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Takedown troubles plague No. 14 Rutgers wrestling in defeat to No. 7 Ohio State

Junior 149-pounder Michael Cetta earned an upset win over No. 9 Dylan D'Emilio in the Rutgers wrestling team defeat to Ohio State on Sunday. – Photo by / Cos Lymperopoulos

The Rutgers wrestling team fell 22-12 to Ohio State on Sunday at Jersey Mike's Arena on Livingston campus. The Scarlet Knights (10-4, 3-3) won 3 of their 10 bouts and only landed five takedowns against the Buckeyes (13-2, 5-1).

The dual started at the 157-pound bout, with graduate student 149-pounder Jacob Butler taking on No. 29 Isaac Wilcox. Butler earned six escape points, but Wilcox landed six takedowns to secure a 19-6 major decision victory.

No. 14 Rutgers continued its struggles in the next bout. Junior 165-pounder Anthony White was close to landing a third-period takedown against No. 20 Bryce Hepner but suffered a 5-0 shutout decision to give No. 7 Ohio State a 7-0 lead.

No. 13 senior 174-pounder Jackson Turley was defeated 5-3 by No. 11 Rocco Welsh, ending his nine-match winning streak. Turley was close to earning the victory in the third period but could not land the match-winning takedown.

No. 21 sophomore 184-pounder Brian Soldano and Ryder Rogotzke battled it out for two periods, but Soldano landed a much-needed pin to cut the deficit to 4 points and put the Knights right back in the contest. The win ended a three-match losing streak for Soldano.

No. 12 junior 197-pounder John Poznanski could not build off Soldano's pin, losing a 5-3 decision to No. 22 Luke Geog. The loss was Poznanski's second of the season.

The Buckeyes led 13-6 at the intermission.

No. 7 graduate student 285-pounder Yaraslau Slavikouski started the second half of the dual with a 5-2 defeat to No. 12 Nick Feldman. Feldman gave Ohio State a 10-point lead with four bouts left.

Rutgers could not get anything going in the next bout, as No. 13 junior 125-pounder Dean Peterson fell 8-1 to No. 24 Brendan McCrone.

No. 13 junior 133-pounder Dylan Shawver ended a three-bout losing streak for the Knights with a 5-4 decision over No. 12 Nic Bouzakis. With two bouts left, Rutgers trailed 19-9.

No. 20 graduate student 141-pounder Mitch Moore kept his bout with No. 3 Jesse Mendez scoreless for the first two periods but ultimately succumbed to a 5-0 decision, and the Buckeyes all but sealed the dual win.

In the last bout of the afternoon, junior 149-pounder Michael Cetta dominated in his upset win over No. 9 Dylan D'Emilio. Cetta landed three takedowns to earn his second-ranked win of the season.

After the match, Cetta spoke on what led to the upset win.

"All week, we were just training, getting ready, good preparation all week long," he said. "(I) just believed in my training — that's really it. My coaches get me prepared to go out there every time I wrestle, and I just really wanted this one."

In the first bout of the contest, Butler seemed to re-aggravate his knee injury. Butler decided to remain in the match to avoid an injury default.

"Obviously, he re-injured that knee today, so we'll have to take a look at it before we do anything about rolling him out," said head coach Scott Goodale.

Goodale also confirmed that junior 157-pounder Andrew Clark is out for the rest of the season and will look to get a medical redshirt for his injury.

"You won't see Andy Clark the rest of the way. He'll search for a medical redshirt," he said.

If Butler's injury is serious, then the Knights will look to junior 157-pounders Al DeSantis or Dylan Weaver to start in the 157-pound weight class going forward.

Rutgers will have its toughest match of the season when it takes on Penn State, which is No. 1 ranked in the nation. Monday's contest will begin at 7 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania, and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

"I liked the way we competed today. We were in every single match," Goodale said. "We have to find a way from a team standpoint, from an individual standpoint to get over that hump."

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

To view more of Matthew Mangam's work, follow @matthewmangam on X.

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