Coming back from a near sweep in the nation’s capital, the Rutgers wrestling team will host Army in its final Garden State Grapple meet tonight at 7 p.m. in Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus.
The No. 12 Scarlet Knights (9-0, 0-0) is off to their best start since their 2014-2015 season. Their previous matchup against American resulted in a 41-3 victory, keeping Rutgers' perfect season alive.
Its win over the Eagles (1-5, 0-2) saw its largest margin of victory over a Division I opponent since its 2019 opener over Long Island University. It also marked the Knights’ seventh straight victory over American for a 13-1 overall record.
Notably, graduate student 157-pounder Michael VanBrill scored his first fall this season late in the second period to give Rutgers an early lead after just four matches.
After graduate student 141-pounder Sebastian Rivera defeated Ethan Szerencsits with a technical fall, four other Knights that night would win matches early with tech falls. The rest of the meet was a steamrolling victory as they saw 9 victories out of their 10 matches.
Their next opponent, the Black Knights (0-3 0-0) are off to a rough start to their season, with Army currently on a three-game losing streak and losing to No. 1 Iowa 36-7 in their previous matchup.
Their leading scorers from the last match are team captains P.J. Ogunsanya and J.T. Brown who scored the only points against the Hawkeyes (3-0, 0-0). Ogunsanya helped aid a potential comeback as he stopped the scoring at 149 pounds. But Iowa responded quickly winning matches at 157, 165, 174 and 184 pounds and securing the heavyweight win and overall meet victory.
The history between Rutgers and the Black Knights dates back to 1932 with an overall record of 15-28-1. The Knights won the previous six matchups against the Black Knights and will be looking to continue their success.
Rutgers will get the next three weeks off after Friday’s meet before the 2021 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships in Illinois. The Knights will host Army at Jersey Mike's Arena for a dual on Friday at 7 p.m., streaming live on Big Ten Plus and broadcasted on WRSU for radio coverage.
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