Penn State Wrestling vs Stanford

True freshman Nick Suriano starts in the referee position with Connor Schram of Stanford at the opening game of the wresting season against Stanford on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Penn State defeated Stanford 36-6.

Penn State freshman Nick Suriano did a lot of winning throughout his high school career, and not many of those wins were easy to come by.

Suriano (125 pounds) made his collegiate debut on Friday night against Army and secured his first career win with a 15-4 major decision.

In his Rec Hall debut today, No. 12 Suriano received a loud ovation when he came out, and received another loud ovation as the final seconds of the third period ticked away.

Suriano rode No. 4 Connor Schram of Stanford for the entirety of the third period, and came out on top 3-0.

“It was an awesome experience,” Suriano said. “The crowd was unbelievable.”

Suriano and Schram battled to a scoreless tie after the first period, with neither player taking any risks in a match between two talented wrestlers.

“I wish I would have taken more risks and attack a little more, like Coach [Sanderson] teaches.”

After starting the second period on the bottom, Suriano took the lead, something he would never give up, after earning the escape.

Suriano took a 2-0 lead into the third and final period after Schram was issued his second stalling warning.

On top to start the final period, Suriano needed to preserve his slim lead in order to secure his first home victory. Suriano felt he could keep Schram on the bottom the entire period, and rode out the third period, not allowing his opponent to escape.

“I felt him tiring,” Suriano said. “He’s a strong, big opponent, but I felt him weaken in the third period.”

“I just focused on keeping him down, I wasn’t letting him out,” Suriano said.

Suriano knew coming into today’s match that he was going up against one of the toughest, most experienced wrestlers in the country at 125 pounds. Despite this challenge, his preparation was the same as it always is.

“I prepared the same I would every match,” Suriano said. “I don’t take any opponent lightly, I always try to stay disciplined.”

Sunday’s victory over Schram will be one of the toughest matches Suriano will face all season, and Lions head coach Cael Sanderson is proud of the way he battled, but knows there’s still work to do.

“[Schram] is a tough opponent, but [Nick] isn’t going to be satisfied, we’re going to look to keep improving,” Sanderson said. “Overall, that’s a great win for Nick.”

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