The No. 22 Rutgers Scarlet Knight wrestling team is back in action this weekend, but this time they will check in from the West Coast as they face off in an outdoor duel against the No. 25 Stanford on Saturday before jumping onto I5 South to compete in the Roadrunner Open in Bakersfield on Sunday.
The Scarlet Knights are coming off a strong opening weekend where they went 2-1, dispatching Clarion and Sacred Heart before falling to No. 3 Arizona State.
Real freshman Brian Soldano burst onto the scene, going 3-0 with two of the wins on bonus points against ranked wrestlers. For his efforts, Soldano ranks 15th in the latest Intermat rankings as he heads into the second weekend of his college career.
For the Roadrunner Open on Sunday, Rutgers will likely enter multiple wrestlers at certain weights as the early season battles continue, particularly at 125 pounds.
Both No. 20s Dylan Shawver and Dean Peterson should be in the range at 125lbs, like they were at the Princeton Open two weeks ago, and hopefully this time we can see them go head-to-head .
The duel against No. 25 Stanford is intriguing for several reasons, including the fact that it will take place outdoors at the Taube Family Tennis Center in Palo Alto, Calif. (it’s around 55-60 degrees at the time of the match) and because the Stanford wrestling program was axed just two years ago.
The Cardinal program is back, however, and they enter the game with some very strong competitors, a recipe that should make for an exciting afternoon at NorCal.
No. 21 Rutgers vs No. 25 Stanford Ranked/Intriguing Matchups
125: 20 Dylan Shawver/Dean Peterson (R) v 30 Nico Provo (S)
Both Peterson and Shawver have looked solid to start the season and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod there against ranked rookie Provo. Provo had a strong prep career before reaching Stanford and will likely be tough for Shawver or Peterson.
133: #16 Joe Heilmann (R) vs. #33 Jackson Disario (S)
Rutgers’ Heilmann is expected to see two-time national qualifier Jackson Disario here as he looks to rebound from a tough loss to ASU No. 4 Michael McGee last Sunday in the Sun Devils matchup.
Disario qualified for Nationals in his first and second seasons, but failed to qualify for the Pac 10 Championships last season.
149: No. 32 Anthony White (R) vs. No. 13 Jaden Abas (S)
Anthony White’s baptism of fire continues this weekend against Cardinal No. 13 and former All-American Jaden Abas. White, who just lost to ASU No. 6 Kyle Parco, will be looking to rebound here, but Abas might have other thoughts.
As for the score for the team, White keeping this one close could be crucial for the final result of the duel.
157: Andrew Clark (R) vs. No. 22 Daniel Cardenas (S)
Clark started the season with an unblemished record at his new weight of 157 pounds, but he will have a big test on his hands on Saturday against No. 22 Cardenas. Cardenas, a true freshman, was a four-time Colorado State champion before coming to Palo Alto and already has two ranked wins in the young season.
It should be noted that Rutgers will also likely weigh in on Al Desantis here and he could definitely get the nod against Cardenas.
174: No. 24 Jackson Turley (R) vs. No. 27 Tyler Eischens (S)
It appears that the injury that caused Turley to be medically out of his game in the ASU showdown last Sunday was thankfully not serious as he will be back in the lineup against Stanford on Saturday.
Turley is a wildcard when he steps onto the mat and his match with No. 27 Eischens should produce fireworks. It’s definitely a draw in the duel and the result here could also play a huge role in the final outcome of the match.
197: Billy Janzer (R) vs. Nick Stemmet (S)
Another fight thrown in what is expected to be a tightly contested duel, Billy Janzer could be called upon to take on the Cardinal’s Nick Stemmet in a battle of former national qualifiers.
Janzer is coming off a 1-1 opening weekend as he continues to shed the carpet rust that comes with missing the entire 2021-22 season. A rebounding performance here against Stemmet could be vital to securing the Scarlet Knights duel.
285: 31 Boone McDermott (R) v Sean O’Malley (S)
The new giant-sized McDermott looked very strong last weekend going 2-0 with a quick pin in the ASU duel. O’Malley is close to being ranked by a few outlets and the junior has steadily improved throughout his college career – this should be another fun fight.
I see this duel boiling down to bonus points as I anticipate a 5-5 match split. Avoiding giving up major bonus points to former national champion and New Jersey standout Shane Griffith at 165 pounds while sneaking in at 184, 133 or 141 will be huge for the Scarlet Knights.
When I go through the matchups, I come away with an 18-16 win for Stanford, but when it’s this close and it’s a struggle, anything can happen.
Stanford will host a stream to catch the action Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. EST while Sunday’s Roadrunner Open airs on FloWrestling.