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    Wildcats Sharp in Thumping Cardinal, 32-6, to Kick Off 2012

    Levi Mele won by technical fall to start a string of nine straight match wins by the 'Cats Friday night.

    Levi Mele won by technical fall to start a string of nine straight match wins by the 'Cats Friday night.

    Nov. 9, 2012

    Site: Stanford, Calif.
    Score: No. 14 Northwestern 32, Stanford 6
    Records: NU (1-0), Stanford (3-1)
    Next NU Event: Sunday, Nov. 18 • Keystone Classic • Philadelphia, Pa.

    STANFORD, Calif. -- Two-time All-American Jason Welch (157) kicked off his senior season with a win in front of his hometown crowd and the Wildcats' stellar sophomore class accounted for six victories as No. 14 Northwestern dropped Stanford, 32-6, Friday in California.

    Northwestern dominated the action with wins in the first nine bouts of the night before Stanford evaded the shutout with a pin in the final match. It marks the second straight year Northwestern has topped Stanford in a season-opening dual.

    The evening and the dual season got off to a quick start for NU when 10th-ranked 133-pounder Levi Mele scored seven quick points in the first period against Peter Russo of Stanford, setting up what eventually became a 17-2 technical fall win for the NU senior.

    Wrestling at 141 pounds, sophomore Pat Greco carried a 5-0 lead over Josh Lauderdale into the third period and, after an escape to open the frame, countered Lauderdale's early shot attempts with a key takedown to go up 7-1. After one more takedown by Greco, a riding time point was enough to give the NU wrestler an eight-point margin and a second straight bonus-point win for the 'Cats.



    Northwestern kept rolling at 149 pounds as another redshirt sophomore, Dylan Marriott, made his dual match debut for the Wildcats. Marriott squared off with Stanford's Timmy Boone and rallied after surrendering the bout's first takedown late in the first period. Marriott stayed on offense throughout the match and eventually secured an 8-4 decision for a victory in his first collegiate dual outing.

    The Bay Area native Welch then took to the mat for the first time in his fifth and final season with the Wildcats, cruising to an 8-2 victory over Stanford's Garrett Schaner. An early first-period takedown for Welch allowed him to ride Schaner for the duration of the period, and Welch would go on to spend the overwhelming majority of the match on top. Schaner gave little in the way of allowing Welch to create back points, but the senior was happy to earn the decision victory in front of his home crowd and give NU a 15-0 advantage.

    Sophomore and 15th-ranked Pierce Harger met Stanford's Bret Baumbach at 165 pounds and was able to accumulate substantial riding time in what was a 2-2 match through much of the first two rounds. Harger broke things open with a tilt in the third period and, with riding time locked up, collected an 11-4 victory and improved to 11-4 in his dual match career.

    With the Wildcats ahead 18-0 midway through the dual, 10th-ranked 174-pounder Lee Munster kept momentum firmly on NU's side as he notched a takedown and five total back points in the first period of his match against the Cardinal's Ryan Davies. A reversal out of the bottom position in the second added to his lead, and from there Munster remained in control. A three-point near-fall in the third was enough to end the match with a tech fall for Munster and another five points in the Northwestern column.

    In the 184-pound match, Wildcats senior Marcus Shrewsbury found himself in the top position to begin the second period of a scoreless match against Stanford's Alan Yen. Shrewsbury worked hard from there to earn three near-fall points to seize the lead before Yen notched a late escape to send the bout to the third with the score still 3-1. Shrewsbury held a riding time edge when he was taken down by Yen, but quickly escaped to preserve the point. Yen was close to securing another takedown in the waning moments, but Shrewsbury's defense allowed him to walk away with a 6-3 decision that ballooned NU's lead to 26-0.

    Sophomore Alex Polizzi looked strong to begin the 197-pound bout, amassing a 3-0 lead following an escape in the second period. That remained the score into the third, and Polizzi allowed only an escape as he earned his second career dual win in as many tries with the Wildcats.

    NU's final ranked wrestler, No. 4 Mike McMullan, opened the scoring against Stanford's Dan Scherer with a quick ankle-pick for a takedown in the first period. McMullan would secure one takedown in each of the next two periods to put away a 6-3 victory over Scherer and send the action back down to 125 pounds.

    With the dual outcome long since decided, Northwestern true freshman Dominick Malone made his collegiate debut against redshirt freshman Evan Silver. Malone was first on the scoreboard with a second-period escape, a point that was matched just seconds into the third with an escape by Silver. With both athletes looking for the winning move, Silver caught Malone in a defensive position and quickly was awarded the pin at the 5:34 mark, keeping the hosts from being shutout from the win column.

    Northwestern (1-0) now has nine days to prepare for its next test, stepping away from dual action for the Keystone Classic tournament hosted by Pennsylvania on Nov. 18.

    No. 14 Northwestern 32, Stanford 6
    133: #8 Levi Mele (NU) Tech Fall Peter Russo, 17-2 (5:00) (NU 5, STAN 0)
    141: Pat Greco (NU) Maj. Dec. Josh Lauderdale (STAN), 10-2 (NU 9, STAN 0)
    149: Dylan Marriott (NU) Dec. Timmy Boone (STAN), 8-4 (NU 12, STAN 0)
    157: #3 Jason Welch (NU) Dec. Garrett Schaner (STAN), 8-2 (NU 15, STAN 0)
    165: #15 Pierce Harger (NU) Dec. Bret Baumbach (STAN), 11-4 (NU 18, STAN 0)
    174: #10 Lee Munster (NU) Tech Fall Ryan Davies (STAN), 17-1 (6:22) (NU 23, STAN 0)
    184: Marcus Shrewsbury (NU) Dec. Alan Yen (STAN), 6-3 (NU 26, STAN 0)
    197: Alex Polizzi (NU) Dec. Michael Sojka (STAN), 4-1 (NU 29, STAN 0)
    285: #4 Mike McMullan (NU) Dec. Dan Scherer (STAN), 6-3 (NU 32, STAN 0)
    125: Evan Silver (STAN) FALL Dominick Malone (NU), 5:34 (NU 32, STAN 6)


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