It was a kind of a rough day in Troy, NY for the Scarlet Knights.
After a solid 26-9 victory over Appalachian State, Rutgers fell 24-14 to Utah Valley in a surprise defeat where nearly the entire lineup struggled. Here are some thoughts from today’s action:
Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano could have special seasons
Rutgers hasn’t wrestled the Big Ten yet, but Ashnault and Suriano rolled in their matches today. While Suriano went 2-0 (first match was a forfeit), Ashnault earned a tech fall and a pin in his two matches today. He has been flat out dominant all season long, sits pretty right at 5-0 and is Top 3 in all rankings polls.
149 | BOOM! No. 2 Anthony Ashnault works the fall (6:57) on Matt Ontiveros!— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) November 10, 2018
No. 15 Rutgers 14, Utah Valley 6. pic.twitter.com/VrPN9HtjwS
133 | BOOM! No. 2 Nick Suriano wins by MD, 14-2, over Mitch Brown.— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) November 10, 2018
No. 15 Rutgers 8, Utah Valley 0. pic.twitter.com/qQGZxpWUo3
Rutgers 14-6 lead was as far as they went vs. Utah Valley
After Ashnault’s victory, Rutgers would lose the next six bouts in a very disappointing loss. I pointed out that Rutgers should roll early on in the season, but this one derailed after Stephan Glasgow suffered his first loss and Jordan Pagano lost a winnable match.
The Van Brill’s had a rough afternoon
Both Mike and John were 0-2 on the day and for Rutgers to be successful this season, that cannot happen. Particularly John, who came in at No. 9 at 157 lbs. according to Flo Wrestling. Hopefully these are just early season rust periods for them, otherwise Scott Goodale might be looking at lineup changes. It might be easier to point at 141 lbs. and Mike Van Brill considering Robert Cleary is also in that weight class and Goodale and the staff like him a lot. Something to watch for.
197 is and will remain a mystery
Matt Correnti went 0-2 today and there was no Max Wright. Wright wrestled two matches last week, albeit against Division III opponents and went 2-0. Goodale likely made this decision based on the Princeton Open results last week: Correnti finished 7th and Wright did not place.
Next up: Hofstra, November 16th
Rutgers will hit the road next Friday when they take on Hofstra in Long Island. This should be a comfortable victory, but you can never rule anything out. It will be interesting to see what Goodale will do differently in practice this week and whether he will consider wrestling Cleary at 141 and Wright at 197.
Nick Gravina also remains on the shelf and Jordan Pagano will stay at 184 in the meantime. However, against Hofstra, Goodale will have a decision to make on true freshman Billy Janzer, if he is healthy. He has said in the past that he would like to get him in the lineup, but there might not be room at the moment.
This early part of the season is the time to tinker with the lineup before the conference schedule rolls around. 4-1 is nice, but there are some things to clean up.