Rutgers Wrestling depth was on full display today as they swept their opening season quad-meet 3-0, outscoring their opponents 117-12 while only losing three individual matches throughout the day.
#5 ranked freshman John Poznanski led the way, going 3-0. Seven other wrestlers went 2-0 as the day featured an incredibly well-rounded performance.
Coach Goodale spoke after the matches about how fired up he was with the overall performance and specifically called out his upperweight group, “We got a lot of heat over the years about our upperweights and we got some good ones now and they showed out today,” Goodale said.
Missing in action was returning All-American and #7 ranked Jackson Turley, but Coach Goodale said he could have went if needed, “he’s just a little dinged up, he had a hard preseason,” Goodale continued, “he didn’t feel totally confident, so therefore we made the decision early in the week to just keep rounding him into shape.”
The first match was against Division 3 New Jersey City University. Sending out only one presumed starter (John Poznanski at 184lbs), the Scarlet Knights were still able to put forth a dominant performance.
Andrew Gapas (who apparently studied well at the Anthony Ashnault school of tilts) hit three tilts for near-fall points in the first period on his way to a second period technical fall. Gerard Angelo, who last weekend took place in the indicator matches at 149lbs, bumped up to 165lbs and looked solid, if not a little small.
Freshman Connor O’Neill was dominant on top throughout his match and was able to string together two tilts in the waning seconds of the bout to secure a technical fall. Heavyweight Alex Esposito took full advantage of his significant weight advantage and made quick work of his opponent, pinning him in 18 seconds. Rutgers won the dual handily, 48-0.
Next, Rutgers Wrestling handled a game Cleveland State squad by a score of 35-3 during the second match of today’s quad meet at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway. Despite the lopsided final score, there were several close matchups that saw Rutgers edging out tight victories.
The most notable match occurred at 174lbs where Connor O’Neill secured a cradle to take the lead in the final moments of his back-and-forth affair with Anthony Rice of Cleveland State to eke out a victory. The crowd on hand was its loudest at that moment, giving a taste of how intense it will be in this arena when the Big Ten schedule comes around.
We also were treated to a smattering of “boos” when Cleveland State decided to forfeit to #4 ranked Sebastian Rivera at 141lbs. Heavyweight Boone McDermott hit the move of the day when tossed Cleveland State’s Josh Kelby to his back and secured a first period fall.
The final match of the quad was the most anticipated, as Rutgers squared off with Binghamton University. It was an emotional rollercoaster early on, as #30 ranked Dylan Shawver secured a major decision to open the match, but then #11 ranked Sammy Alvarez got tossed to his back and pinned in a major upset.
“Part of the sport,” said Coach Goodale on the Alvarez upset, “Sammy’s one of the best kids in the country, he’s been here before, so I’m not worried about it.”
Binghamton was surely riding high after the win, but their celebration proved to be short lived, as Rutgers won seven of the last eight matches to secure a 34-9 victory.
The featured matchup between Rutgers’ #5 ranked John Poznanski and #10 ranked Lou Deprez was not to be, as it was another Deprez who stepped up against Poznanski. Sam Deprez never stood a chance though, and the match turned into a rout for Poznanski, who was able to showcase multiple takedowns and seemingly controlled the match with ease, winning 10-1.
When asked if his preparation was different knowing he would potentially face a highly ranked opponent, Poznanski replied confidently, “Not really, I prepared for him like I prepare for everyone else,” Poznanski continued, “it was a good opening weekend, but I prepared like I was wrestling in the NCAA finals today.”
#15 ranked Greg Bulsak, a senior transfer who made his debut on the banks today, manhandled his opponent from Binghamton, securing the fall in the first period.
Rutgers wrestling next heads to Davidson, NC next Saturday for a road quad meet against Clarion, UT-Chattanooga, and the host team, Davidson. It will great opportunity to start the season 6-0, as Rutgers should come home with another sweep. Box scores for today’s matches can be found below.
Rutgers 48, NJCU 0
125: Nico Messina (RU) over George Rivera (NJCU) by MD, 14-5; RU leads, 4-0
133: David Campbell (RU) over Andre Ruiz (NJCU) by fall (3:32); RU leads, 10-0
141: Michael Cetta (RU) over Enrique Cuevas (NJCU by fall (2:47); RU leads, 16-0
149: Andrew Gapas (RU) over Seth Rotondella (NJCU) by tech fall (4:41), 20-3; RU leads, 21-0
157: Al DeSantis (RU) over Jake Sisk (NJCU) by MD, 17-6; RU leads, 25-0
165: Gerard Angelo (RU) over Jeff Johnson (NJCU) by decision, 11-4; RU leads, 28-0
174: Connor O’Neill (RU) over Shane Lallkissoon (NJCU) by TF, 16-1; RU leads, 33-0
184: #5 John Poznanski (RU) over Mason Bayer (NJCU) by fall (2:41); RU leads, 39-0
197: Kyle Epperly (RU) over Kyle Hillermeir (NJCU) by decision, 8-3; RU leads, 42-0
HWT: Alex Esposito (RU) over Jace MAcfie (NJCU) by fall (0:09); RU wins, 48-0
Rutgers 35, Cleveland State 3
125: #30 Dylan Shawver (RU) over Logan Heil (CSU) by decision, 6-5; RU leads, 3-0
133: #11 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Jake Manley (CSU) by TF, 29-10 (7:00), RU leads, 8-0
141: #4 Sebastian Rivera (RU) wins by forfeit; RU leads, 14-0
149: #27 Michael VanBrill (RU) over Marcus Robinson (CSU) by decision, 5-2; RU leads, 17-0
157: #32 Robert Kanniard (RU) over Daniel Patten (CSU) by decision, 10-8; RU leads, 20-0
165: Riley Smucker (CSU) over Andrew Clark (RU) by decision, 9-5; RU leads, 20-3
174: Connor O’Neill (RU) over Antony Rice (CSU) by decision, 14-12; RU leads, 22-3*
184: #5 John Poznanski (RU) over #30 DeAndre Nassar (CSU) by decision, 7-1; RU leads, 25-3
197: #15 Greg Bulsak (RU) over #25 Ben Smith (CSU) by MD, 12-1; RU leads, 29-3
HWT: Boone McDermott (RU) over Joe Kelby (CSU) by fall (0:55); RU wins, 35-3
* (RU deducted one team point for loss of bench control)
Rutgers 34, Binghamton 9
125: #30 Dylan Shawver (RU) over Micah Roes (BU) by MD, 13-2; RU leads, 4-0
133: Anthony Sobotker (BU) over #11 Sammy Alvarez (RU) by fall (2:05); BU leads, 6-4
141: #4 Sebastian Rivera (RU) over Ryan Anderson (BU) by MD, 9-1; RU leads 8-6
149: #27 Michael VanBrill (RU) over Nick Lombard (BU) by decision, 3-1 (SV1); RU leads, 11-6
157: #32 Robert Kanniard (RU) over Logan Gumble (BU) by MD, 15-6; RU leads, 15-6
165: Andrew Clark (RU) over Brevin Cassella (BU) by decision, 6-3; RU leads, 18-6
174: #29 Jacob Nolan (BU) over Connor O’Neill (RU) by decision, 5-1; RU leads, 18-9
184: #5 John Poznanski (RU) over Sam DePrez (BU) by MD, 10-1; RU leads, 22-9
197: #15 Greg Bulsak (RU) over Matt Kelly (BU) by fall (1:23); RU leads, 28-9
HWT: Boone McDermott (RU) over #28 Joe Doyle (BU) by injury default; RU wins 34-9