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‘God Forgives… I Don’t’: Penn State’s Carter Starocci Has Chance For Revenge Over Indiana’s Washington

Carter Starocci, Penn State Wrestling
Photo by NCAA: Carter Starocci

Penn State wrestler Carter Starocci isn’t shy about speaking his mind.

This past Tuesday, he responded to Iowa commit Gabe Arnold, who tweeted that the two-time national champion was “overrated” during No. 1 Penn State’s dual meet against No. 2 Iowa Friday, Jan. 27.

“If you can kiss enough butt and get in the starting lineup,” Starocci told reporters, “I’ll take care of business there, and it’ll be in his home dojo, too. He can get whopped in front of his mom and dad. So, that’ll be fun.”

Starocci knows how to give an excellent quote, but most importantly, he knows how to wrestle. Nobody in the 174-pound weight class has done it better over the past two seasons. Starocci’s won two national titles and a Big Ten championship, and there’s every reason to believe more glory is coming this March. Starocci’s overall record in almost three full seasons at Penn State is 49-2.

He has a golden chance to get win No. 50 Sunday and can get it against one of the two men to beat him in his college career: Indiana’s Donnell “DJ” Washington.

Two January’s ago, Washington upset Starocci with a 10-9 decision in a tri-dual at Northwestern, where Penn State wrestled both Indiana and Northwestern. Jan. 30, 2021, also marked the start of Penn State’s season, which was delayed due to COVID-19. The tri-dual was also Starocci’s first appearance in a dual meet. In Starocci’s second match of the day, he fell behind 10-1 to Washington and fell just short of a comeback.

Since then, Starocci is 48-1, with his only loss coming against Iowa’s Mike Kemerer in the Big Ten Championship final.

Starocci avenged the Kemerer loss with three wins over him, including one in the NCAA Championship match the same month Kemerer beat him for the Big Ten Championship.

Sunday, Starocci has a chance to get revenge against the only other person that he’s lost to in college and the only person to beat him in a regular-season meet.

Starocci is well aware of this and let it be known on Twitter Saturday afternoon.

”God forgives… I don’t,” Starocci tweeted. “You should have killed (me) when you had the chance. Now, I’m getting my lick back and some. See you tomorrow boy.”

Four pictures accompanied the tweet.

1. Starocci leaving Bryce Jordan Center tunnel

2-3: Still-frame images of Straocci’s match against Washington more than two years ago. In the first frame, he’s down 10-1. The other, 10-9.

4. Lyrics from Tupac’s legendary song “Hail Mary,” which was released in 1997.

The key line from “Hail Mary” that’s highlighted in Starocci’s screenshot is “Revenge is like the sweetest joy.”

Starocci has a great chance to get revenge over Washington Sunday.

The two didn’t wrestle last season. Washington was in the 184-pound class and lost to Penn State’s Aaron Brooks— another two-time national champion— in a 13-4 major decision.

Now, Washington is certainly no slouch. He’s 18-3 and ranked No. 15 in the country (per InterMat) in the 174-pound class.

But right now, Carter Starocci is the cream of the crop at 174 and has been on fire over the past few weeks. He pinned Michigan’s Max Maylor in the Bryce Jordan Center Jan. 20, then got a tech fall over Michigan State’s Ceasar Garza in Rec Hall less than 48 hours later.

The following Friday, Penn State was back at the BJC for its mega meet with Iowa, and Starocci delivered again with a 2-1 decision over Iowa’s Nelson Brands, ranked No. 16. Most recently, Starocci got an 11-5 decision over Ohio State’s Ethan Smith, ranked No. 7, in Friday’s 29-9 Penn State win.

Carter Starocci has won 40 straight matches individually, and Penn State has won 40 consecutive dual meets. It seems to be a good bet that both streaks will continue, but we’ll find out for sure Sunday against No. 22 Indiana (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten). The meet is scheduled to begin at 2:00 and will be streamed on BTN+.

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