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Garden State Grapple recap: Rutgers, Wisconsin go 2-0 in event at Prudential Center

by USA Wrestling

Photo by Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics

The 2021 Garden State Grapple took place on Saturday, with No. 14 North Carolina, No. 15 Rutgers, No. 19 Wisconsin and Hofstra competing.

Both Rutgers and Wisconsin won both duals against North Carolina and Hofstra. Below, we will post recaps from each team as they are published.


NEWARK, N.J. – No. 12 Rutgers wrestling (8-0) defeated No. 12 North Carolina (28-9) and Hofstra (35-6) on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark. The Scarlet Knights are now 8-0 to open the season, the best start for the program since the 2014-15 campaign.
RU won 15 out of 20 individual matchups, which included 2-0 nights from No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (141), No. 5 John Poznanski (184), No. 12 Sammy Alvarez (133), No. 14 Greg Bulsak (197), No. 23 Dylan Shawver (125) and No. 25 Michael VanBrill (149). Bulsak picked up wins over two ranked opponents, while Alvarez, Rivera, Poznanski and Connor O'Neill (174) all added pins.
"It was an awesome atmosphere here tonight," said head coach Scott Goodale. "We showed we're a really capable team. There's a lot of work to do and a lot to clean up, but I'm so happy to be back wrestling a normal dual schedule."
More to Come.
No. 12 Rutgers 35, Hofstra 6
125: 23/HM Dylan Shawver (RU) over Jacob Moon (HOF) by dec., 8-1; RU leads, 3-0
133: 12/24 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Dylan Acevedo (HOF) by fall (0:52); RU leads, 9-0
141: 4/3 Sebastian Rivera (RU) over Justin Hoyle (Hofstra) by fall (2:37); RU leads, 15-0
149: 25/HM Michael VanBrill (RU) over Mike Leandrou (HOF) by TF, 17-0; RU leads, 20-0
157: Al DeSantis (RU) over Joe McGinty (HOF) by dec., 8-2; RU leads, 23-0
165: Ricky Stamm (HOF) over Andrew Clark (RU) by dec., 4-3; RU leads, 23-3
174: Connor O'Neill (RU) over Ericson Velesquez (HOF) by fall (0:58); RU leads, 29-3
184: 5/5 John Poznanski (RU) over Charles Small (HOF) by dec., 8-2; RU leads, 32-3
197: 14/16 Greg Bulsak (RU) over 29/HM Trey Rodgers (HOF) by dec., 8-3; RU leads, 35-3
HWT: 20/23 Zack Knighton-Ward (HOF) over 23/HM Boone McDermott (RU) by dec., 6-1; RU wins, 35-6
No. 12 Rutgers 28, No. 14 North Carolina 9
125: 23/HM Dylan Shawver (RU) over Spencer Moore (UNC) by SV1, 7-5; RU leads, 3-0
133: 12/24 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Joe Heilmann (UNC) by dec., 6-2; RU leads, 6-0
141: 4/3 Sebastian Rivera (RU) wins by forfeit; RU leads, 12-0
149: 25/HM Michael VanBrill (RU) over Mason Phillips (UNC) by MD, 12-1; RU leads, 16-0
157: 7/3 Austin O'Connor (UNC) over Robert Kanniard (RU) by MD, 12-6; RU leads, 16-3
165: Joey Mazzara (UNC) over Andrew Clark (RU) by dec., 7-3; RU leads, 16-6
174: 15/16 Clay Lautt (UNC) over Connor O'Neill (RU) by dec., 4-0; RU leads, 16-9
184: 5/5 John Poznanski (RU) over Mark Chaid (UNC) by fall (3:10); RU leads, 22-9
197: 14/16 Greg Bulsak (RU) over 26/HM Max Shaw (UNC) by dec., 8-2; RU leads, 25-9
HWT: 23/HM Boone McDermott (RU) over Brandon Whitman (UNC) by dec. 9-3; RU wins, 28-9
Up Next
Rutgers hits the road for an out-of-conference dual with American University on Friday, Dec. 7 in Washington, D.C. The dual is set for a 7:30 p.m. start and will stream via ESPN+.


NEWARK, N.J. — Making a statement on the road, No. 15 Wisconsin earned two key dual-match victories on Saturday at the Garden State Grapple held at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
Despite seven head-turning lead changes, the Badgers (4-0 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) defeated North Carolina in the final heavyweight match, 20-16, before cruising to a dominating 38-12 victory against Hofstra.
"What a great event! We love coming to New Jersey to wrestle," said Wisconsin head coach Chris Bono. "There were some great things today, but in the same breathe, we have a lot to work on. I'm proud of the effort."
Wisconsin senior heavyweight and fifth-ranked Trent Hillger led Wisconsin with two pins in his matches, including the dual-winner against the Tar Heels after the Badgers were down 16-14 with Hillger's bout still to go. He pinned UNC's Brandon Whitman in 4:08 and then picked up his second victory by fall in 6:56 against Hofstra's No. 20 Zach Knighton Ward.
At 125, Eric Barnett earned a 11-0 major decision against North Carolina's Spencer Moore. Then followed that up with a pin of Hofstra's Dylan Acevedo in 3:34.
Impressing the crowd, true freshman Dean Hamiti continues to surprise opponents. Wrestling at 165, No. 26 Hamiti improved to 4-0 this season with a 10-0 major decision over UNC senior Sonny Santiago to give the Badgers' one of their critical leads against the Tar Heels. He later used two takedowns and four near falls to earn a 16-0 tech fall in two periods against Hofstra's Ricky Stamm.
Wisconsin saw several other wrestlers pick up satisfying victories against the Pride in the second match of the night. Ethan Rotondo (133) pinned Hofstra's Jacob Moon in 6:02 and true freshman Joseph Zargo (141) followed that up with a 22-8 major decision over Hofstra's Justin Hoyle.
Ranked 19th in the country at 149, Austin Gomez earned a 9-4 upset decision against UNC's 16th-ranked Zack Sherman before turning around an hour later to tech fall Hofstra's Mike Leandroup 16-1 in just 1:38.
Andrew McNally also picked up a pin for the Badgers, earning a fall in 3:18 against the Pride's Corey Langer.
Full results are below from both dual matches. Wisconsin now returns to open tournament competition through December. They'll return to dual-match action at home on Friday, Jan. 7 against Northwestern at the UW Field House. View the Badgers full schedule here and buy tickets here. Before Monday, Nov. 29 (Cyber Monday), check out the $2 ticket sale for wrestling matches here.
#15 Wisconsin 20, North Carolina 16
125: #6 Eric Barnett (WIS) def. Spencer Moore (UNC), MD 11-0
133: #10 Jaime Hernandez (UNC) def. Kyle Burwick (WIS), DEC 7-3
141: #10 Kizhan Clarke (UNC) def. Joseph Zargo (WIS), DEC 9-5
149: #19 Austin Gomez (WIS) def. #16 Zack Sherman (UNC), DEC 9-4
157: #7 Austin O'Connor (UNC) def. Garrett Model (WIS), MD 13-5
165: #26 Dean Hamiti (WIS) def. Sonny Santiago (UNC), MD 10-0
174: #15 Clay Lautt (UNC) def. #8 Andrew McNally (WIS), DEC 6-1
184: #23 Gavin Kane (UNC) def. #14 Chris Weiler (WIS), DEC 8-2
197: #16 Braxton Amos (WIS) def. #26 Max Shaw (UNC), DEC 6-2
285: #5 Trent Hillger (WIS) def. Brandon Whitman (UNC), FALL 4:08
Note: Seven lead changes between Badgers and Tar Heels.
Rankings are InterMat Nov. 23.
#15 Wisconsin 38, Hofstra 12
125: #6 Eric Barnett (WIS) def. Dylan Acevedo (HOF), FALL 3:34
133: Ethan Rotondo (WIS) def. Jacob Moon (HOF), FALL 6:02
141: Joseph Zargo (WIS) def. Justin Hoyle (HOF), MD 22-8
149: #19 Austin Gomez (WIS) def. Mike Leandrou (HOF), TF 16-1 (1:38)
157: Joe McGinty (HOF) def. Garrett Model (WIS), FALL 4:14
165: #26 Dean Hamiti (WIS) def. Ricky Stamm (HOF), TF 16-0 (5:00)
174: #8 Andrew McNally (WIS) def. Corey Langer (HOF), FALL 3:18
184: #30 Charles Small (HOF) def. #14 Chris Weiler (WIS), DEC 3-2
197: #29 Trey Rogers (HOF) def. #16 Braxton Amos (WIS), DEC 6-4 (SV)
285: #5 Trent Hillger (WIS) def. #20 Zach K. Ward (HOF), FALL 6:56
Rankings are InterMat Nov. 23.


Newark, NJ - From inside the Prudential Center, the Hofstra wrestling team saw wins from a variety of weight classes as the Pride kicked off the dual meet season with losses to Rutgers and Wisconsin at the Garden State Grapple. The Pride suffered defeats of 35-6 by Rutgers and 38-12 against Wisconsin.
The best collective performance by Hofstra came against the Badgers, ranked No. 19 in the most recent NWCA poll. Joe McGinty caught Garrett Model in a cradle, and then locked it in to win by fall at 4:14 of the 157-pound match, while Charles Small got a takedown on Chris Weiler in the third period of the match at 184, and Small stuffed a late takedown attempt from Weiler to secure a 3-2 win over Weiler, the No. 16 wrestler in the country at 184 pounds according to InterMat.
Trey Rogers followed up that Hofstra win with an upset of InterMat's No. 14 wrestler Braxton Amos in sudden victory. Following an escape by Rogers and a penalty assessed to Amos in the third period, Rogers scored two points for a single-leg takedown with 10 seconds left in the period, sending the match to sudden victory overtime. In the extra period, Rogers was successful with another single-leg takedown attempt, and he got the two points with 43 seconds remaining.
In the Garden State Grapple opener against No. 15 Rutgers, Hofstra won two matches by decision Ricky Stamm earned a 4-3 decision win over Andrew Clark with a three-point third period off an escape with one minute to go, and a takedown with 17 seconds left. Zachary Knighton-Ward made easy work of Boone McDermott with a 5-1 decision win.
Hofstra continues its dual meet schedule with a tri-meet on December 5. The Pride will first wrestle Duke at 10 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. dual against American in the EIWA-opener.
Rutgers 35, Hofstra 6
125: Jacob Shawver (Rutgers) dec. Jacob Moon (Hofstra), 8-1
133: Sammy Alvarez (Rutgers) WBF Dyan Acevedo-Switzer (Hofstra), 0:52
141: Sebastion Rivers (Rutgers) WBF Justin Hoyle (Hofstra), 2:37
149: Michael Vanbrill (Rutgers) tech fall Michael Leandrou (Hofstra), 17-0 (3:40)
157: Al DeSantis (Rutgers) dec. Joe McGinty (Hofstra), 8-2
165: Ricky Stamm (Hofstra) dec. Andrew Clark (Rutgers), 4-3
174: Connor O'Neill (Rutgers) WBF Ericson Velasquez (Hofstra), 0:58
184: John Pozanski (Rutgers) dec. Charles Small, 8-2
197: Greg Bulsak (Rutgers) dec.Trey Rogers (Hofstra), 8-3
285: Zachary Knighton-Ward (Hofstra) dec. Boone McDermott (Rutgers), 6-1
Wisconsin 38, Hofstra 12
125: Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) WBF Dylan Acevedo-Switzer (Hofstra), 3:34
133: Ethan Rotondo (Wisconsin) WBF Jacob Moon (Hofstra), 6:02
141: Joe Zargo (Wisconsin) maj. dec. Justin Hoyle (Hofstra), 22-6
149: Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) tech fall Michael Leandrou (Hofstra), 16-1 (1:38)
157: Joe McGinty (Hofstra) WBF Garrett Model (Wisconsin), 4:14
165: DJ Hamitti (Wisconsin) tech fall Ricky Stamm (Hofstra), 16-0 (5:00)
174: Andrew McNally (Wisconsin) WBF Corey Langner (Hofstra), 3:18
184: Charles Small (Hofstra) dec. Chris Weiler (Wisconsin), 3-2
197: Trey Rogers (Hofstra) dec. Braxton Amos (Wisconsin), 6-4 SV-1
285: Trent Hillger WBF Zachary Knighton-Ward (Hofstra), 6:56

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