26 in riding time before cutting Spadafora loose to a 2-1 score. He countered a slight Maryland shot for a second takedown and a 4-1 lead. Lee dominated the action from the top position, building up over 1:00 in time before turning Spadafora for four back points and an 8-1 lead. He added another two-point turn to move out to a 10-1 margin before Spadafora scrambled for an escape. Lee finished off the period with another takedown and led 12-2 with over 2:00 in riding time after the opening period. Spadafora chose down to start the second period and Lee clinched his riding time point before Spadafora escaped to a 12-3 score. Lee got in on a high single, gained control of Spadafora's other leg and rolled through for a takedown and a 14-3 margin with :40 on the clock. Lee finished the period on top and carried that lead with nearly 4:00 in time into the third stanza. Lee chose neutral to start the third period. Lee countered a Spadafora shot, rolled around the Terrapin, and took a 16-3 lead with 1:15 left. He faked a cut, quickly locked up a cradle and turned Spadafora for a fall at the 5:56 mark.
174: Freshman Carter Starocci (Erie, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 174, faced off against Phillip Spadafora. Starocci fell behind early, with Spadafora notching the bout's first takedown at the 2:35 mark. The Lion freshman quickly escaped to a 2-1 score, then turned in on a low double and rolled through for a takedown and a 3-2 lead with 1:45 on the clock. Starocci controlled the action on offense for the next :30 before cutting Spadafora loose to a 3-3 score. The Lion freshman used a strong high double to open up a 5-3 lead at the :55 mark and worked his riding time edge up to near one minute. Starocci finished the period on top to lead 5-3 with 1:18 in time. Spadafora chose down to start the second period. Starocci broke the Terrapin down for :30 before Spadafora escaped to a 5-4 score. Starocci took a 7-4 lead off another high shot, allowed the escape, and moved in on attack again. Spadafora was able to move out of bounds to keep the bout close but picked up a stall warning in the process. Starocci finished the period off with a takedown on the edge of the mat and led 9-5 with over 2:00 in time after two periods. Starocci chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 10-5 lead with 1:36 left to wrestle. Spadafora took a high shot that Starocci quickly countered for another takedown and a 12-5 lead. He finished off the bout with another takedown with :30 left and finished on top. Starocci's ended the bout with 2:22 in riding time and rolled to the 15-6 major.
184: Sophomore Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.), ranked No. 2 at 184, met Kyle Cochran. Brooks took a 2-0 lead with a takedown early in the opening period and then added a second midway through the first to lead 4-1 with 1:12 on the clock. Cochran escaped to a 4-2 score as the clock moved to the final minute and Brooks went to work in neutral. The Lion All-American forced a stall warning, connected on a single leg and picked up a third takedown with :20 left to lead 6-2 with :48 in riding time after one. Cochran chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 6-3 score. Brooks continued to set a fast tempo, working the middle of the mat and forcing Cochran backwards. He moved out to an 8-3 lead with a strong high shot through Cochran's waist with 1:00 left in the period. Brooks picked up another takedown and a stall point to lead 9-4 with :28 left in the middle stanza. Brooks ended the period with another takedown and led 11-4 with 1:33 in time after two. Brooks chose neutral to start the third period. He upped his lead to 13-4 with a scrambling takedown. Brooks picked up another stall point and finished with at takedown to post a 17-5 major with 1:58 in riding time.
197: Freshman Michael Beard (Pottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 16 at 197, took on Jaron Smith. Beard scored quickly, connecting on a fast shot off the whistle and working Smith to the mat for a takedown and a 2-0 lead. Smith scrambled his way to a reversal and a 2-2 tie with 2:30 left. Beard scrambled his way to an escaped and 3-2 lead with 1:40 left in the period and action resumed in neutral. Beard shot low off the reset and forced a scramble in the middle of the mat. He steadily worked his way into control and led 5-2 with :50 left in the opening period. The Lion finished the period on top and led 5-2 after the opening period. Beard chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 6-2 lead. The freshman countered a Smith shot and rolled his way around the Terrapin for another takedown and an 8-2 lead with 1:10 left on the clock. Beard put together a strong ride, working offensive control as the clock moved below the :30 mark. He finished the period in control and led 8-2 with 1:11 in riding time after two periods. Smith chose neutral to start the third period. Beard upped his lead to 10-2 with a takedown at the 1:10 mark, cut Smith loose and went back to work on offense. He took a low shot that forced a scramble and a stalemate with :25 left. Beard ended the period with a final takedown and posted the strong 13-3 major with 1:42 in riding time.