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    Wildcats Host Cardinal at Marist H.S. to Open 2011-12 Season

    Junior and co-captain Jason Welch carries with him a No. 3 ranking and a 31-4 career dual match record into NU's opener vs. Stanford.

    Junior and co-captain Jason Welch carries with him a No. 3 ranking and a 31-4 career dual match record into NU's opener vs. Stanford.

    Nov. 3, 2011

    No. 19 Northwestern (0-0) vs. No. 14 Stanford (0-0)
    Saturday, Nov. 5
    Marist High School
    Chicago, Ill. (4200 W. 115th St.)
    3 p.m. CT • Doors Open at 1:30 p.m.
    Live Updates: Twitter (@NU_SportsLIVE)
    Ticket Info: $7 adults/$4 students/$3 groups 15 or more
    How to Purchase:1-888-GO-PURPLE or at the door

    2011-12 Northwestern Wrestling Online Viewbook

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- For the second year in a row, head coach Drew Parianoand Northwestern are ready to open their dual season with a challenge from Stanford. The 19th-ranked 'Cats host the 14th-ranked Cardinal at 3 p.m. Saturday at Marist High School on Chicago's South Side looking for a repeat of their exciting victory over Stanford in the 2010 season-opener.

    A total of seven ranked wrestlers will hit the mat Saturday, including NU's No. 3-ranked Jason Welch at 157 lbs. and No. 10 Lee Munster, a redshirt freshman, making his debut against Stanford's preseason No. 1 at 174 lbs., Nick Amuchastegui.

    Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the NU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-888-GO-PURPLE or may be purchased at the door ($7 adults, $4 students, $3 groups of 15 or more).

    Probable starting lineups for Saturday's match are listed below:

    125: No. 16 Levi Mele (NU) vs. Matt Sencenbaugh OR Evan Silver (STAN)
    133: Jameson Oster (NU) vs. No. 7 Ryan Mango (STAN)
    141: Colin Shober OR Pat Greco (NU) vs. Donovan Halpin OR Alex Manley
    149: No. 20 Kaleb Friedley (NU) vs. Timmy Boone (STAN)
    157: No. 3 Jason Welch (NU) vs. Garrett Schaner OR Mike Kent (STAN)
    165: Robert Kellogg OR Pierce Harger OR Kevin Bialka (NU) vs. Matt Schneider (STAN)
    174: No. 10 Lee Munster (NU) vs. No. 1 Nick Amuchastegui (STAN)
    184: Brian Roddy OR Marcus Shrewsbury (NU) vs. Spence Patrick (STAN)
    197: John Schoen OR Alex Polizzi (NU) vs. Alan Yen (STAN)
    Hwt.: No. 11 Mike McMullan(NU) vs. Dan Scherer OR Brendan Ter Wee (STAN)

    Scouting the Cardinal
    Opening its 2010-11 season against a solid Stanford team in front of more than 1,500 Cardinal supporters, Northwestern overcame an early deficit and posted a 18-16 victory last November in Palo Alto, Calif. The win gave Drew Pariano a successful start to his Division I head coaching career. The Wildcats trailed by a 13-6 margin with four matches remaining before Kaleb Friedley (141), Andrew Nadhir (149) and Jason Welch(157) each recorded major decision victories to turn the tide in Northwestern's favor.

    Amuchastegui returns for the Cardinal after a 2011 season in which he was the NCAA runner-up at 174 pounds, becoming a two-time All-American in the process. Now the nation's top-ranked wrestler at his weight class, Amuchastegui -- who twice has been honored as the Elite 88 Award winner as the NCAA qualifier with the highest cumulative GPA -- is looking to improve on his 94-18 career record.

    Another tough competitor for the Cardinal is No. 7 Ryan Mango at 133, a junior and a two-time NCAA qualifier.

    Stanford, which was 9-9-1 in dual meets last season, is under the direction of fourth-year head coach Jason Borelli, a 2006 Central Michigan graduate.

    Get to Know the 'Cats
    Below is a weight-by-weight breakdown of the 2011-12 Northwestern lineup courtesy of head coach Drew Pariano:

    "Levi Mele is moving down from 133. He went 2-2 at NCAA's last year, had a great sophomore season. This year, he's at his optimal weight class and we think that he can definitely be an All-American, challenge for NCAA titles and also we have Grant Greene who is a freshman, coming in from New York who will provide some depth for us there as well as John Coukoswho's kind of a 125/133 guy. He's a sophomore but he has freshman eligibility and is one of the hardest working kids on the team. All of our lower weight competitors will be pushing each other to be better all season."

    "We're really excited about Jameson Oster, a true freshman, really successful high school career, just a great preseason. He's really a coach's dream, in the fact that he does everything that you want him to do, so we expect a great year out of him."

    "141 is probably one of the best battles we have going on, it's Pat Greco and Colin Shober. Both guys are just -- I feel comfortable with either guy in there, really hard working kids and both guys want to leave an imprint on the starting lineup and I think it's a battle that will go deep into the season. It will be interesting to see how both do in the open tournaments at Michigan State and then also the Penn Tournament leading into Midlands, so we feel really good about 141."

    "At 149 we have a familiar face in a new role, we actually have Kaleb Friedleymoving up from 141. An NCAA qualifier as a true freshman, he's put on more muscle this year and 149's a comfortable weight for him. Extremely exciting wrestler and a guy that puts up big points in dual meets. We also expect him to challenge for All-American status this year.

    "Also moving down to 149 is David Helmer, who again, is a really talented guy. He's won several college opens in his career here at Northwestern. I think what you're seeing is, we're finally getting great depth throughout the lineup and David is going to push Kaleb pretty significantly."

    "Jason Welch, returning NCAA All-American, I think preseason ranked No. 3 in the country. He would be disappointed if he didn't win a national title this year and I think that drives him every day. He's added some new techniques to his repertoire, so he's getting better every day and we expect national title out of him. Also at 157 is Dylan Marriott, who could honestly be one of our most improved wrestlers from a year ago. He's really developing nicely on the technical side and he's just becoming a more battle-tested college wrestler and he'll push Welch the entire season."

    "This is just a crazy weight for us and again, it's a coach's dream and also a coach's nightmare, we have three guys that are all quality wrestlers. Robert Kellogg, who's been a starter for us for numerous years, is challenging at 165. Kevin Bialka, who's been a starter for us, is at 165 and a guy with freshman eligibility, Pierce Harger, who had a great redshirt season last year is also challenging. So if you want to talk about a weight class where we feel comfortable with any one of three guys in the starting lineup, 165 is definitely it."

    "This might be a bit of a surprise weight class in that Lee Munster competed at the [Junior] World Championships last year at 84 kilos, came back and I think realized that 174 was maybe a more optimal weight class for him. He's a guy that had a great deal of success at 184 as a redshirt last year, but 174 is where he feels he can win a national title and that's extremely important to him and that's extremely important to our staff so he's putting himself in a spot to challenge for big things as a redshirt freshman.

    "We also have other guys certified at 174 in Brian Roddy and Paul Jackson, but both could contribute at 184. Roddy's been a great starter for us, consistent performer and he's actually going to be 174 and 184 because he's a guy that's going to do whatever it takes for us to progress as a team. He's been looking good in practice and is looking to step in to the starting role at 184. Brian's experience in the lineup is just invaluable to us. Also at 184 is Marcus Shrewsbury, who has kind of been between 184 and 197 throughout the years. He actually was the starter for us at heavyweight due to injury, so he's been everywhere in the lineup, which makes him a very versatile guy. He's very open-minded for the team and a guy that again, will do anything that a coach wants him to do and he'll be at the weight class that we want him at and we appreciate that as a staff."

    "This is a very highly-anticipated battle. John Schoen is now a senior and a guy that's been in the starting lineup, he's had some huge wins in his career for us here -- last year against Illinois was one of the most exciting college matches I've ever been a part of. We also have freshman Alex Polizzi who was a match away from placing at Midlands last year and he had a really good redshirt freshman year. He almost made the junior world team in Greco-Roman last year, so he's a dangerous guy and a guy that we're really excited about, but Schoen is not at all willing to let a freshman come in and dictate anything if he has anything to say about it."

    "Again at heavyweight, great depth, we have two guys. Ben Kuhar has started in the last three years when he has avoided injuries, and Mike McMullan's a redshirt freshman that has won two or three college opens now and was a place-winner at Midlands. Again, a great problem to have. We have two guys that in my mind, are both Big Ten starters and we're just very excited about those possibilities of either of those guys starting right now. It's looking like McMullan will be in there and then Ben will also be challenging for that role."


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