In its first meet at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus since their home opener, the Rutgers wrestling team defeated Army 26-9 for its 10th win of the season. The Scarlet Knights (10-0, 0-0) took 7 of 10 matches to earn their best start in program history.
It was the first dual meet that Rutgers wrestled in front of fans since the 2020 Big Ten Tournament.
Twelfth-ranked sophomore 133-pounder Sammy Alvarez followed up with a convincing 17-4 major decision over Dominic Carone to open up a 7-0 Knights team lead. Alvarez earned 12 of those points in the opening period of the match, scoring four takedowns and allowing only two escape points to open up an early 12-2 lead.
Fourth-ranked graduate student 141-pounder Sebastian Rivera got the second major decision of the night, blowing by 29th ranked Corey Shie 17-1. Rivera, who is 8-0, has earned all of his victories with bonus points and leads Rutgers with four technicals at this point of the season.
The Black Knights (0-4, 0-0) responded with three straight decisions, as freshman 157-pounder Robert Kanniard lost to Markus Hartman 6-1, freshman 149-pounder Andrew Clark fell to Dalton Harkins 5-3 and Clayton Fielden beat freshman 174-pounder Connor O’Neill 5-3.
“He’s in really good wrestling shape,” said head coach Scott Goodale. “He can wrestle hard for a long time — these guys go at it for quite a bit … we kind of knew it, but you don’t really know until you’re tested against a good guy."
The most dramatic finish came in the final match of the dual, when 25th-ranked sophomore heavyweight Boone McDermott earned a clinching takedown in the dying moments of the third period for a 3-1 decision over Ben Sullivan.
“Army is a really tough team and I have a lot of respect for those guys,” Goodale said. “Competing against Penn State, Iowa and Iowa State along with here at our place, they've wrestled some tough teams in some great environments.”
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