The Rutgers wrestling team started the weekend strong. On Friday night, they welcomed in a winless Indiana team and took care of business, winning the dual 29-7. During that dual, the Scarlet Knights won eight out of ten matches.
149 pound redshirt freshman Gerard Angelo bounced back from a tough stretch of matches, picking up a 13-7 decision over his ranked opponent, No. 22 Graham Rooks. Redshirt junior Matt Correnti closed out the dual meet with a pin at heavyweight over Jake Kleimola. The one letdown match came at 125, where Nicolas Aguilar dropped a decision to an unranked opponent.
Rutgers 29, Indiana 7
125: Liam Cronin (IU) over #14 Nicolas Aguilar (RU) by decision, 4-2; IU leads 3-0
133: #10 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Cayden Rooks (IU) by major decision, 14-5; RU leads 4-3
141: JoJo Aragona (RU) over Eddie Bolivar (IU) by decision, 8-4; RU leads 7-3
149: Gerard Angelo (RU) over #22 Graham Rooks by decision, 13-7; RU leads 10-3
157: Michael VanBrill (RU) over Fernie Silva (IU) by decision, 3-0; RU leads 13-3
165: Brett Donner (RU) over Davey Tunon (IU) by major decision, 12-3; RU leads 17-3
174: #25 Jake Covaciu (IU) over Willie Scott (RU) by major decision, 11-3; RU leads 17-7
184: #22 Billy Janzer (RU) over Jake Hinz (IU) by decision, 5-4; RU leads 20-7
197: #18 Jordan Pagano (RU) over Nick Willham (IU) by decision, 7-0; RU leads 23-7
285: Matthew Correnti (RU) over Jake Kleimola (IU) by fall (1:26); RU wins 29-7
On Sunday, a much tougher task rolled into town. The No. 13 Boilermakers of Purdue were in town in what turned out to be a frustrating 20-18 loss for the No. 22 Scarlet Knights.
Purdue won six out of ten bouts, and won the final match of the afternoon at 141 pounds which clinched the meet. Heading into the 141 pound weight class, Rutgers led Purdue by a score of 18-17.
The matchup was true freshman JoJo Aragona of Rutgers and Parker Filius of Purdue. Tied at 2-2 heading into the third period, Aragona chose down. A one point escape could have won the match, instead Aragona could not get out and the match was headed for overtime.
In overtime, Aragona was taken down in the first thirty seconds of the one minute sudden victory period. The decision put three team points up on the scoreboard for Purdue, allowing them to leave Piscataway with a 20-18 win.
“Probably shouldn’t have went down at 141, but we gotta figure it out sooner or later. You gotta figure it out,” head coach Scott Goodale said after the match about their decision to put Aragona on bottom to start the third period. “You gotta get off the bottom, you got two minutes with 5,000 people fired up, and no response, so it’s frustrating right now, can’t let matches like that go.”
There were other disappointing matches as well. At 125, No. 14 Aguilar dropped a major decision to No. 6 Devin Schroder. At heavyweight, Correnti lost in overtime to No. 25 Thomas Penola.
After the match, Goodale was particularly peeved with his wrestler’s overtime efforts.
“You saw it. It was two guys on their side who really wanted overtime and were jacked up and excited for overtime,” Goodale said. “And two guys on our side we gotta throw in bricks so there’s more time to give them breath, give them air. You saw it. Guys excited for the seventh minute compared to guys who wish the match was over.”
A bright spot in the match came at 165, where true freshman Jackson Turley got the starting nod, and didn’t disappoint earning a second period pin over Tanner Webster.
Another huge swing in the match came at 197, where No. 18 Jordan Pagano wrestled No. 5 Christian Brunner. Pagano was trailing 1-0 in the third period, but got in on a deep single leg at the edge of the mat. As Pagano tripped Brunner to the mat, the ref called them out of bounds as Pagano landed on top of Brunner for what appeared to be the go-ahead two point takedown. Goodale immediately threw the challenge brick, but it wouldn’t matter as Brunner was wincing in pain.
Brunner could not continue the match, and had to injury default to Pagano. Rutgers was awarded six team points in a match that could have gone the way of Purdue, a nine point swing. Even if Pagano did win the match, it would have been a three point decision for the Scarlet Knights.
The Scarlet Knights other victories came at 184 where No. 22 Billy Janzer earned a 3-1 overtime win and at 133 No.10 Sammy Alvarez won 6-0.
“It starts in our practice room,” Goodale continued after the match. “There’s not enough fight in our practice room. There’s too much technique, and playing around, and let’s flo-wrestle, it’s not what we’re about. Honestly we kind of got beat up in a lot of different spots tonight. We were really exposed. Got beat up at 149, controlled at 157, hammered at 125.”
Goodale also disputed the fact that Correnti may have been feeling the difference up at heavyweight, whereas he normally wrestles at 197, by pointing out that Correnti weighed in at 210 pounds and his opponent Penola at 216 pounds.
Rutgers (8-4, 3-3) will wrestle only one match this week, against No. 18 Michigan as apart of the Big Ten’s Super Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The first match will kick off at 1 p.m. ahead of the Rutgers-Michigan basketball game, also at MSG.
Purdue 20, Rutgers 18
149: Nate Limmex (PU) over Gerard Angelo (RU) by decision, 9-5; Purdue leads 3-0
157: #8 Kendall Coleman (PU) over Michael VanBrill (RU) by decision, 6-2; Purdue leads 6-0
165: Jackson Turley (RU) over Tanner Webster (PU) by fall (3:45); Score tied 6-6
174: #4 Dylan Lydy (PU) over Anthony Olivieri (RU) by MD, 11-3; Purdue leads 10-6
184: #22 Billy Janzer (RU) over Max Lyon (PU) by decision 3-1 (SV1); Purdue leads 10-9
197: #18 Jordan Pagano (RU) over #5 Christian Brunner (PU) by injury default (5:49); RU leads 15-10
285: #25 Thomas Penola over Matthew Correnti by decision (SV1), 6-4; Rutgers leads 15-13
125: #6 Devin Schroder (PU) over #14 Nicolas Aguilar by major decision, 9-1; Purdue leads 17-15
133: #10 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Travis Ford-Melton (PU) by decision, 6-0; Rutgers leads 18-17
141: Parker Filius (PU) over JoJo Aragona (RU) by decision, 4-2 (SV1); Purdue wins 20-18