With two matches remaining, all the No. 2 Ohio State wrestling team needed in order to beat No. 1 Penn State was No. 1 197-pounder Kollin Moore to beat an unranked Nittany Lion and for senior top-ranked heavyweight Kyle Snyder to beat of No. 6 Nick Nevills. But nothing went according to plan.
Moore fell to Anthony Cassar in shocking fashion, requiring Snyder to win via major decision in order for the Buckeyes to take home the victory. Though Snyder has won by major decision or a pin in each of his matches this season, he was unable to do so, beating Nevills 15-10 for a decision win. That allowed Penn State to eek by with a 19-18 victory Saturday night.
Everything went right for Ohio State early in the meet.
No. 4 Nathan Tomasello gave Ohio State the first win of the meet via major decision, beating 125-pounder Carson Kuhn 21-12 after trailing 8-7 following the first period. Ohio State’s No. 2 Luke Pletcher earned a 5-4 decision against Corey Keener at 133 pounds. Then, No. 11 Joey McKenna upset No. 6 Nick Lee to give the Buckeyes a 10-0 lead after the first three matches, which silenced Penn State’s crowd at Rec Hall.
Penn State No. 1 149-pounder Zain Retherford and Ohio State No. 5 157-pounder Micah Jordan each earned technical fall wins. The Buckeyes held a 15-5 lead heading into intermission, but that advantage quickly began to slip away.
Vincenzo Joseph, one of Penn State’s three top-ranked wrestlers who competed Saturday, dominated No. 14 Te’Shan Campbell with a 12-3 major decision victory.
With the lead shrinking, Ohio State needed an upset in one of the next two matches between evenly matched competition. But neither No. 3 Bo Jordan (174 pounds) nor No. 2 Myles Martin (184 pounds) could pull the upset on No. 2 Mark Hall or No. 1 Bo Nickal, respectively.
Hall hit a decisive takedown late in the third period to beat Jordan 6-4 and bring Ohio State’s lead down to three. Nickal then dominated Martin, winning with a 10-2 major decision, which gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the night.
Snyder and Moore, both ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes, could not regain the lead for Ohio State. Following Moore’s loss to Anthony Cassar, if Snyder won with a major decision, the Buckeyes would have won the match since they owned the tiebreaker. But on their home mats, the Nittany Lions did exactly what they needed to do to clinch the victory and extend their dual meet win streak to 43.
Ohio State will attempt to bounce back from its first loss with a meet against No. 4 Michigan at 6 p.m. Feb. 11.