PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Rutgers University wrestling team, competing in its home-opener, dropped a 21-12 decision to the No. 21 Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the College Avenue Gymnasium.
The match began at 125-pounds and the Scarlet Knights got off to a promising start. Sophomore Ryan Jablonski (Norristown, PA) defeated Mike Kohler by a 5-4 score and gave RU a quick 3-0 match lead. After a Navy victory at 133-pounds, 141-pound junior Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ) put the Scarlet Knights back on top with his first victory of the season, a 9-5 decision over Navy’s Spencer Manley.
Navy’s John Cox, ranked 14th nationally in the 149-pound weight class, started a three-match winning streak for the Midshipmen when he bested sophomore Kyle Poulsen (Piscataway, NJ), 12-3.
With Navy holding a 14-6 lead, 174-pound freshman Michael Whalen (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) took the mat for the Scarlet Knights and dropped Jesse Feinsod of Navy, 8-3, keeping RU within striking distance with three remaining matches. Senior captain Rudy Medini (Colonia, NJ), ranked 9th nationally, went on to defeat Jonny Kane, 7-2, bringing the Scarlet Knights back to within two points at 14-12.
Consecutive losses by 196-pound freshman Lamar Brown (Red Bank, NJ) and freshman heavyweight Mike D’Amico (Kenilworth, NJ) put the match out of reach for the Scarlet Knights and gave Navy the 21-12 victory.
Rutgers head coach John Sacchi explained that despite the outcome, his youthful team can learn and improve a lot from competing against an experienced team like the Naval Academy.
“Primarily, it comes down to experience,” Sacchi said. “Our guys are still learning what it’s all about. They need to understand how to survive and turn their opponent’s attacks into points for [Rutgers]. We wrestled well for our experience level and while transition takes time, our young guys will certainly take a lot from this match.”
The Scarlet Knights started five freshmen during Saturday’s dual meet and given that Medini and Adamcsik represent the only RU wrestlers with significant mat experience, Sacchi was pleased.
The loss dropped the Scarlet Knights to 0-2 on the season and 0-2 in EIWA conference action. With the win, the Midshipmen improved to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the EIWA.
The Scarlet Knights will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 10, when they travel to College Park, MD to square off against the Maryland Terrapins at 2:00 p.m.
125- RU: Ryan Jablonski def. Navy: Mike Kohler; 5-4
133- Navy: Brad Canterbury def. RU: Kellen Bradley; 3-2
141- RU: Steve Adamcsik def. Navy: Spencer Manley; 9-5
149- Navy: John Cox def. RU: Kyle Poulsen; 12-3
157- Navy: Adam Brochetti def. RU: Jamie Lijo; 9-3
165- Navy: John Jarred def. RU: Robert Kaiser; 15-4
174- RU: Michael Whalen def. Navy: Jesse Feinsod; 8-3
184- RU: Rudy Medini def. Navy: Jonny Kane; 7-2
197- Navy: Antonio Miranda def. RU: Lamar Brown; 7-1
HWT- Navy: Tanner Garrett def. RU: Mike D’Amico, 20-11