NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Rutgers wrestling team won its 10th win of season with a 25-15 non-conference victory over Sacred Heart on Wednesday night at the College Avenue Gym. The 10-win season is the first for the Scarlet Knights since the 2003-04 campaign when RU finished the season 10-4. The Scarlet Knights are 10-4 on the season, including a 5-2 mark in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA).
"It feels great to have gotten 10 wins this year," said head coach John Sacchi. "This team is young and I really didn't know what to expect from them. They've exceeded my expectations. I'm very pleased with how our season has gone and how much improvement we've made."
The Scarlet Knights were led by freshman Chris Norrell (Phillipsburg, N.J.) who posted his eighth pin of the season at 157 pounds.
Norrell trailed 2-0 after Sacred Heart's Michael Hartman scored on a takedown. At the 1:19 mark, Norrell scored a reversal and earned nearfall points at the close of the period, owning a 4-2 lead heading into the second. After selecting the defensive position, the rookie reversed Hartman just 12 seconds in, and turned him at the 1:29 mark to get the fall.
Rutgers took a 6-0 lead after a forfeit at 125 pounds and never trailed. Junior Kyle Milanese (Delran, N.J.) recorded a 9-5 decision at 141 pounds to extend the RU lead to 9-3. After a win by the Pioneers at 149 pounds and Norrell's pin, the Scarlet Knights owned a 15-6 advantage at the half-way point in the match.
At 165 pounds, sophomore Matt Pletcher (Eastampton, N.J.) recorded a 6-1 decision over Sacred Heart's Patrick Nappi and junior Mike Whalen (Lake Hiawatha, N.J.) followed it up with a major decision victory at 174 pounds. Whalen led 6-1 after two periods on three takedowns and scored an escape from the defensive position just four seconds into the final period to take a 7-1 lead. After another takedown at the 48-second mark, the Pioneers' Jed Giguere scored on an escape, but Whalen earned a point for riding time (3:23) to get the bonus points for the Scarlet Knights.
Sophomore Lamar Brown (Red Bank, N.J.) won a 3-2 decision at 197 pounds, the final win of the night for RU. Following a scoreless opening stanza, Sacred Heart's Kevin Fox took a 1-0 lead on an escape at the 1:52 mark in the second. Brown selected the defensive position in the third and tied the match, 1-1, with an escape just four seconds in. With 1:05 remaining, Brown scored a takedown, and despite a Fox escape, held on for the win.
The Scarlet Knights will wrap up EIWA competition on Saturday, Feb. 10, when they travel to Lehigh University. Match time is slated for 2:00 p.m.
Rutgers 25, Sacred Heart 15New Brunswick, N.J. College Ave. GymnasiumFebruary 7, 2007
Match began at the 125-pound weight class
Wt. Match Result Bout Score Match Score
125: Ryan Jablonski (RU) won by forfeit -- Rutgers, 6-0
133: Paul Galipeau (SH) dec. Dan Hilt 6-3 Rutgers, 6-3
141: Kyle Milanese (RU) dec. Cory Dunn 9-5 Rutgers, 9-3
149: Chris Davis (SH) dec. Jack Barrett 12-5 Rutgers, 9-6
157: Chris Norrell (RU) WBF Michael Hartman 3:31 Rutgers, 15-6
165: Matt Pletcher (RU) dec. Patrick Nappi 6-1 Rutgers, 18-6
174: Michael Whalen (RU) maj. dec. Jed Giguere 10-2 Rutgers, 22-6
184: Andrew Silber (SH) SV Keith Dobish 3-1 Rutgers, 22-9
197: Lamar Brown (RU) dec. Kevin Fox 3-2 Rutgers, 25-9
HWT: Payam Zarrinpour (SH) WBF Mike D’Amico 2:42 Rutgers, 25-15