The No. 22 Rutgers Scarlet Knight wrestling team is back in action this weekend, but this time they’ll check in from the west coast as they’ll square off in a outdoor dual against No. 25 Stanford on Saturday before they hop on I5 South to compete at the Roadrunner Open in Bakersfield on Sunday.
The Scarlet Knights are coming off a solid opening weekend where they went 2-1, dispatching Clarion and Sacred Heart before falling to No. 3 Arizona State.
True freshman Brian Soldano stormed onto the scene, going 3-0 with two of the wins coming by way of bonus points against ranked wrestlers. For his efforts, Soldano checks in at No. 15 in the latest rankings from Intermat as he heads into the second weekend of his college career.
For the Roadrunner Open on Sunday, Rutgers will likely enter multiple wrestlers at certain weights as the early season roster battles continue, specifically at 125lbs.
Both No. 20 Dylan Shawver and Dean Peterson should be in the bracket at 125lbs, as they were at the Princeton Open two weeks ago, and hopefully this time we get to see them take on each other.
The dual against No. 25 Stanford is intriguing for multiple reasons, including the fact that it will take place outdoors at the Taube Family Tennis Center in Palo Alto, CA (it figures to be around 55-60 degrees at match time) and because the Stanford wrestling program was axed a mere two years ago.
The Cardinal program is back, however and they come into the match with some very strong competitors, a recipe that should make for an exciting afternoon in NorCal.
No. 21 Rutgers vs No. 25 Stanford Ranked/Intriguing Matchups
125: No. 20 Dylan Shawver/Dean Peterson (R) vs No. 30 Nico Provo (S)
Both Peterson and Shawver have looked solid to begin the season and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod in this spot against the ranked freshman Provo. Provo had a strong prep career before reaching Stanford and will likely be a tough out for either Shawver or Peterson.
133: No. 16 Joe Heilmann (R) vs No. 33 Jackson Disario (S)
Rutgers’ Heilmann should see two-time national qualifier Jackson Disario here as he looks to rebound from a tough loss to ASU’s No. 4 Michael McGee this past Sunday in the dual against the Sun Devils.
Disario qualified for nationals during his freshman and sophomore seasons, but failed to make it out of the Pac 10 Championships last season.
149: No. 32 Anthony White (R) vs No. 13 Jaden Abas (S)
Anthony White’s baptism by fire continues this weekend against No. 13 and former All-American Jaden Abas of the Cardinal. White, who is coming off a loss to ASU’s buzzsaw No. 6 Kyle Parco, will look to rebound here, but Abas may have other thoughts.
With regards to the team score, White keeping this one close could be crucial to the final outcome of the dual.
157: Andrew Clark (R) vs No. 22 Daniel Cardenas (S)
Clark has started the season with an unblemished record down at his new weight of 157lbs but he’ll have a big test on his hands Saturday against No. 22 Cardenas. Cardenas, a true freshman, was a four-time Colorado State Champion before arriving in Palo Alto and already owns two ranked wins on the young season.
It should be noted that Rutgers will also likely be weighing in Al Desantis here and he could definitely get the nod against Cardenas.
174: No. 24 Jackson Turley (R) vs No. 27 Tyler Eischens (S)
It looks like the injury that caused Turley to medically forfeit out of his match in the ASU dual this past Sunday was thankfully not serious as he’ll be back in the lineup against Stanford on Saturday.
Turley is a wildcard when he steps on the mat and his match with No. 27 Eischens should produce some fireworks. This is definitely a toss-up bout in the dual and the result here could also play a huge role in the final outcome of the match.
197: Billy Janzer (R) vs Nick Stemmet (S)
Another toss up bout in what should be a hotly contested dual, Billy Janzer could get the call to take on Nick Stemmet of the Cardinal in a battle of former national qualifiers.
Janzer is coming off a 1-1 opening weekend as he continues to shake off the mat rust that comes with missing the entire 2021-22 season. A bounce back performance here against Stemmet could be vital in securing the dual for the Scarlet Knights.
285: No. 31 Boone McDermott (R) vs Sean O’Malley (S)
The new, jumbo-sized McDermott looked very strong this past weekend going 2-0 with a quick pin during the ASU dual. O’Malley is on the brink of being ranked by a few outlets and the junior has been steadily improving throughout his college career - this should be another fun toss-up bout.
I see this dual coming down to bonus points as I anticipate a 5-5 match split. Avoiding giving up major bonus points to former National Champion and New Jersey standout Shane Griffith at 165lbs while sneaking some in at 184, 133, or 141 will be huge for the Scarlet Knights.
When I go through the matchups though, I come away with a 18-16 win for Stanford, but when it’s that close and it’s wrestling, anything can happen.