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Wrestling Wreport: #5 Penn State downs #17 Lehigh

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#5 Penn State 24, #17 Lehigh 10

Galen

The defending national champion Penn State wrestling team opened the 2015-2016 wrestling season with a 14-point victory over top-20 program Lehigh.  Penn State won 7 of 10 bouts including an upset win by Jimmy Gulibon over 3rd ranked Mason Beckman and a solid pin by Matt Brown over Marshall Peppleman.

125: #12 Jordan Conaway PSU dec. Scott Parker LEH, 4-3

Conaway starts the season as Penn State's guy at 125 with the redshirt of Nico Megaludis, and he didn't disappoint.  After a scoreless 1st period with Conaway forcing most of the action, Parker chose down to start the 2nd and got a reversal and a 2-1 lead with a Conaway escape.  Conaway continued to force the action and got a stall call and was down 2-1 after two periods.  Jordan chose down and got an escape just before Parker built up enough time to get the riding time point.  Conaway finally broke through Parker's defense, and notched the bout's first takedown.  A solid ride and a Parker escape put an end to the bout and a 3-0 lead for Penn State.

133: #8 Jimmy Gulibon PSU dec. #2 Mason Beckman LEH, 8-3

In one of the most anticipated matches of the day, Gulibon took on 2nd-ranked Beckman in a battle of top-ten wrestlers.  Gulibon gave up an early takedown and Beckman built up a minute in riding time before Jimmy got the escape. But Gulibon was relentless and scored in a late flurry getting a takedown and 2 near fall points to take a 5-2 lead after 1. Gulibon chose down to start the second, quickly escaped and pressured Beckman into another takedown and a 8-2 lead at the end of the 2nd.  With the upset within reach, Gulibon gave up the escape in the third but battled tough for the hard-fought 8-3 upset win.

141: Randy Cruz LEH dec. Kade Moss PSU, 8-2

Kade Moss made his Lion debut, but things didn't turn out very well for the redshirt freshman.  Cruz got the quick takedown and like most young wrestlers, Moss had trouble on bottom, getting turned for near-fall points and was rode for the entire first period.  Because of the riding time advantage, Moss had to choose neutral to start the 2nd.  Moss stepped up the pressure but couldn't score.  Cruz quickly escaped in the third, but Moss finally got a takedown.  The two exchanged shots but there would be no more scoring; Moss only gave up the regular decision.

149: #16 Zack Beitz PSU dec. Drew Longo LEH, 8-2

Beitz looked extremely good, getting a double-leg takedown just 20 seconds in.  More importantly, Zack pressured Longo on top trying to turn him and almost did on several occasions but was unable to score until he forced two stall calls and a 3-0 lead after 1.  Beitz chose down to start the second period, quickly escaped and blew through another strong double for a takedown. He rode Longo for the rest of the period, built up riding time and a 6-0 lead.  Looking for the major, Beitz got a little sloppy and gave up a 3rd period takedown but he quickly escaped and walked away with a good 8-2 decision.

157: Dylan Milonas LEH dec. Cody Law PSU, 2-1

Like fellow teammate Kade Moss, Cody Law was making his redshirt freshman debut for the Lions.  Also like Moss, the difference in this match came down to Law's inability to get out from bottom.  After a scoreless 1st that saw both men get their fair chances, Milonas chose down and quickly escaped in the 2nd.  The two battled for the rest of the period without a score change.  Law chose down to start the 3rd but could not get out before Milonas built up over a minute in riding time.  Law took some late shots but could not break through and lost by the extra riding time point, 2-1.

165: Garett Hammond PSU dec. Santiago Martinez LEH, 8-3

One of the positive debuts for Penn State was that of Garett Hammond.  The redshirt freshman shot early and often, scoring on a quick takedown to take a 2-1 lead after a Martinez escape.  Hammond nearly scored again, but the period ended with a Hammond 1-point lead. Hammond then showed he has some ability on top riding Martinez long enough to build up over a minute in riding time before giving up the escape.  Hammond chose down and quickly escaped and added another takedown.  After a quick Martinez escape, Hammond kept the pressure up for the entire period, getting another takedown as the buzzer sounded. He came away with an 8-3 victory.

174: #3 Matt Brown PSU pinned Marshall Peppleman LEH, WBF (4:01)

When you lose two hammers like Ed Ruth and David Taylor, someone has to step up the scoring--and that will fall on the capable shoulders of Matt Brown.  Brown wasted little time getting a takedown and ride out of the 1st period.  He then chose bottom, got the quick escape and added another takedown.  Looking for bonus, Brown pressured the young Mountain Hawk and rolled him to his back for the pin and a 18-6 lead.

184: #3 Nate Brown LEH maj. dec. Matt McCutcheon PSU, 10-2

McCutcheon was also making his redshirt freshman Penn State debut, but he had a tough task against 3rd-ranked Brown.  Brown got a takedown in each of the 1st and 2nd periods, and took a 5-0 lead into the 3rd.  McCutcheon, despite the score, kept the offense up, but Brown countered a shot for another takedown.  Brown then looked to help his team out and secured the 10-2 major and 4 points for Lehigh.

197: #4 Morgan McIntosh PSU dec. #18 Elliott Riddick LEH, 4-3

McIntosh forced the pace early and often, but was unable to get past Riddick's defense.  After a scoreless 1st, and a quick Riddick escape to start the 2nd, McIntosh forced the action again.  Only this time he got a little too aggressive and gave up a counter takedown and a 3-1 deficit after an escape.  Morgan continued to force the action and finally got several stall calls.  It was more of the same in the third as McIntosh forced the action, and Riddick continued to back up.  Morgan was able to force 3 points off of stall calls and escaped with the 4-3 victory.

285: #7 Jon Gingrich PSU dec. Doug Vollaro LEH, 3-1

Gingrich's match was your prototypical big man match, two shaved bears leaning into one another with the difference being one good shot by Jon.  Gingrich shot low in the second and Vollaro countered, but Jon pushed through the counter and notched the only takedown of the bout.  Two escapes, and you have a typical 3-1 boring heavyweight match to make the final score 24-10.

Overall

It was a tough out for some of the new guys; hopefully this will be a learning experience.  Cael has his work cut out for him this season--you can't just replace guys like Ruth and Taylor.  If Penn State has any hope of 5-peating, they will have to do it as a team.