Feb. 17, 2012
Watch Match Highlights
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: No. 18 Northwestern 27, Indiana 7
Records: No. 18 Northwestern (11-4, 4-4 Big Ten), Indiana (11-8, 0-8)
Next NU Event: Saturday-Sunday, March 3-4 at Big Ten Championships • West Lafayette, Ind.
EVANSTON, Ill. – No. 18 Northwestern ended the 2011-12 regular season on a positive note Friday night, defeating Indiana 27-7 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Despite dropping the first two matches of the evening, NU rattled off eight-straight wins to end the regular season with five-straight dual victories, an 11-4 overall record and 4-4 mark in Big Ten action.
Also of note in Friday’s victory is junior Jason Welch concluding the regular season with a perfect 21-0 record. Ranked second in the country at 157 lbs., Welch now has a .817 career winning percentage (76-17), tying him with current NU volunteer assistant coach and three-time All-American Brandon Precin for seventh on the school’s career winning percentage list.
Friday’s match was Senior Night and right off the bat, two upperclassmen battled hard in the first two bouts at 184 and 197 lbs. At 184 lbs., senior Robert Kellogg and Luke Sheridan wrestled to a scoreless first period. Kellogg got on the board first with a second-period escape but IU countered with a takedown, taking the 2-1 lead into the third. Another IU escape put the score at 3-1 yet Kellogg tied everything up with a takedown of his own. Sheridan managed to edge the NU senior 4-3 with one final escape.
Senior captain John Schoen had the tall task of facing IU’s No. 3 Matt Powless at 197 lbs. Schoen wrestled Powless close the first two periods but the Hoosier was able to rattle off a number of points in the third, taking the 10-2 major decision.
Indiana’s 7-0 lead didn’t last long though as the Wildcats began their eight-match winning streak at heavyweight in one of the night’s most exciting bouts. No. 13 Mike McMullan used a takedown in the final four seconds to come back for the 5-4 victory over Adam Chalfant. IU led the entire match before McMullan scored the match-winning takedown.
No. 10 Levi Mele kept things rolling at 125 lbs., defeating Zach Zimmer 9-4, putting the ’Cats within one at 7-6. True freshman Jameson Oster used a huge first period to shut out Joe Duca 11-0 at 133 lbs., giving Northwestern the 10-7 lead. Oster scored a quick eight points off a takedown, three nearfall points and three more back points all within the first two minutes.
Redshirt freshman Colin Shober wrestled a close match against Matt Ortega and emerged the 4-3 winner. Shober scored the first takedown but Ortega took the 3-2 first-period lead off an escape and takedown of his own. Shober evened the score at 3-3 with an escape before the end of the period. Beginning the second period down, Shober tacked on one more escape and neither wrestler scored after a neutral third-period start, giving NU the 4-3 win.
Northwestern tacked on two more wins with bonus points as sophomore Kaleb Friedley shut out Geno Capezio, 8-0 with exactly 4:00 of riding time at 149 lbs. and Welch scored a 15-3 major decision over Sawyer Morris at 157 lbs.
Redshirt freshman Pierce Harger used a takedown, an escape, a point for stalling and 2:55 of riding time in his 5-0 shutout of Ryan LeBlanc at 165 lbs. At 174 lbs., redshirt freshman and 12th ranked Lee Munster needed a sudden victory period to edge Ryan LeBlanc, 3-1. Both wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third periods and Munster scored the match-winning takedown with 17 seconds left in overtime.
With the regular season in the books, Northwestern now turns its attention to the postseason. Up first, the 2012 Big Ten Championships March 3-4 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.
No. 18 Northwestern 27, Indiana 7
184: Luke Sheridan (IU) dec Robert Kellogg (NU), 4-3 (3-0 IU)
197: No. 3 Matt Powless (IU) maj dec John Schoen (NU), 10-2 (7-0 IU)
Hwt: No. 13 Mike McMullan (NU) dec Adam Chalfant (IU), 5-4 (7-3 IU)
125: No. 10 Levi Mele (NU) dec Zach Zimmer (IU), 9-4 (7-6 IU)
133: Jameson Oster (NU) maj dec Joe Duca (IU), 11-0 (10-7 NU)
141: Colin Shober (NU) dec Matt Ortega (IU), 4-3 (13-7 NU)
149: Kaleb Friedley (NU) maj dec Geno Capezio (IU), 8-0 (17-7 NU)
157: No. 2 Jason Welch (NU) maj dec Sawyer Morris (IU), 15-3 (21-7 NU)
165: Pierce Harger (NU) dec Preston Keiffer (IU), 5-0 (24-7 NU)
174: No. 12 Lee Munster (NU) dec Ryan LeBlanc (IU), 3-1 SV (27-7)
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