On Friday night at the RAC the Rutgers wrestling team picked up six individual wins en route to a 26-13 dominant win on Senior Night over No. 25 Northwestern. Of the six individual wins, five came with bonus points, the most in a dual meet for the Scarlet Knights all season long.
The match started at 165 pounds, where Brett Donner lost a hard fought 2-0 decision to No. 13 Shayne Oster. Next up at 174, Willie Scott got Rutgers on the board in a big way, earning a 16-1 tech fall over his opponent Ankhaa Enkhmandakh.
At 184, No. 15 Billy Janzer earned a major decision, beating Jack Jessen 10-2. This gave Rutgers a 9-3 lead after three matches. Bonus points were going to be a key to victory for the Scarlet Knights, and they were off to a fantastic start by picking up three extra points in two matches.
In the feature bout of the evening at 197 pounds, No. 17 Jordan Pagano was looking for his second straight top-10 victory after taking out No. 7 Ethan Laird of Rider in overtime last weekend. In this one, he dropped a tight 3-0 decision to No. 9 Lucas Davison.
The next match was certainly exciting. Trailing 7-2 late in the second period, heavyweight Alex Esposito took down his opponent Jack Heyob to his back, and finished him off with a pin with just two seconds remaining in the period. The six points from Esposito gave Rutgers a 15-6 lead at the intermission.
Using the momentum from the pin at heavyweight after intermission, No. 25 Nicolas Aguilar came on the mat determined to knock off his opponent, No. 11 Michael DeAugustino. Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, Aguilar chose down. He got an escape to tie the match at 1-1 and in the final seconds of the match got a takedown to secure the upset with a 3-1 victory. The win was Aguilar’s highest ranked of the season.
In the final four bouts, Rutgers got two more major decisions from No. 11 Sammy Alvarez at 133 and Gerard Angelo at 149. JoJo Aragona dropped a 2-0 decision to Alec McKenna at 141 pounds and Michael VanBrill lost 16-2 to No. 1 Ryan Deakin in the final match of the night at 157 pounds.
“We haven’t won here in a while, so it was important to get one here at the RAC,” said head coach Scott Goodale after the match. “It’s good for us heading into this big Princeton match next weekend. It’s a long week coming up, so it’s always better going into the room on Monday with a win. I’m fired up for our guys.”
Rutgers will wrestle its final dual meet of the season next Sunday night at Princeton, starting at 6 p.m. After that, they will have two weeks to prepare for the Big Ten tournament which they will host at the RAC this year, beginning on Saturday, March 7th.
165: #13 Shayne Oster (NU) over Brett Donner (RU) by decision, 2-0; NU leads 3-0
174: Willie Scott (RU) over Ankhaa Enkhmandakh (NU) by tech fall, 16-1; RU leads 5-3
184: #15 Billy Janzer (RU) over Jack Jessen (NU) by MD, 10-2; RU leads 9-3
197: #9 Lucas Davison (NU) over #17 Jordan Pagano (RU) by decision, 3-0; RU leads 9-6
285: Alex Esposito (RU) over Jack Heyob (NU) by fall (4:59); RU leads 15-6
125: #25 Nicolas Aguilar (RU) over #11 Michael DeAugustino (NU) by decision, 3-1; RU leads 18-6
133: #9 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Dylan Utterback (NU) by MD, 16-4; RU leads 22-6
141: Alec McKenna (NU) over JoJo Aragona (RU) by decision, 2-0; RU leads 22-9
149: Gerard Angelo (RU) over Eric Yang (NU) by MD, 10-2; RU leads 26-9
157: #1 Ryan Deakin (NU) over Michael VanBrill (RU) by MD, 16-2; RU wins 26-13