I had a coach who used to say, “You can’t just throw your shoes out on the field (or court or mat) and think you’re going to win.”
Not that Rutgers thought that, but Lock Haven definitely didn’t. And they showed it last Friday night at Thomas Fieldhouse on the campus of the Bald Eagles.
Then-No. 11 ranked Rutgers went into their coach’s Alma Mater and came out with a 22-16 loss. And the coach was not happy as his team now has to prepare for a home conference match against Iowa.
"Honestly, we got our butt kicked," said head coach Scott Goodale. "Other than our first two guys, who we expect those performances from, they out-wrestled us in every single position. We did a lot of laying on our belly. We couldn't get off the bottom, so that was disappointing from that standpoint. Their game plan was great, they were in better shape than us, they were tougher than us and they out-hustled us."
Bonus points were an issue for the Knights. Only 125-pounder Nick Suriano took any for RU (major decision) while the Knights gave up four (two majors, a tech fall, and a pin).
In a strategic move, Goodale moved both Jordan Pagano and Nick Gravina up a weight in hopes of bettering the odds; both won but neither scored added points.
"We were hoping for bonus points," Goodale said on wrestling both Pagano and Gravina up a weight. "We had veteran leadership with Gravina and Pagano who have been through Big Ten seasons, have pinned a lot of guys and have been really good on top, so we were looking for bonus points. We knew we needed bonus points there in order to win the match."
Goodale is now 2-2 versus his alma mater during his coaching career at RU. Prior to tonight's loss, Goodale's teams had defeated the Bald Eagles in 2014 and 2008. The full box score is at the bottom of this post.
Special Recognition for Goodale
The weekend wasn’t a total loss for Scott Goodale as he was inducted into the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Hall of Fame.
A highly successful wrestler at Jackson Memorial High School in Jackson, New Jersey, he returned to his alma mater and coached the team to a 155-16 record over seven years. During his time at Jackson Memorial, Goodale's teams finished with the top ranking in the state in both 2006 and 2007.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the NJSIAA along with the rest of the inductees," Goodale said. "I learned valuable lessons both as a student-athlete and a coach during my time at Jackson Memorial, and I'm glad I was able to have such an impact on those around me throughout my time at the high school level."
The Iowa Match
It is Iowa (5-0) week for the Knights, but the luster was tarnished a bit with the loss at Lock Haven. What could have been a matchup of top ten teams is now a pairing of top 20 squads. The squads square off on Friday night at the RAC at 7 pm. It is Rutgers’ indoor home opener, having defeated Maryland, 27-9, at High Point Solutions Stadium on November 4.
Iowa (5-0) held up its part of the bargain when it topped then-No. 15 Illinois, 18-17 at home. Despite the loss, the Illini moved up one spot in the rankings.
Just as the RU-Lock Haven match came down to heavyweight, so did the Iowa-Illinois contest. And they needed a pin to win. Sam Stoll, the No. 7 heavyweight, came through with a first period fall to secure the victory. The teams split the bouts five a piece. The difference up to the final bout was Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez’s tech fall.
The Hawkeyes have ranked wrestlers in five weight classes, listed here along with the possible RU match up:
149 -- No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (IA) vs No. 14/15 Eleazar DeLuca
157 -- No. 3 Michael Kemerer (IA) vs No. 7/9 Richie Lewis
165 No. 16 Kaleb Young (IA) vs. John Van Brill
197 -- No. 10 Cash Wilcke (IA) vs. Kevin Mulligan
285 -- No. 7 Sam Stoll (IA) vs Razhonn Gross
It is certainly possible that Goodale could move Gravina (No. 9/11) up to 197 again to face the ranked Wilcke.
The loss to Lock Haven in the rear views mirror, the Knights got back to work. And while I’m pretty sure he had a lot to say to the team back in the room, here he is “mic’d up” the other day.
You don’t lose to an unranked team - even one that was “receiving votes” - and not pay the price. Rutgers dropped five spots in the USA Today/Coaches Poll to No. 16. There are still ten squads from the Big Ten in the top 25 plus Northwestern which received votes.
The Knights have six active wrestlers ranked by at least one poll. Nick Suriano re,ainds at No. 1 in the rankings of Amateur Wrestling news.
Lock Haven Box Score
Lock Haven (1-0) 22, No. 11 Rutgers (3-1, 1-0) 16
Location: Thomas Fieldhouse
125: No. 2/2/3 Nick Suriano (RU) major decision over Josiah Kline (LHU), 19-5; Rutgers leads, 4-0
133: No. 10/10/10 Scott DelVecchio (RU) decision over DJ Fehlman (LHU), 11-5: Rutgers leads, 7-0
141: Kyle Shoop (LHU) major decision over NR/NR/No. 17 Michael Van Brill (RU), 13-0; Rutgers leads, 7-4
149: No. 15/15/12 Ronnie Perry (LHU) decision over No. 13/17/14 Eleazar DeLuca (RU), 5-1; dual tied, 7-7
157: Alex Klucker (LHU) tech fall over Nick Santos (RU), 16-1 (7:00); Lock Haven leads, 12-7
165: No. 10/10/10 Chance Marsteller (LHU) major decision over John Van Brill (RU), 11-3; Lock Haven leads, 16-7
174: Joe Grello (RU) decision over Jared Siegrist (LHU), 3-2; Lock Haven leads, 16-10.
184: Jordan Pagano (RU) decision over Corey Hazel (LHU), 4-2 (SV1); Lock Haven leads, 16-13
197: No. 9/11/9 Nicholas Gravina (RU) decision over Tristian Sponseller (LHU), 6-4; dual tied, 16-16
HWT No. 15/11/17 Thomas Haines (LHU) by fall over Razohnn Gross (RU) (0:43); Lock Haven wins, 22-16