Jan. 26, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- All four of Northwestern's Top-20 ranked wrestlers won their individual matches, but the No.14 Wildcats fell short against No. 18 Badgers Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena, in their fifth straight dual against an opponent ranked in the Top 25.
No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis (149 lbs.), No. 9 Pierce Harger (165 lbs.), No. 17 Alex Polizzi (197 lbs.) and No. 4 Mike McMullan (HWT.) registered wins for the `Cats, but Wisconsin took home the 23-15 dual victory.
Northwestern scored its first team points with No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis' 13-2 major decision over TJ Ruschell. Wisconsin led the match 11-3 because Northwestern was deducted a point for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Tsirstis built an early 4-2 lead against TJ Ruschell in the first period. Tsirtsis continued to dominate in the second period, scoring eight more points, including three points on a nearfall.
In the third period, Tsirstis refused to back down from his 12-2 lead. Ruschell was unable to score a point and Tsirtsis scored on an escape to cement his 13-2 victory.
No. 9 Pierce Harger improved to a 17-4 record with his 4-0 decision over Frank Cousins in the 165 lb. matchup. Harger put on a dominating performance, scoring four unanswered points and was awarded an extra point for a minute of riding time.
The Wildcats earned their third victory of the match with No. 17 Alex Polizzi's fall over Timmy McCall.
Polizzi scored first on a takedown with 30 seconds remaining in the first period. McCall rallied midway through the second period and scored a takedown to narrow Pollizi's lead to just one point, but Polizzi held on and won the match.
No. 4 Mike McMullan (7-1) added another Wildcat win by defeating No. 10 Connor Medbery (18-5) by a close 4-3 decision.
McMullan got points on the board first on a takedown with two minutes remaining in the first period, but Medbery proved a challenging ranked foe and quickly answered with an escape.
After a scoreless second period, McMullan scored an escape to lead 3-1. Medbery fought back on a takedown to tie the match with 1:18 remaining. McMullan scored an escape with 1:10 remaining in the match and held on to his narrow lead to win his fourth straight match.
Northwestern trailed Wisconsin 11-0 after losing the first three bouts and the first two bouts by bonus points, but fought back with victories by all four top-20 ranked wrestlers.
The `Cats came close to their first win in the 141 lb. matchup. Pat Greco (11-10) fell to Jesse Thielke (13-11) by a close 5-4 decision.
Greco scored an escape and quickly stole the lead with a takedown to go up 3-2 with 56 seconds left in the first period. Thielke then tied the match 3-3 on an escape with 35 seconds left in the first period.
Thielke built a two-point lead early in the third period. Greco fought hard and the match came down to the final seconds, but Greco was unable to complete a final takedown.
The 157 lb. matchup between Ben Sullivan and No. 7 Isaac Jordan remained a stalemate for the first period with neither wrestler able to make a move.
Sullivan scored first with an escape with one minute remaining in the second period. Jordan answered with a takedown to go up 2-1 with 12 seconds remaining in the second.
The third period saw a flurry of action, as Jordan scored again on an escape. Sullivan quickly fought back to tie the score 3-3 on a takedown. Jordan escaped again to reclaim his lead 4-3 and had a takedown late in the third period to secure the Badger's fourth win of the match.
Redshirt freshman Robert Coukos saw his first dual action Sunday against Wisconsin's Scott Liegel. Liegel pinned Coukos in 1:44 to win the 174 lb. match-up.
Wisconsin's Jackson Hein defeated Jacob Berkowitz by an 8-3 decision. Berkowitz fought hard early in the match and entered the second period trailing just 2-1 and scored a takedown midway through the third period to come within two points at 5-3, but ultimately fell to Hein.
The `Cats return to action Friday, Jan. 31 at Welsh-Ryan Arena to face the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes.
No. 18 Wisconsin 23 (10-4, 4-1), No. 14 Northwestern 15 (6-5, 1-5)
125: No. 10 Ryan Taylor (WIS) won by major decision over Garrison White (NU) 21-8. (WIS 4, NU 0)
133: No. 6 Tyler Graff (WIS) won by tech fall over Dominick Malone (NU) 1:13 24-9. (WIS 8, NU 0)
141: Jesse Thielke (WIS) won by decision over Pat Greco (NU), 5-4. (WIS 11, NU 0)
Unsportsmanlike Conduct Pat Greco (Northwestern deducted 1 point)
149: No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis (NU) won by major decision over Timothy Ruschell (WIS) 13-2. (WIS 11, NU 3)
157: No. 7 Isaac Jordan (WIS) won by decision over Benjamin Sullivan (NU) 6-3. (WIS 14, NU 3)
165: No. 9 Pierce Harger (NU) won by decision over Frank Cousins Jr. (WIS) 4-0. (WIS 14, NU 6)
174: Scott Liegel (WIS) won by pin over Robert Coukos (NU), 1:44. (WIS 20, NU 6)
184: Jackson Hein (WIS) won by decision over Jacob Berkowitz (NU) 8-3. (WIS 23, NU 6)
197: No. 17 Alex Polizzi (NU) won by fall over Timmy McCall (WIS) 5:57. (WIS 23, NU 12)
285: No. 4 Mike McMullan (NU) won by decision over No. 10 Connor Medbery (WIS) 4-3.(WIS 23, NU 15)
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