Rutgers wrestling had two strong performances on the road this weekend by beating Stanford 20-15 in a dual on Saturday. The team also had several wrestlers make strong individual performances in the RoadRunner Open yesterday.
In the team's dual against the Cardinal (0-1, 0-0), the No. 21 Scarlet Knights (3-1, 0-0) started off by winning the first three matches and creating an 11-point lead. Stanford then mounted a comeback, winning four straight matches and taking a 12-11 advantage. Rutgers then goes on to win the next 3 out of 4 matches to beat the Cardinal 20-15. Junior 285-pounder Boone McDermott was able to seal the victory for the Knights with his decision over Seamus O’Malley.
Rutgers was led by freshman 184-pounder Brian Soldano, who got his fourth consecutive bonus point victory with his first-period fall of Brook Byers. Other strong performances came from sophomore 125-pounder Dean Peterson and junior 141-pounder Sammy Alvarez, both earning bonus point wins.
Alvarez added to his undefeated record in this contest to start off 3-0 on the year. McDermott also added to his undefeated streak.
"I'm proud of the way our guys wrestled today against a really good Stanford team and handled themselves during the first leg of this road trip," said head coach Scott Goodale. "We have another test tomorrow, so we get to see who's up for the challenge. That's what this sport is all about."
The Knights also had a strong showing in their second event of the weekend at the RoadRunner Open in Bakersfield, California. Rutgers finished in first place with 13 total team points, placing 3 points higher than the second-place squad.
Three Knights finished first for their weight class including McDermott, graduate student 133-pounder Joe Heilmann and sophomore 149-pounder Tony White. Rutgers finished with the second most individual winners behind only Oregon State.
The Knights had an additional four wrestlers finish within the top three spots for their weight class. Second-place finishes include Soldano, sophomore 125-pounder Dylan Shawver and sophomore 157-pounder Andrew Clark. Soldano recorded two pins before losing by decision 5-3 in the championship round. Rutgers' only third-place finisher was sophomore 165-pounder Connor O’Neill.
The Knights will move on to wrestle against UPenn and Drexel in the Garden State Grapple tournament on December 4 at 2 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark.
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