The Rutgers wrestling team started its 2023-2024 season in dominating fashion, defeating Duke and Cal Poly on Friday night. The Scarlet Knights (2-0, 0-0) won 17 of their 20 bouts against the Blue Devils (0-3, 0-0) and the Mustangs (1-1, 0-0) in San Luis Obispo, California.
No. 15 Rutgers started the night with a dominant 47-0 victory against Duke. No. 6 junior 125-pounder Dean Peterson opened the contest with a win against Logan Agin after working a fall in the first period.
No. 24 graduate student 149-pounder Jacob Butler earned the Knights' biggest win against the Blue Devils, working a technical fall in his 18-1 decision over Jarred Papcsy. Freshman 174-pounder Shane Cartagena-Walsh won a 10-3 decision over Jack Wimmer to get his first career collegiate win.
Rutgers continued to dominate in each of its bouts, with strong performances from No. 23 junior 165-pounder Anthony White and No. 10 sophomore 184-pounder Brian Soldano. No. 6 graduate student 285-pounder Yaraslau Slavikouski finished off the dual with a 17-5 major decision over Connor Barket to seal the win and complete the shutout against Duke.
Later that night, the Knights faced off against Cal Poly and earned a 31-10 victory. Rutgers won its first three bouts, resulting in an early 12-0 lead. Chance Lamer and Legend Lamer then defeated junior 149-pounder Michael Cetta and junior 157-pounder Al DeSantis, respectively, to bring the Mustangs back and make the score 12-7.
With Cal Poly starting to gain momentum, White secured a technical fall and a strong 18-3 win over Michael Goldfeder to double the Knights' lead to 17-7. Soldano and No. 10 junior 197-pounder John Poznanski won their bouts against Kendall La Rosa and Jarad Priest, respectively, to put the dual out of the Mustangs' reach.
Slavikouski ended the dual with a technical fall and a 16-0 decision over Josh Harkey to complete the sweep for Rutgers.
Overall, the Knights earned 13 bonus points wins with five pins, five technical falls and three major decisions in their 20 bouts.
Rutgers will look to continue its strong start when it faces off against Virginia Tech in its home opener on November 17 at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus. The dual will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on 88.7 WRSU-FM.
"Really fired up about our guys wrestling hard and taking care of business against these two teams on the West Coast," said head coach Scott Goodale. "We scored a lot of bonus points tonight, which is encouraging."
For more updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow @TargumSports on X.
To view more of Matthew Mangam's work, follow @matthewmangam on X.