After suffering a tough loss to No. 13 Northwestern last weekend, the No. 23 ranked Scarlet Knights (10-5, 2-4) bounced back in a big way on Saturday, dispatching the home Maryland Terrapins (8-7, 0-6) by a score of 28-7.
Rutgers took the match split eight to two with Maryland forfeiting at 197lbs once they were mathematically out of the dual.
The middleweights led the way this time, including a statement win from Andrew Clark at 157lbs while Big Boone McDermott made his way back into the lineup at heavyweight, returning from a knee injury that saw him miss the past five dual meets.
No. 12 Dean Peterson, who has looked tough throughout the season and specifically in Big Ten action, fell by major decision to fellow freshman and No. 18 ranked Braxton Brown.
The Terp broke the match open in the second period when he locked in a cradle and secured four nearfall points. Add in a third period escape, takedown, and riding time advantage and you get a dominant major decision win for Brown.
At 133lbs, Maryland threw out a curveball when veteran senior King Sandoval, who had yet to wrestle in any matches this season, stepped on the line to take on No. 16 Joe Heilmann.
Sandoval is well known for his upper body prowess with headlocks and throws, but Heilmann wasn’t fazed, utilizing a handful of takedowns and a four point nearfall to take out the Terp by a major decision of his own, 12-0.
133-P1 | Heilmann gets back points and leads 6-0 after one. We're neutral for P2 with Heilmann up 1:46 of RT. pic.twitter.com/xhp3G4Be09— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) February 4, 2023
No. 18 Joe Olivieri was up next to take on a game Kal Miller at 141lbs in a match that came down to an eye poke from Miller that drew blood on Olivieri, awarding the Scarlet Knight a technical violation point in the first period.
After the pair traded escapes and wrestled incredibly tough, it was Olivieri who prevailed via a 2-1 decision. This will be a matchup to look forward to at the Big Ten Tournament should these two meet up again.
At 149lbs, Tony White again kept it close with his ranked opponent in No. 18 Ethen Miller, but wasn’t able to get to his offense and fell 4-2 to continue his rough start in Big Ten duals.
Andrew Clark has seemed to be on the cusp of breaking out all season at 157lbs, but always was falling behind early before a valiant attempt at a comeback would fall just short.
That changed Saturday as it was Clark who came out firing against Maryland’s No. 32 ranked Michael Short, hitting a single leg takedown about a minute into the first and riding out Short for the remainder of the period.
Clark kept the pressure on throughout the match, hitting a reversal in the second before icing the match in the third with a quick two point tilt to earn his first win in a Big Ten dual this season, 7-2.
157-P2 | Clark hits the reversal and leads 4-1 after two. He owns 1:59 of RT and is top to begin the final period. pic.twitter.com/UrS1zRNZMa— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) February 4, 2023
At intermission, No. 23 Rutgers led 10-7, taking three of five matches to open up the dual.
Rob Kanniard, who appears to have the 165lbs spot locked up at this point in the season, opened up his match against John Martin Best with a slick fireman’s carry that almost earned him nearfall points, but had to settled for two.
165-P1 | Kanniard wastes no time with a takedown in the first seconds for a 3-0 lead after one. Neutral start for P2 with Kanniard up 2:53 of RT. pic.twitter.com/mEvhPexBvi— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) February 4, 2023
Kanniard earned nearly three minutes of riding time throughout the first and second periods and hit a takedown as time expired in the match to take out Best by a score of 7-0.
In a match where his wrestler Dom Solis was trailing 1-0 entering the third period, Maryland Head Coach Alex Clemsen elected to have Solis choose neutral, and the decision backfired quickly as Jackson Turley hit two big third period takedowns en route to a 5-1 decision win at 174lbs.
It was a big bounce back win for Turley who suffered a rough loss (along with most of the team) last weekend against Northwestern.
Up at 184lbs, No. 15 Brian Soldano utilized takedowns in the first and third periods, with a smothering ride out sandwiched in between to handle Maryland’s Kevin Makosy, 6-3. The win was Soldano’s second in a row as he looks to build momentum heading into the postseason.
Maryland forfeited at 197lbs, as their No. 13 ranked wrestler Jaxon Smith was apparently unavailable.
No. 26 ranked heavyweight Boone McDermott made his return to the Scarlet Knight lineup and looked like the Boone of old, picking up a takedown in the first and a reversal in the third to take out Maryland’s No. 27 ranked Jaron Smith, 5-4.
It was great to see the Rutgers closer back out there and here’s hoping he remains healthy for the remainder of the year.
Overall, a great win for the Scarlet Knights and Coach Scott Goodale. The guys looked hungry and came out firing early in almost every match.
Standout performances from the middleweights were great to see, especially Andrew Clark earning a significant ranked win in Big Ten action.
Dean Peterson will no doubt bounce back from a rough outing today while Tony White looks to get through the growing pains that come with a freshman campaign in the Big Ten.
Rutgers has its last home dual of the season this coming Friday, February 10th at Jersey Mike’s Arena against No. 1 Penn State. They close out their dual schedule Sunday, February 12th when they visit the No. 10 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers out in Lincoln.
No. 23 Rutgers 28, Maryland 7
125: No. 18 Braxton Brown (UMD) over No. 12 Dean Peterson (RU) by MD, 8-0
133: No. 16 Joe Heilmann (RU) over King Sandoval (UMD) by MD, 12-0
141: No. 18 Joseph Olivieri (RU) over Kal Miller (UMD) by dec., 2-1
149: No. 18 Ethen Miller (UMD) over NR/HM Tony White (RU) by dec., 4-2
157: Andrew Clark (RU) over No. 32 Michael North (UMD) by dec., 7-2
165: Robert Kanniard (RU) over John Martin Best (UMD) by dec., 7-0
174: Jackson Turley (RU) over Dominic Solis (UMD) by dec., 5-1
184: No. 15 Brian Soldano (RU) over Kevin Makosy (UMD) by dec., 6-3
197: Billy Janzer (RU) by forfeit
HWT: No. 26 Boone McDermott (RU) over No. 27 Jaron Smith (UMD) by dec., 5-4