Rutgers Wrestling Sweeps “Grapple at the Garden”


NEW YORK, N.Y.  – The score clock showed a two-point deficit entering the final period at 125 pounds as redshirt sophomore Sean McCabe (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) took his place in the defensive position.

Two minutes and two takedowns later, McCabe had his hand raised in an upset win against No. 18 Dalton Macri, and by dual’s end the Scarlet Knights had another ranked win, this one over No. 7 Cornell, 21-13, to close the 2015 “Grapple at the Garden.”

Rutgers (9-1) took six of 10 bouts from the Big Red (1-2) for their first win over Cornell since Jan. 31, 1998.

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“Duals are important to me and duals are important to this staff,” said head coach Scott Goodale. “We want to wrestle the best teams, we want to go to different environments, and we want to wrestle programs like Cornell. It’s important to wrestle these big matches. There’s a long way to go, we’ve just got to keep getting better.”

Cornell scored victories from its ranked wrestlers at 133, 174, and 184 pounds after dropping the 125-pound match. No. 4 Nahshon Garrrett won a 6-1 decision over No. 17 Anthony Giraldo (Guttenberg, N.J.), No. 2 Brian Realbuto toppedPhillip Bakuckas (Hammonton, N.J.), 6-1, and No. 1 Gabe Dean outlasted Nicholas Gravina (Allendale, N.J.) for a key 13-5 major decision.

But the rest of the RU lineup picked up the slack, beginning with No. 3 Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) at 141 pounds. Already with an 8-2 lead entering the third, Ashnault finished his day with his second fall in 5:14 against Dylan Realbuto.

Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) secured a crucial decision at 149 pounds by escaping the grasp of Joseph Galasso in the third period and hanging on for a 5-4 win. Dippery improved to 7-3 this season.

A loss at 157 pounds to John Van Brill (Mullica Hill, N.J.) cut the RU lead to 12-6, turning the attention to a ranked showdown at 165 pounds.

Once again, No. 9 Anthony Perrotti (Roseland, N.J.) made his presence felt. His 6-2 decision against No. 10 Duke Pickett improves his resume to 3-1 against ranked opposition this season, and bumps his record to 8-1 overall.

Wins by Cornell in the next two bouts shifted the pressure back to RU’s side of the mat, making the team score 15-13 with two matches to go.

Hayden Hrymack (Point Pleasant, N.J.) answered the bell, grinding out a 10-7 decision at 197 pounds to all but seal the dual. With an 8-4 lead entering the third, Hrymack succumbed to an escape and takedown to cut his lead to 8-7 in a hurry.

But Hrymack (7-3) stayed composed and escaped Scott’s grasp, securing riding time for the three point win.

With Cornell needing a fall at heavyweight to win the dual due to Ashnault’s pin earlier in the match, RU’s Billy Smith(Wantage, N.J.) left no doubt the Scarlet Knights would prevail.

The No. 7-ranked Smith (8-2) coasted to an 8-1 decision against Jeramy Sweany, giving Rutgers its first top-10 win and fourth overall against ranked opposition this season.

“It validates what we’re doing is right” Goodale said. “The way we’re training, the way these guys are buying in, the way these guys believe – it validates all of that. But it doesn’t mean anything unless we go to Iowa City and wrestle well. So we’ve got to keep working, keep knocking off ranked opponents, and that’s what it’s all about for us.”

In the first match of the day against George Mason, Rutgers used nine bonus-point victories in a 47-0 performance under the MSG lights.

McCabe (6-3), Ashnault (9-0), and Gravina (7-2) won by fall in their matches against the Patriots, with Giraldo (7-3) and Dippery winning by tech fall. Van Brill (6-4), Perrotti, Bakuckas (5-3), and Smith all secured major decisions.

The “Grapple at the Garden” sweep sets up a Big Ten showdown at No. 2 (6-0) Iowa in Iowa City on Dec. 10. The Scarlet Knights open up their home Big Ten schedule with a 1 p.m. match on Sunday, Dec. 12 against No. 5 Nebraska (6-0) at the RAC.

No. 14 Rutgers 47, George Mason 0
Dual started at 125 pounds
Location: Madison Square Garden

125: Sean McCabe (RU) wins by fall over Ibrahim Banduka (GMU), 2:16; Rutgers leads, 6-0
133: No. 17/20/15 Anthony Giraldo (RU) tech fall over Vince Rodriguez (GMU), 16-0; Rutgers leads, 11-0
141: No. 3/4/3 Anthony Ashnault (RU) wins by fall over Tejon Anthony (GMU), 2:45; Rutgers leads, 17-0
149: Tyson Dippery (RU) tech fall over Konbeh Koroma (GMU), 15-0; Rutgers leads, 22-0
157: John Van Brill (RU) major dec. over Gregory Fluornoy (GMU), 15-6; Rutgers leads, 26-0
165: No. 9/10/7 Anthony Perrotti (RU) major dec. over Patrick Davis (GMU), 20-6; Rutgers leads, 30-0
174: Phillip Bakuckas (RU) major dec. over Ryan Forrest (GMU), 17-4. Rutgers leads, 34-0
184: Nicholas Gravina (RU) wins by fall over Austin Harrison (GMU), 4:54; Rutgers leads, 40-0
197: Hayden Hrymack (RU) dec. over Cameron Houston (GMU), 9-3; Rutgers leads, 43-0
285: No. 7/9/10 Billy Smith (RU) major dec. over Matt Voss (GMU), 15-2; Rutgers wins, 47-0
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat 

No. 14 Rutgers 21, No. 7 Cornell 13
Dual started at 125 pounds
Location: Madison Square Garden

125: Sean McCabe (RU) dec. over No. 18/18/15 Dalton Macri (CU), 6-5; Rutgers leads, 3-0
133: No. 4/5/4 Nahson Garrett (CU) dec. over No. 17/20/15 Anthony Giraldo (RU), 6-1; Match tied, 3-3
141: No. 3/4/3 Anthony Ashnault (RU) wins by fall over Dylan Realbuto (CU), 5:14; Rutgers leads, 9-3
149: Tyson Dippery (RU) dec. over Joseph Galasso (CU), 5-4; Rutgers leads, 12-3
157: Christopher Dowdy (CU) dec. over John Van Brill (RU), 11-5; Rutgers leads, 12-6
165: No. 9/10/7 Anthony Perrotti (RU) dec. over No. 10/NR/15 Duke Pickett (CU), 6-2; Rutgers leads, 15-6
174: No. 2/3/3 Brian Realbuto (CU) dec. over Phillip Bakuckas (RU), 6-1; Rutgers leads, 15-9
184:No. 1/1/1 Gabe Dean (CU) major dec. over Nicholas Gravina (RU), 13-5; Rutgers leads, 15-13
197: Hayden Hrymack (RU) dec. over Owen Scott (CU), 10-7; Rutgers leads, 18-13
285: No. 7/9/10 Billy Smith (RU) dec. over Jeramy Sweany (CU), 8-1; Rutgers wins, 21-13
Rankings (-/-/-): InterMat / FloWrestling/The Open Mat

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