In front of the second-largest crowd in collegiate dual-wrestling history, Rutgers beat Princeton at the “birthplace” just like it did in 1869's historic football game.
Rutgers won 19-16 despite an early upset loss by star Anthony Ashnault. Key victories from John Van Brill (157), Richie Lewis (165) and Nicholas Gravina (184) put Rutgers over the top against its Route-1 rivals.
“You could feel the place deflate a little bit, and I know the way our guys probably responded,” said coach Scott Goodale. “... I knew what he had coming, but I'm proud of the way these guys responded after that. I'm proud of the way they responded from Anthony losing.”
Gravina's technical fall victory at 165 set gave Rutgers a comfortable-enough lead that the Scarlet Knights nursed to the conclusion.
“Because it's Princeton, we have some friends over there and it's nice to beat some friends and show them why you chose Rutgers, to put that block R on your chest” Gravina said. “It definitely made it a little more special.”
The 16,178 in attendance witnessed the fourth-consecutive win for No. 10 Rutgers.
“I'm excited about these New Jersey fans, these high school programs, recreation and junior high programs that got a chance to come out. Maybe there was a couple thousand in the stands for the first time that saw a wrestling match. It was a pretty exciting wrestling match.”
125: Ty Agaisse (PU) dec. over Sean McCabe (RU), 2-0; Princeton leads, 3-0
133: No. 13/13/19 Tyson Dippery (RU) dec. over Pat D’Arcy (PU), 7-2; Dual tied, 3-3
141: No. 10//10/10 Matthew Kolodzik (PU) dec. over No. 3/3/4 Anthony Ashnault (RU), 4-3; Princeton leads, 6-3
149: No. 14/11/NR Ken Theobold (RU) dec. over No. 19/NR/13 Jordan Laster (PU), 6-4; Dual tied, 6-6
157: John Van Brill (RU) major dec. over Mike D’Angelo (PU), 14-3; Rutgers leads, 10-6
165: No. 6/7/7/ Richie Lewis (RU) major dec. over Joe Tavoso (PU), 17-6; Rutgers leads, 14-6
174: No. 16/19/17 Jonathan Schleifer (PU) dec. over Phillip Bakuckas (RU), 3-1 (SV); Rutgers leads, 14-9
184: No. 14/14/14 Nicholas Gravina (RU) tech fall over No. 17/15/11 Ian Baker (PU), 24-3; Rutgers leads, 19-9
197: No. 4/4/4 Brett Harner (PU) dec. over Anthony Messner (RU), 8-2; Rutgers leads, 19-12
HWT: No. 18/18/14 Ray O’Donnell (PU) major dec. over Marc McDonald (RU), 12-4; Rutgers wins, 19-16