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Penn College wrestlers look to opener, XC runners seek titles

As Pennsylvania College of Technology cross-country teams prep for Saturday’s North Eastern Athletic Conference Championships, Wildcat wrestlers are gearing up for their season opener Sunday at the Lycoming College Invitational.

ON THE HORIZON
Wrestling
Under coach Jamie Miller, the foundation has been laid as the Wildcats scored seven dual-match wins during his first year and captured a school NCAA-era record 12 wins last season. During that time in NCAA Division III Southeast Regional action, they also have had two grapplers place fourth – one twice – and two others place sixth individually, while in team competition they finished 15th among 18 teams in 2018 and 11th among 20 teams last season.

“As a staff, I think we’ve done a very good job building the foundation of our program around guys that we can be proud of,” Miller said.

“We lost a lot with (heavyweight Dylan) Otis (of Wyalusing) graduating, but the returners are picking up where he left off and are doing a great job,” the coach continued.

In his regional consolation final last season, Otis was leading 2-1 with under five seconds remaining when his opponent scored a match-winning takedown to claim third place and earn a trip to nationals.

“Every year we look forward to having more and more returners who can get our new guys on board and set the expectations on and off the mat. We are fortunate to add 18 high-character young men to the roster. From a building standpoint, I would say we are on par with where we want to be. We still have a long way to go, but Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Miller said.

Despite the loss of Otis, three key juniors return from last year’s team in 184- or 197-pound Jared Mooney, of Palmerton, who placed fourth in regionals each of the past two years, and 165-pound Dylan Gettys, of Etters, and 174-pound Dan Bergeron, of Jackson, New Jersey, who both placed sixth in regionals. A year ago, Mooney was 30-12 overall, Gettys was 30-10 and Bergeron was 22-19.

Two other returnees to watch are sophomores Colin Jens, of Centreville, Maryland, at 141 and Jesse Walker, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, at 149. Last season, Jens was 13-20 and Walker 18-18.

Part of the foundation of a program is establishing depth, an area where Miller has seen continued improvement.

“We are in a better place than we’ve been the last two years. We have a lot of depth at some weight classes and very little in others, but overall, we are deeper than we’ve been since I started,” he said.

“We had a very strong recruiting class come in this year, which has helped raise the intensity level of our room a lot. The returners came back focused and ready to work. Compared to where we were, the talent level is definitely rising, but we still have a lot of work to do to compete with the top teams in our region. In the end, it’s going to come down to how hard we work, how disciplined we are throughout the year and how prepared we are when February rolls around,” Miller said.

“We are still young, but we’re getting closer to being balanced. The five returners have been outstanding leaders through the preseason. They have provided a vision and a mentorship that we’ve been missing. We have two transfers (sophomores Seth Andrus, of Mill Hall, at 149 and Lukas O’Connor, of Wyalusing, at 141) who are going to help us tremendously. The other 16 are new guys who are bringing an energy and fresh perspective to our mat room. The returners are still maturing into leaders and the new guys will be tackling college wrestling for the first time so it’s going to fun to watch,” Miller said.

Also expected to be in the starting lineup are:

125 – Ryan Stilgenbauer, of Bath, a freshman.

133 – Ryan Bauer, of Denton, Maryland, a freshman.

141 – O’Connor and Jens.

149 – Walker and Andrus.

157 – Trevor Crowley, of Hollywood, New Jersey, freshman.

165 – Gettys.

174 – Bergeron.

184 – David Galasso, of East Smithfield, a freshman.

197 – Mooney.

285 – Brendan McGinley, of Glenmoore, a sophomore, and Bret Nagle, of Sunbury, a freshman.

“Compared to past years, I would say our depth and the example that our returners are setting are the strengths of this team. The young guys bring with them an energy and fresh perspective, while the returners are able to set the standard that we expect at practice. It’s nice to know that we have five additional coaches out on the mat teaching and setting expectations,” Miller said.

“As with any team with as many freshmen as we have, it’s going to be acclimating to the pace of college wrestling. We are going to have to wrestle a more intense style for a longer period of time than most of them are used to, so a lot of our work is preparing them to execute at such a high level longer than they probably think they are capable of,” Miller said.

Assessing his team’s outlook, Miller said, “We need our first-year guys to make an impact for us to be successful. If they compete at the level that we think they are capable of, we will be very strong top to bottom.

“This is going to be an extremely fun team to watch. We are preparing every day to compete at the highest level, and we think we are getting very close to that. We need to push the pace and wrestle at a very high intensity to be successful and we’ve been preparing to wrestle at that level every day.”

Commenting on his assistant coach Rich Shnyder and volunteer coaches Matt Bolt, Pat Sparks and Dan Frankenfield, Miller said, “We have an amazing group of coaches who work their butts off to be at every practice and they are in the room grinding with our guys every day. They have been pounding the pavement the last two years in the recruiting game to get us to where we are now. We owe a ton of our success to our coaching staff – most of whom volunteer their time – and I never want their efforts to go unnoticed.”

Men’s/women’s cross-country
Fifth-year coach Nick Patton is hopeful that the progress his teams have made in meets – five for the men and four for the women – will pay off at the conference championships at SUNY Cobleskill.

“We’re better than we were at the beginning of the year,” Patton said.

Penn College men competing will be seniors David Carlson, of Elizabethtown, and Chris Hogan, of Halifax; juniors Hayden Beiter, of Williamsport, Matt Leiby, of Danville, Jake Mashack, of Bloomsburg, Reagan McCoy, of Lock Haven, Jordan Murray, of Chambersburg, and Austin Weinrich, of Jenkintown; sophomores Johan Isaacson, of Muncy, and Levi Palmer, of Dillsburg; and freshmen Brandon Bowersox, of Mifflinburg, Dean Fulton, of Palmyra, Logan Macosko, of Lansdale, Ethan Tharp, of Shamokin, and AJ Wiles, of Glenville.

A year ago, Leiby placed 15th and Isaacson 20th, both earning NEAC third team honors, as the men’s team finished third in an 11-team field.

Competing on the women’s squad will be juniors Nikki Crow, of Elizabethtown, and Brittany Weiskopff, of Blossburg; and sophomores Katie Plankenhorn, of Montoursville, Rosey Thomas, of Port Allegany, Cinnamon Digan, of Mifflinburg, and Megan Nosker, of DuBois.

Last year, Thomas ended seventh (NEAC first team) and Plankenhorn 17th (NEAC third team), while the women were fourth among 11 teams.

Commenting on the 8K (men) and 6K (women) courses runners will face, Patton said, “It rolls a little bit here and there. There is some grass, some pavement. There’s one hill. It’s fair. I think we’ll be fine.

“(We hope to) go out, give it the best effort and compete to the best of our ability.”

Next up will be the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championships at Bethlehem on Nov. 16.

FLASHBACK
Men’s soccer
At Morrisville State College on Saturday, two first-half goals by each team stood up through a double-overtime match that ended in a 2-2 tie as the Wildcats went to 2-11-3 overall and 2-4-3 in the conference. After Morrisville tallied first, Chris McFarland, of Coatesville, evened the score in the 25th minute on a penalty kick. The home team forged ahead again in the 40th minute before Adam Heintzelman, of Mercersburg, put the ball into the back of the net in the 44th minute on an assist from McFarland to end the scoring. Each team finished with 14 shots, although Penn College held a 12-4 margin in shots on goal and led in corner kicks 6-3. Josh Stanley, of Warsaw, Virginia, went the distance in goal for the Wildcats.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Wells College (5-11 overall, 2-7 NEAC), 4:30 p.m. Friday; host Keuka College (5-9-1 overall, 4-5 NEAC), 1 p.m. Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Wells College: Won 2-1 on Oct. 21, 2018. (2-3 lifetime).

Last meeting vs. Keuka College: Lost 2-0 on Oct. 20, 2018. (0-3-3 lifetime).

NEAC standings through Sunday: Penn State Harrisburg 9-0, SUNY Poly 8-1, SUNY Cobleskill 6-1-2, Lancaster Bible College 5-2-2, Penn State Abington 6-3, Keuka College 4-5, Penn State Berks 3-4-2, Penn College 2-4-3, Wells College 2-7, Morrisville State College 1-6-2, Cazenovia College 1-7-1, Gallaudet University 1-8.

Statistically speaking: Colton Wartman, of Ellicott City, Maryland, leads the team with four goals, four assists and 12 points while Josiah Potts, of Brooklyn, New York, has three goals, three assists and nine points and Greg Conkle, of Carlisle, has three goals, two assists and eight points.

Women’s soccer
Tuesday in nonconference play at Juniata College, the Wildcats took the early lead in the 13th minute on a goal by Dominique Brown, of Benton, but the home team came back with goals in the 40th and 59th minutes for a 2-1 win. Juniata led in shots 15-7 (10-5 on goal) and in corner kicks 3-2.

At Morrisville State College on Saturday, Penn College posted a hard-fought 2-1 win that extended its NEAC win streak to six matches, improving its overall record to 8-7-1 and conference record to 7-2. Morgan Brooks, of Bellefonte, put the Wildcats on the board in the third minute with an assist from Dominique Brown. Tiffany Brown, of Mechanicsburg, added Penn College’s second goal in the 52nd minute on an assist from Morgan Feeley, of Bridgewater, New Jersey, before Morrisville got its lone goal in the 76th minute. The Wildcats led in shots 16-6 (10-4 on goal). Each team had four corner kicks. Taylor Gonzales, of Lititz, and Charlee Marshall, of Snow Shoe, split time in goal for Penn College with Gonzales making one save and Marshall two.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Wells College (0-12 overall, 0-9 NEAC), 6:30 p.m. Friday; host Keuka College (12-3 overall, 9-0 NEAC), 3 p.m. Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Wells College: Won 5-2 on Oct. 21, 2018. (3-2 lifetime).

Last meeting vs. Keuka College: Lost 3-0 on Oct. 20, 2018. (3-2-1 lifetime).

NEAC standings through Sunday: Keuka College 9-0, Penn State Berks 9-0, Penn College 7-2, Penn State Harrisburg 6-2-1, SUNY Poly 6-3, Lancaster Bible College 4-5, Cazenovia College 3-5-1, Penn State Abington 3-6, Gallaudet University 2-6-1, Morrisville State College 2-7, SUNY Cobleskill 1-7-1, Wells College 0-9.

Statistically speaking in the NEAC top five: Gonzales is fourth with 1.61 goals against average, fifth with 89 saves and fifth with a .788 save percentage.

Women’s volleyball
Hosting Wells and Keuka colleges in NEAC play Saturday, Penn College lost to Wells, 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15) and lost to Keuka, 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-15) to go to 1-21 overall and 0-10 in the NEAC.

Wells led in points 58-45, kills 46-37, aces 9-3, assists 43-33 and digs 75-69. Penn College led in blocks 5-3. Individually for the Wildcats, Coryn Oswald, of Langhorne, led with 11 kills, Emalie Marnati, of Canton, had three blocks, Mackenzie Mahler, of Quakertown, had 25 assists and Hannah Burnett, of Middlebury Center, had 21 digs.

Keuka led in points 49-24, kills 32-20, aces 10-2, blocks 7-2, assists 29-18 and digs 54-49. Oswald led Penn College with five kills, Mahler had 14 assists and Burnett 12 digs.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Penn State Abington (14-15 overall, 7-3 NEAC), 10 a.m. Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Penn State Abington: Lost 3-1 on Oct. 24, 2018. (0-6 lifetime).

NEAC standings through Sunday: Morrisville State College 10-0, Lancaster Bible College 7-3, Penn State Harrisburg 7-3, Penn State Abington 7-3, Gallaudet University 7-3, Penn State Berks 6-4, Wells College 6-4, Keuka College 4-6, SUNY Poly 3-7, SUNY Cobleskill 2-8, Cazenovia College 1-9, Penn College 0-10.

Statistically speaking: Oswald leads Penn College with 113 kills, Burnett leads with 293 digs and 22 service aces, Mahler leads with 341 assists and Marnati leads with 23 blocks. Burnett is fifth in the NEAC with 3.95 digs per set.

Golf
Penn College ended its fall season Oct. 21 at the Lebanon Valley College Invitational by finishing fifth in a 14-team field with 321 points. Penn State Berks took the team title with a 305. Individually for the Wildcats, Kohltin Bartlow, of Montgomery, recorded a 76 to tie for sixth in a field of 76 while Sean McNamara, of Lancaster, shot an 80 and tied for 18th, Alex Acree, of Brookville, shot an 81 and tied for 22nd, Austin Moscariello, of New Columbia, shot an 84 and tied for 29th, and Jordan Wise, of McClure, shot an 86 and tied for 37th. Matt Shur, of Stevenson, medaled with a 71.

During the fall invitational season, Penn College recorded one first, two fourths and two fifth-place finishes.

Assessing his team, coach Matt Haile, in his 11th season, said:

“(Our) fall season wrapped up on a high note. We improved our team scores from last season by five strokes and are trending in the right direction looking ahead to the spring season.

“Coming into the fall, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It’s always tough when you have a young team that would be playing many of the courses on our fall schedule for the first time. On paper, I felt that we were going to be a little better than last season and the guys proved they were.

“We practiced hard and really worked on the areas that we struggle in and talked a lot about course management throughout the season. This proved to pay dividends as our scores were more consistent. I’m very proud of how our guys came together as a team and supported each other throughout the season.

“Looking ahead at the spring season and eyeing up our competition, our guys know that PSU Berks is going to be the team to beat based on the fall season they had. We are excited to be hosting our NEAC championships (at Williamsport Country Club) and our guys have played some really good rounds at our course this past season, which is a big boost of confidence for them. I’m confident they will work hard in the offseason, utilizing our indoor facilities to keep their games sharp and we will do everything we can come spring to bounce back into golf shape and be ready to play.”

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS
Men’s soccer
Overall: 2-11-3
NEAC: 2-4-3
Saturday, Oct. 26 – at Morrisville State (NEAC), T, 2-2, 2 OT
Tuesday, Oct. 29 – at Wilkes University, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 1 – host Wells College (NEAC), 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 2 – host Keuka College (NEAC), 1 p.m.
Tuesday-Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 5-9-10 – NEAC playoffs, TBA

Women’s soccer
Overall: 8-7-1
NEAC: 7-2
Tuesday, Oct. 22 – at Juniata College, L, 2-1
Saturday, Oct. 26 – at Morrisville State (NEAC), W, 2-1
Friday, Nov. 1 – host Wells College (NEAC), 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 2 – host Keuka College (NEAC), 3 p.m.
Tuesday-Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 5-9-10 – NEAC playoffs, TBA

Women’s volleyball
Overall: 1-21
NEAC: 0-10
Saturday, Oct. 26 – host Wells College (NEAC), L, 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 20-25, 25-15); host Keuka College (NEAC), L, 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-15)
Saturday, Nov. 2 – host Penn State Abington (NEAC), 10 a.m.; host King’s College, 2 p.m.
End of regular season

Men’s cross-country
Saturday, Nov. 2 – NEAC Championships at SUNY Cobleskill, 11 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16 – NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championships at Bethlehem, TBA
End of season

Women’s cross-country
Saturday, Nov. 2 – NEAC Championships at SUNY Cobleskill, 11 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16 – NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championships at Bethlehem, TBA
End of season

Golf
Monday, Oct. 21 – at Lebanon Valley College Invitational, 5th among 14 teams
End of fall season

Wrestling
Sunday, Nov. 3 – at Lycoming College Invitational, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 9 – Ned McGinley Invitational at King’s College, 10 a.m.

Men’s basketball
Tuesday, Nov. 12 – at Valley Forge University, 6 p.m.

Women’s basketball
Saturday, Nov. 16 – at Alvernia University Tip-Off Tournament vs. Alvernia, 1 p.m. (Adrian College vs. Brooklyn College, 3 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 17 – at Alvernia University Tip-Off Tournament, noon consolation or 2 p.m. championship

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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