February 19, 2010

Wrestling Wreport: Penn State closes out the dual meet season

The Penn State wrestling team will wrap up the dual meet season when they travel to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers tonight at 8 p.m. The Gophers come in ranked No. 5 with an 11-5 record (6-1 in the Big Ten). Each team has 7 ranked wrestlers so there will be a lot on the line as wrestlers jockey for seeding in the Big Ten Championships in two weeks.

<Key Matchups>

Wt.: PSU vs. Minn
125: #13 Brad Pataky (23-6) vs. #6 Zach Sanders (20-4)

This isn't the first time these two have met, last year in the dual meet Brad destroyed Sanders 14-7 and then followed that up by beating him in the Big Ten Championships 7-5. But before the dual the two teams met in the National Duals where Sanders pinned Pataky. Pataky has to come out aggressive but under control, he's known to get a little too geeked up before matches and this one is a big one. Brad is better than his No. 13 rank he just needs to go out and prove it. Sanders is coming off a 13-2 major dec. loss to Matt McDonough of Iowa (who Pataky lost to 7-2) while Brad is on a roll lately winning 4 in a row with two majors and two tech falls.

141: #20 Adam Lynch (11-9) vs. #8 Mike Thorn Jr. (20-5)

It's hard to believe that a wrestler that is two wins over .500 is ranked but with Adam's resume you really can't argue. He's beat four ranked wrestlers and gets another in Thorn. Adam is on a roll winning five in a row while going 6-1 in the Big Ten. Thorn is coming off a 15-7 loss to No. 7 Montell Marion of Iowa. I don't like Lynch's chances in this one but he's done it before. A win here and Adam is almost guaranteed a good seed in the Big Ten Championships.

149: #4 Frank Molinaro (26-3) vs. #16 Mario Mason (15-7)

Frank rolls into this one with a four match win streak with three coming against ranked wrestlers. Mason is coming off a tech fall loss to Brent Metcalf of Iowa. This is not only a match that Frank needs to win but he needs a major if PSU is going to pull off the upset. Frank kind of stalled out in the third period of last match, he'll need to put in a full 7 minutes in this one.

157 #6 Cyler Sanderson (25-3) vs. #2 Dustin Schlatter (13-1)

Awesome, another chance for me to post this pic
Sanderson lost to Jake Kerr of Iowa earlier in the year and Schlatter just beat Kerr 4-1. Cyler really has his offense going right now pinning his last four opponents, all of which were Big Ten wrestlers. 157 is a very weak weight class in the Big Ten so the winner of this might end up the No. 1 seed. Cyler already has a win over No 3 Adam Hall of Boise State, a victory over Schlatter may boost his national rank as well.

<Other Matchups>

133: Bryan Pearsall (3-20) vs. #1 Jayson Ness (22-0)
174: Justin Ortega (6-17) vs. #8 Scott Glasser (27-5)
197: David Crowell (17-13) vs. #13 Sonny Yohn (21-9)

I'm not going to mince words here the job of these three wrestlers for Penn State is to stay off their backs. No one expects some stunning upset in any of the bouts but keeping them to major decisions would go a long way for Penn State. I think Pearsall will get decked but hopefully Crowell and Ortega can show some life.

-Major Advantage Minnesota

165: #7 Dan Vallimont (22-6) vs. Cody Yohn (19-11)

The good news is PSU will be heavily favored in this bout, the bad news is they need bonus points and Vallimont isn't a big scorer. In his last 15 matches Vallimont has managed only 1 major decision, that doesn't bode well for the Nittany Lions. It's Dan's last year and if he wants to go deep in the Big Ten's and Nationals he has to get things going. Hopefully he starts tonight.

-Major Advantage Vallimont

184: #10 David Erwin (25-6) vs. Kaleb Young (7-13)

Like Vallimont another guy with his last chance at a title is fellow senior David Erwin. Unlike Vallimont, Erwin can score in bunches. This is a match that Penn State absolutely needs bonus if not a pin. Erwin has to come out and wrestle hard and go for as much as he can.

-Major Advantage Erwin

285: #12 Cameron Wade (18-6) vs. Ben Berhow (16-10)

285 is another weight Penn State has a huge advantage and needs bonus points. Wade has been getting more aggressive as the season progresses but lately it's been one of two outcomes, either a pin or a close win. The good news is Cameron will know what he needs before the match starts, hopefully Penn State is still within striking distance and hopefully Wade can pull it out.

-Major Advantage Wade


I'd love to see Penn State roll into Minnesota and come away with an upset but I just don't think it's in the cards. Like all year, 133, 174, and 197 will prove too much for Penn State to overcome. If Vallimont, Erwin, and Wade all get bonus points with one or two pins PSU has a shot but I just don't see that happening.

Final Score: Minnesota 20 – Penn State 16

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  1. Did Tim Brewster create that Minnesota wrestling poster?

  2. Yeah, I know isn't that hilarious?

  3. Although, that poster would be less ambiguous if it read NATIONAL FIGHT HARD TRY CHAMPIONS. Then we'd know for a fact Brewster created it.