PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Behind six individual victories, including a fall from Alex Esposito (HWT) and a Top-10 upset from No. 25 Nicolas Aguilar (125), Rutgers wrestling (10-6, 4-5) defeated No. 25 Northwestern (4-7, 2-6), 25-13, on Friday night in front of 3,497 fans at the RAC.
Willie Scott (174) worked a technical fall while No. 9 Sammy Alvarez (133), No. 15 Billy Janzer (184), and Gerard Angelo (149) all added bonus points with major decisions against the Wildcats, as the Scarlet Knights moved to 4-0 all-time against Northwestern since RU joined the Big Ten Conference in 2014.
Prior to the match, the Scarlet Knights honored its 2020 senior class - Scott, Christian Colucci, Zach Firestone, Anthony Olivieri, and Jordan Pagano. Sam Cali, a member of the team who passed away after his redshirt freshman season in 2016, was also honored during the ceremony with his family in attendance.
"We haven't won here in a while, so it was important to get one here at the RAC," said head coach Scott Goodale. "It's good for us heading into this big Princeton match next weekend. It's a long week coming up, so it's always better going into the room on Monday with a win. I'm fired up for our guys."
HOW IT HAPPENED
• After Brett Donner (165) opened the dual with a tough 2-0 loss to No. 13 Shayne Oster, Scott followed against Ankhaa Enkhmandakh and went right to work. In his last home dual match at the RAC, Scott worked two takedowns in the opening period, worked a two-point tilt in the second and closed out the bout with two consecutive takedowns and a four-point tilt in the final seconds for the 16-1 tech fall.
• Scott's tech fall put RU ahead 5-3, a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the night. Janzer faced Jack Jessen in the next match, and also dictated the pace. He landed an early single-leg takedown in the first 30 seconds of the opening period, collected another takedown in the second and added two in the final two minutes for the 10-2 major decision.
• Pagano faced No. 8 Lucas Davison in the first ranked-vs.-ranked matchup of the night. Pagano wrestled tough against Davison, as both scrambled throughout. However, Davison's takedown in the second period proved to be the difference in the 2-0 decision.
• Esposito took the mat against Jack Heyob and quickly fell behind 6-1 after Heyob caught him on his back. But Esposito never relented. Trailing 7-2 with 10 seconds left in the second period, Esposito stuck a deep shot on Heyob and drove him down onto the mat on his back, earning the fall with one second to go in the period. The pin, Esposito's team-high eighth of the season, gave Rutgers a commanding 15-6 lead at intermission.
• Back-to-back wins would follow for the Scarlet Knights out of the break, beginning with Aguilar against No. 10 Michael DeAugustino. Tied 1-1 late in the third period, Aguilar and DeAugustino were caught in a scramble. Aguilar shot up from under his opponent's legs, grabbed the head and swung himself around for the takedown. Aguilar held on in the closing seconds for the 3-1 final for the biggest individual victory of his young collegiate career.
• Alvarez went up against Dylan Utterback and wasted no time, using takedowns in the first and second periods a for a 5-1 lead. Beginning on top for the final period, Alvarez registered five takedowns down the stretch en route to the 16-4 major. The bonus-point victory gave Rutgers a 22-6 lead with three bouts remaining.
• After JoJo Aragona (141) dropped a 2-0 decision to Alec McKenna, Angelo followed with a convincing 10-2 major decision over Eric Yang. Up 4-2 with under 10 seconds to go in the match, Angelo caught Yang in a cradle and earned a takedown and four-back points for the final result.
• Michael VanBrill (157) lost by major to 2019 All-American No. 1 Ryan Deakin to close out the night, but the dual was already in hand as RU walked out of the RAC with a 26-13 win.
• Rutgers is now 4-0 all-time against Northwestern, with the two schools also meeting in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
• The five bonus-point victories against the Wildcats were the most in a dual for Rutgers (Division I) this season.
• Janzer now owns a team-high 14 dual victories and 47 team points.
• With Aguilars' victory on Friday night, RU now features three wrestlers with more than 20 wins. Alvarez leads the team with 22, Pagano owns 21 and Aguilar is third on the pogrom with 20.
165: 18/13/17 Shayne Oster (NU) over Brett Donner (RU) by decision, 2-0; NU leads 3-0
174: Willie Scott (RU) over Ankhaa Enkhmandakh (NU) by tech fall, 16-1; RU leads 5-3
184: 14/15/17 Billy Janzer (RU) over Jack Jessen (NU) by MD, 10-2; RU leads 9-3
197: 16/9/10 Lucas Davison (NU) over 18/17/19 Jordan Pagano (RU) by decision, 3-0; RU leads 9-6
285: Alex Esposito (RU) over Jack Heyob (NU) by fall (4:59); RU leads 15-6
125: NR/25/24 Nicolas Aguilar (RU) over 10/11/11 Michael DeAugustino (NU) by decision, 3-1; RU leads 18-6
133: 8/9/8 Sammy Alvarez (RU) over Dylan Utterback (NU) by MD, 16-4; RU leads 22-6
141: Alec McKenna (NU) over NR/NR/32 JoJo Aragona (RU) by decision, 2-0; RU leads 22-9
149: Gerard Angelo (RU) over Eric Yang (NU) by MD, 10-2; RU leads 26-9
157: 1/1/1 Ryan Deakin (NU) over Michael VanBrill (RU) by MD, 16-2; RU wins 26-13
Rutgers competes in its final dual of the season on Sunday, February 23 at No. 14 Princeton.