Scarlet Knights Head to NYC to “Grapple at the Garden”
RUTGERS (6-0, 2-0 EIWA) vs. No. 14 Nebraska (5-2, 0-2 B1G); vs. Chattanooga (3-2, 0-0 SoCON)
Dual No. 7: No. 14 Nebraska (5-2, 0-2 Big Ten)
Dual No. 8: Chattanooga (3-2, 0-0 SoCon)
Sunday, Dec. 16 • 10:30 a.m.; 12:30 p.m.
New York, N.Y. • Madison Square Garden
Live Stats: TrackWrestling.com
• The Rutgers wrestling team (6-0, 2-0 EIWA) heads to the “Big Apple” to participate in the inaugural “Grapple at the Garden” inside Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Dec. 16. The first collegiate wrestling event to be held inside “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, the Scarlet Knights are set to face No. 14 Nebraska (10:30 a.m.), followed by Chattanooga at 12:30 p.m.
• The Scarlet Knights extended their season-opening winning streak to six dual matches with strong showings against in-state rivals Rider and Princeton on Dec. 8. RU defeated the Broncs by a 25-5 score and controlled the Tigers by a score of 30-6.
• In his sixth season leading the Scarlet Knights, head coach Scott Goodale holds an outstanding 90-29-1 dual record as Rutgers’ mat leader.
• The Scarlet Knights currently feature four individuals in the national rankings: 141-pounder Trevor Melde (Hewitt, N.J.), 157-pounder Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.), 174-pounder Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.) and 184-pounder Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.).
• Zannetti returns to the 174-pound starting spot after leading the squad in wins with a 31-6 overall record in 2011-12.
• Rutgers’ lineup features three seniors who have earned qualification for the NCAA Championships in all three seasons of their career. Mason, Winston and Rinaldi have not missed a national tournament.
Rutgers and the Nebraska Huskers
• Rutgers has not faced Nebraska under sixth-year head coach Scott Goodale. The Scarlet Knights fell to the No. 7-ranked Huskers by a score of 35-12 on Nov. 29, 2003 under former head coach John Sacchi in the only meeting between the two schools.
Scouting the Huskers
• RU’s first opponent on Sunday, Dec. 16, Nebraska, has posted a 5-2 overall record (0-2 B1G) thus far in the 2012-13 season. NU owns wins over Northern Colorado (28-9), Wyoming (22-15), North Carolina (25-12), South Dakota State (32-7) and Arizona State (18-12). The Huskers losses have come at the hands of Minnesota (27-7) and Wisconsin (19-17).
• The Huskers feature six individual wrestlers earning national rankings, including four Huskers that reside in the Top 10 of their respective weight classes. Nebraska 174-pounder Robert Kokesh, ranked as high as sixth in the country, and 184-pounder Josh Ihnen, ranked as high as fifth, lead the way with identical 14-1 overall records.
Rutgers and the Chattanooga Mocs
• The Rutgers-Chattanooga matchup at the “Grapple at the Garden” inside Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Dec. 16 will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Scouting the Mocs
• RU’s second “Grapple at the Garden” opponent, Chattanooga, has recorded a 3-2 dual mark this season. UTC has defeated Ohio (21-12), Anderson (37-6) and Cumberland (49-0). The Mocs’ two dual losses have come to No. 16 Virginia (26-9) and No. 2 Iowa (37-6).
• Chattanooga features two ranked wrestlers in 125-pounder Nick Soto, ranked as high as seventh in the nation, and 197-pounder Niko Brown, ranked 18th by Amateur Wrestling News.
Rutgers Rolls vs. Rider and Princeton
• Rutgers improved to 6-0 with two strong dual performances, defeating Rider 25-5 and EIWA foe Princeton 30-6 on Dec. 8 in College Ave. Gym. The Scarlet Knights won 16 of the 20 contested matches. Included in the victories were 2-0 outings by senior 174-pounder Greg Zannetti (Edison, N.J.), senior 184-pounder Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.), junior 197-pounder Dan Seidenberg (Red Bank, N.J.), redshirt freshman heavyweight Billy Smith (Wantage, N.J.) and senior 125-pounder Joseph Langel (Howell, N.J.).
• Both Langel and Smith won their two matches by major decision margins. Langel first won by an 8-0 advantage over Rider’s Patrick Skinner, then defeated Princeton’s Max Rogers by a score of 11-3. Smith shutout Greg Velesco of Rider, 9-0, then controlled Princeton’s Charles Fox, 13-1.
• The wins by Zannetti and Rinaldi improved their identical season records to 14-1 overall.
• Sophomore 165-pounder Nick Visicaro (Long Branch, N.J.) turned in an upset victory in RU’s victory over Rider, winning a 4-1 decision over No. 16 Ramon Santiago.
Rutgers Hosting EIWA Championships for First Time in Program History
• The Scarlet Knights’ postseason march will begin at home. Rutgers plays host to the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships for the first time in program history from March 8-9 at the RAC. The 14-team event traditionally features some of the top wrestlers in the nation. Last season, 13 wrestlers from the conference earned NCAA All-America honors.
• Season ticket orders can be made online at ScarletKnights.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-866-445-GORU (4678).