EAST STROUDSBURG, PA – The Rutgers University wrestling team lost a 19-13 decision to East Stroudsburg on Wednesday evening, moving its dual record to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA). The Scarlet Knights fell behind early and came out on the short end of several very close decisions that proved to be the turning point in the match.
Rutgers and East Stroudsburg split the first two bouts of the contest at 125 and 133, knotting the match at 3-3. The Warriors opened up a seven-point lead in the next two bouts as ESU’s Scott Heckman major decisioned sophomore Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ) at 141 and sophomore Mike Ferrara (Effort, PA) lost a tough, 4-3 decision at 149, giving East Stroudsburg a 10-3 lead.
Red-shirt sophomore Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ) helped pull the Scarlet Knights back within three points with a 13-1 major decision over Keith Kleckner at 157 pounds. After falling behind by six points following a 6-3 loss by red-shirt freshman Joe Sacco (Johnson City, NY) at 165, Rutgers responded with consecutive victories at 174 and 184 to knot the match at 13-13 with two bouts remaining.
Seniors Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) and Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) won their 12th and 13th matches of the season respectively to pull the Scarlet Knights even with the Warriors.
Fellow senior John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) lost a tough, 6-5 sudden victory decision to ESU’s Phil Hard at 197, giving the Warriors a 16-13 advantage heading into the final bout of the evening. Foscolo was up 4-2 deep into the second period but Hard earned an escape at the tail end of the period and tied the match with six seconds left on a stall to go into sudden victory. With only five seconds left in the extra one-minute period, Hard took down Foscolo for the 6-4 win.
Needing at least a decision to tie the match, freshman John Slevin (Montclair, NJ) dropped a tough 6-5 decision to East Stroudsburg’s Adam Karasevicz at heavyweight. Slevin took down Karasevicz with 10 seconds left in the first period only to see the Warrior record a reverse to tie the match. Karasevicz continued the momentum in the second period with an escape, one point off an illegal hold and then a takedown with four seconds to go ahead 6-2. Slevin battled back with an escape and then gained two stalling points on Karasevicz in the final 14 seconds but fell short 6-5 to give ESU the 19-13 win.
The victory by East Stroudsburg is its first over Rutgers since taking a 21-13 match in the 1994-95 season the senior year of current East Stroudsburg head coach Angelo Borzio.
Rutgers returns home where it has not wrestled in more than a month, since defeating Maryland on Dec. 11. The Scarlet Knights will host Sacred Heart on Saturday at 7 p.m.
East Stroudsburg 19, Rutgers 13
125 – Dan Hilt (RU) dec. Roberto Ramos (ESU), 4-3
133 – Ryan McCallum (ESU) dec. Ryan Jablonski (RU), 9-3
141 – Scott Heckman (ESU) maj. dec. Steve Adamcsik (RU), 11-3
149 – Mark Smith (ESU) dec. Mike Ferrara (RU), 4-3
157 – Gene Zannetti (RU) maj. dec. Keith Kleckner (ESU), 13-1
165 – Keith Smith (ESU) dec. Joe Sacco (RU), 6-3
174 – Andy Roy (RU) dec. John Carr (ESU), 4-1
184 – Chris Ressa (RU) dec. Sean McCracken (ESU), 3-2
197 – Phil Hard (ESU) dec. John Foscolo (RU), 6-4 sv
285 – Adam Karasevicz (ESU) dec. John Slevin (RU), 6-5