Fresh off a 29-4 win over Clarion Friday night that saw Coach Scott Goodale pick up his 200th win on the banks, the No. 21 Scarlet Knight wrestling team is back in action on Saturday with a pair of duals against Sacred Heart and No. 6 Arizona State.
Rutgers looked dominant Friday night, taking nine of ten bouts from the Golden Eagles and they’ll look to parlay that into some impressive performances Saturday afternoon.
Who gets the nod at each weight for the Scarlet Knights will be the main question of the day as I’d imagine it’s an ‘all hands on deck’ type scenario with the back to back duals.
The Sacred Heart match doesn’t require a ton of breakdown because depending on who the Scarlet Knights send out, it probably should be a shutout (they were shutout 44-0 last Sunday against No. 14 Lehigh).
No. 6 Arizona State for that matter, despite having a ranked wrestler at almost every weight, appears to only be weighing in four of them for this early season dual, but at least half the matchups in that dual have the potential to be barn-burners.
No. 21 Rutgers vs No. 6 Arizona State Ranked/Intriguing Matchups
125: No. 20 Dylan Shawver/Dean Peterson vs Richard Figueroa
ASU’s normal starter at 125 is two-time All-American Brandon Courtney, but according to ASU’s match preview, it looks like Richard Figueroa will get the nod here. Figueroa has already had a few standout performances on the freestyle circuit and would likely be ranked if he was the starter.
Whether Rutgers sends out Shawver or Peterson, this should be a fun match for the fans.
133: No. 16 Joe Heilmann vs No. 4 Mitch McGee/Julian Chlebove
Two-time All-American Mitch McGee will be making the trip for this dual, but ASU also is competing Sunday at the Journeyman Collegiate Classic, so it’s possible he skips this matchup and ASU sends out Julian Chlebove.
Chlebove, a former highly ranked recruit out of PA, will likely be remembered by RU fans who saw him get double-legged off the stage by former Rutgers wrestler JoJo Aragona at the 2019 Beat the Streets event in NYC.
McGee would be a solid favorite in this spot if he gets the call against the Scarlet Knight’s Heilmann, but Heilmann would have the edge over Chlebove.
141: No. 12 Sammy Alvarez vs No. 19 Jesse Vasquez
Alvarez picked up a win Friday night in his debut up at 141lbs for the Scarlet Knights, but did look a bit rusty in the process. He’ll likely see a tough competitor here as ASU should send out No. 19 Jesse Vasquez.
Vasquez, much like Alvarez, missed out on the postseason last year and is likely hungry to get back at it. Alvarez looked slick at times Friday and here’s hoping he finds more of that for this matchup Saturday night.
149: No. 31 Anthony White vs No. 6 Kyle Parco
In what will be a huge early season test for the Scarlet Knight freshman, Anthony White will likely square off against two-time All-American Kyle Parco. Parco, who hasn’t seen any action yet this season, is coming off an 8th place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships and is the significant favorite in this matchup.
If White can put up a strong performance here, it could be a catalyst that pushes him for the rest of the season.
184: No. 8 John Poznanski/Brian Soldano vs No. 17 Anthony Montalvo
The Sun Devil’s Anthony Montalvo, who spent the first four years of his college career at perennial powerhouse Oklahoma State before making his way west to Arizona State during the offseason, will have a tough test Saturday regardless of who Coach Scott Goodale decides to send out against him.
Brian Soldano, the true freshman phenom who dispatched No. 21 Will Feldkamp of Clarion with relative ease Friday night, will likely sit this one out in my opinion and it will be former All-American and current No. 8 John Poznanski who gets the nod here.
Poznanski went 5-0 wrestling unattached last weekend at the Princeton Open and it makes sense for him to see some early season ranked action after Soldano got his first taste Friday night.
As I mentioned earlier, Saturday’s dual outcomes will likely come down to who Coach Goodale decides to send out at each weight.
It won’t matter with regards to the overall outcome of the Sacred Heart match- just if Rutgers can pull off the shutout- but No. 6 ASU is definitely coming into the dual shorthanded and it could be a great spot to pick up a early season statement win for the Scarlet Knights.
“Wranglemania” takes place Saturday at Liberty High School in Bethlehem, PA. The Scarlet Knights will square off with Sacred Heart at 1:00PM and No. 6 Arizona State at 5:00PM.
The matches will be streamed on Rokfin, but it’s $24.99 to get access if you don’t already have a Rokfin account ($15.00 if you already subscribe).