Wrestling Opens Dual Season at Maryland Friday

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Story written by Athletic Communications Student Assistant Alex Ott, C'13

PHILADELPHIA - After getting numerous standout performances at the ESU Open, Penn hits the road for its first dual meet of the season to take on the Maryland at 7 p.m. on Friday night in College Park, Maryland.

Maryland is 3-1 on the season after handedly defeating Johns Hopkins, Kutzotwn and Alderson-Broaddus at the Terrapin Duals before a 17-16 loss to Stanford dropped the Terrapins out of the Top 25. They received 72 votes in the most recent USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll.

Penn and Maryland last met in 2011, when the Terps took down the Quakers 21-15 at The Palestra. However, the Red and Blue have a totally revamped line-up since then, with only two starters returning for revenge on Maryland.

Steve Robertson picked up a win at 149 back in 2011, but will wrestle at 157-pounds this weekend. Lorenzo Thomas dropped a 5-1 decision at 165 two years ago to No. 2 Josh Asper, but is scheduled to bump all the way to 184-pounds this weekend. Thomas' new weight class has been kind to him so far, as the junior won four straight matches before falling in the finals last weekend while competing unattached at the ESU Open.

Thomas will square off with Maryland’s second-ranked Jimmy Sheptock, who earned All-American honors last season after finishing 40-6. Sheptock, a Northampton, Pa. native is already off to an 8-0 start this season.

The Terps are loaded at their heavier weights, with Christian Boley ranked tenth in the country at 197 pounds and 2011 All-American Spencer Myers at seventh at 285. All three upper weights came out victorious against Stanford, with Sheptock's major decision coming as the highlight.

Ray Bethea is riding the biggest high into the weekend after winning five straight matches at the ESU Open Championship to take the 157-pound crown, giving Penn two extremely viable options at that weight.

Jeff Canfora, wrestling at 141 this weekend, was a first-team All-Ivy selection last season at 133 and is off to a 5-1 start this year after taking home fifth-place honors while wrestling unattached at ESU.

A trio of freshmen will make their Division I dual meet debuts this weekend, as Ken Bade, Frank Mattiace and either Caleb Richardson or Jeremy Schwartz all cracked the list of probable match-ups. Bade, Mattiace and Richardson were all top-100 recruits coming out of high school and are slated to step in right away to the Penn lineup. Mattiace competed unattached at the ESU Open last weekend and wrestled all the way to the championship, edging teammate Harrison Cook in an all-Penn title bout.

Penn’s Probable Lineup vs. Maryland (Rankings via TheOpenMat.com)
125 - Caleb Richardson or Jeremy Schwartz
133 - Ken Bade
141 - Jeff Canfora
149 - Andrew Lenzi
157 - Steve Robertson or Ray Bethea
165 - Casey Kent
174 - Brad Wukie
184 - Canaan Bethea or No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas
197 - Frank Mattiace or Harrison Cook
285 - Steven Graziano

Maryland's Probable Lineup vs. Penn

125 - Billy Rappo or Paul O'Neill
133 - Tyler Goodwin
141 - Shyheim Brown
149 - Frank Goodwin
157 - Ben Dorsay or Danny Orem
165 - Josh Snook or Tyler Manion
174 - Tony Gardner
184 - No. 2 Jimmy Sheptock
197 - No. 10 Christian Boley
285 - No. 7 Spencer Myers