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Rutgers wrestling takes down Army

Sophomore 133-pounder Sammy Alvarez and the Rutgers wrestling team continued their undefeated start to the season, defeating Army at Jersey Mike's Arena on Livingston campus.  – Photo by Samantha Cheng

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.

The Knights started off strong, winning their first four matches of the dual. Freshman 125-pounder Dylan Shawver got an 8-6 decision over Ryan Chauvin to put Rutgers on top 3-0 in the team score.

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 fourth win of the dual came from 21st-ranked graduate student 149-pounder Michael VanBrill, as he earned an 8-3 decision over Zach Keal to blow open a 15-0 Knights team lead.

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.

Fifth-ranked freshman 184-pounder John Poznanski responded in style with a 13-4 major decision over 30th ranked Brad Laughlin to get the team lead up to 19-9. 

Thirteenth-ranked graduate student 197-pounder Greg Bulsak followed up with a 17-4 major decision over 27th-ranked J.T. Brown that saw him score 12 points in an explosive second period.

“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.” 

For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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