Penn State Starts the Season with a Shutout at Army

Penn State Starts the Season with a Shutout at Army

The Nittany Lions delivered big in their season opening dual with two pins, three tech falls and three major decisions. The 45-0 shutout over Army West Point solidified expectations of the team’s new wrestlers as well as familiar faces taking on new weight classes.

The dual opened with the 125 match where freshman No. 12 Nick Suriano made his Penn State and collegiate debut against Army’s Trey Chalifoux. Suriano scored three takedowns in the first period to make the score 6-2 and worked for a 1:48 riding time. He chose down to start the second and wasted no time escaping and securing a low double to further his lead, 9-3. He squeezed in one more takedown with :05 to go in the second went into the third up 11-3.

Chalifoux chose down to start the third and Suriano kept control on top to force two stalling calls and a point to make the score 12-3. Suriano allowed an escape to pick up one final takedown and rode out Chalifoux to end the match 15-4. Suriano’s debut ended in a major decision and set the tone for the many Penn State bonus-point wins to come.

The two closest matches of the day were senior Geno Morelli’s 6-4 win at 174 and junior Matt McCutcheon’s upset win over Army’s No. 11 Rocco Caywood at 197.


McCutcheon wrestled last season at 184. Two separate injuries tripped him up and staggered his momentum at two different points in the season. This year, sophomore Bo Nickal beat him out for the 184 spot and McCutcheon moved up.

Army’s No. 11 Rocco Caywood was a good first test for No. 16 McCutcheon at 197. The bout started with a battle for control for close to two minutes. McCutcheon won this first battle as he connected on low double for two. He fought for control on top and attempted to turn Caywood for back points, but Caywood escaped and ended the first period at 2-1, but McCutcheon was able to build 1:29 in riding time. Caywood chose down to start the second and quickly escaped for the 2-2 tie. The battle for control lasted the rest of the second period but neither wrestler came away with points- Caywood got a stall warning. McCutcheon chose down to start the third and escaped for the 3-2 lead and managed to hold on to 1:03 of his riding time. Caywood battled for control of McCutcheon’s knee, but McCutcheon held off the takedown for the final twenty seconds and held onto the shutout with a 4-2 win.

And with that, the Nittany Lions put their first win on the record in a typical, dominant, shutout fashion.


125: PSU #12 Nick Suriano maj. dec. ARMY Trey Chalifoux, 15-4

133: PSU #9 Jered Cortez maj. dec. ARMY Austin Harry, 14-1

141: PSU #12 Jimmy Gulibon maj. dec. ARMY #17 Logan Everett, 17-6

149: PSU #1 Zain Retherford tech fall ARMY Matt Kelly, 21-3 (TF; 6:31)

157: PSU #1 Jason Nolf pinned ARMY #14 Russ Parsons, WBF (2:19)

165: PSU #8 Vincenzo Joseph tech fall ARMY Andrew Mendel, 21-6 (TF; 5:36)

174: PSU Geno Morelli dec. ARMY Ben Harvey, 6-4

184: PSU #3 Bo Nickal pinned ARMY Samson Imonode, WBF (1:03)

197: PSU #16 Matt McCutcheon dec. ARMY #11 Rocco Caywood, 4-2

285: PSU #14 Nick Nevills tech fall ARMY David Farr, 17-2 (TF; 4:31)