NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Seniors Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) and Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) posted victories in their final match at the College Avenue Gymnasium, but the Scarlet Knights fell just short of upending No. 23 Army on Thursday, dropping a 23-20 decision to the Black Knights. Rutgers and Army split the 10 bouts with the Scarlet Knights surrendering six points with a forfeit at heavyweight. RU ends its dual season 6-8 overall and 2-5 in the EIWA, while Army moves to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the EIWA.
“We fought hard and wrestled real well tonight,” said Rutgers head coach John Sacchi. “We almost pulled out the victory, despite giving them six points with the forfeit at heavyweight. Gene Zannetti nearly got a pin at 157, which would have tied the match. We are wrestling well right now and are looking forward to the EIWA Championships next weekend.”
Army got on the board first with a major decision victory in the opening bout at 197 pounds. Army’s Todd Wisman earned a 21-10 victory over Rutgers red-shirt freshman Ken Stiles (Little Falls, NJ). RU was then forced to forfeit the heavyweight class, handing the Black Knights a 10-4 lead.
Red-shirt junior Ricky Ringel (South Plainfield, NJ) brought the Scarlet Knights right back, however, with a 14-4 major decision of Travis Featherstone at 125. Ringel nearly pinned Featherstone in the second period, however the Army grappler staved off elimination for the time being. Ringel used a series of takedowns to win decisively.
Sophomore Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ) kept the momentum going with a major decision of his own. He posted a 14-2 major decision over Army’s Frank Baughn at 133 pounds.
Army countered, gaining 10 points in its next two matches. Patrick Simpson major decisioned sophomore Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ), 13-3, at 141. Army’s Patrick Simpson, ranked third nationally at 149 pounds, then pinned RU sophomore Mike Ferrara (Effort, PA) in 3:00.
At 157, red-shirt freshman Gene Zannetti (Edison, NJ) nearly had his first pin of the season, seeming to have secured his opponent on his back but time expired on Zannetti as the first-period bell rang. He posted an 8-3 decision over Brandon Benson, pulling RU within nine points at 20-11.
In the most evenly-contest match of the night, Army’s Chad Marzec secured a 2-1 double-overtime decision over red-shirt freshman Joe Sacco (Johnson City, NY) at 165 to give the Black Knights a 23-11 lead. Sacco and Marzec battled evenly into the second overtime before Marzec earned a one-point escape to take the bout.
Roy then made his final career match at the College Avenue Gymnasium a quick one, pinning Scott Ferguson in 17 seconds at 174 pounds. The pin is Roy’s team-best fifth of the season, extending his winning streak to 13 matches. Thursday also marked his 96th career victory, tying him with Tom Wysocki (1998-2001) for 11th place on the Rutgers all-time wins list.
Senior Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) needed a pin his final bout at the College Avenue Gymnasium to tie the match at 23-23. He fought hard, securing the victory early. He finished with a 5-2 decision over Army’s Charles Martin, making the final result 23-20. Ressa takes over sole possession of 23rd place on the school’s all-time wins list with 76 career victories.
Rutgers will make its third trip of the season to Annapolis, MD, next Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, to compete in the 101st annual EIWA Championships, hosted by the Naval Academy. Action is set to get under way at 10 a.m. each day.
No. 23 Army 23, Rutgers 20
197 – Todd Wisman (Army) maj. dec. Ken Stiles (RU), 21-10
285 – Joe Forsman (Army) won by forfeit
125 – Ricky Ringel (RU) maj. dec. Travis Featherstone (Army), 14-4
133 – Dan Hilt (RU) maj. dec. Frank Baughn (Army), 14-2
141 – Patrick Simpson (Army) maj. dec. Steve Adamcsik (RU), 13-3
149 – Phillip Simpson (Army) pinned Mike Ferrara (RU), 3:00
157 – Gene Zannetti (RU) dec. Brandon Benson (Army), 8-3
165 – Chad Marzec (Army) dec. Joe Sacco (RU), 2-1 (2OT)
174 – Andy Roy (RU) pinned Scott Ferguson (Army), 0:17
184 – Chris Ressa (RU) dec. Charles Martin (Army), 5-2