Brown powers weekend sweep
PRINCETON — It's the closest thing to a homecoming they get in 2009.
With no home matches until after New Year's, the Rutgers wrestling team relished in the opportunity to compete on New Jersey soil Saturday when it faced off against Princeton and the Virginia Military Institute at the Dillon Gymnasium in Princeton.
The result — an overall dominant performance, in which the Scarlet Knights won 19 of the 20 matches they competed in, beating VMI 44-0 and then taking down the home-team Tigers, 34-3.
The victories quickly erased the memories of last week, when RU (5-3, 1-1 EIWA) were shut down by Iowa and conference foe Bucknell.
"After losing last week we got back at it and had a great week of practice," said senior Lamar Brown. "We really hit it hard and worked on technique and conditioning. I took advantage of the individual drills we did to help work on the things that were keeping me from winning."
This weekend spelled redemption for Brown, who not only lost both matches against Iowa and Bucknell, but also saw his name slip out of the national rankings.
After earning decisions of 10-2 and 5-2 against VMI (0-2) and Princeton (2-1, 1-1 EIWA), respectively, the Red Bank, N.J., native now holds a record of 8-3.
The Knights breezed through their first match of the day against VMI — never trailing in any weight class match. Juniors Bill Ashnault and David Greenwald, along with sophomore Trevor Melde, all pinned their opponents.
"The thing we did best today was just worry about ourselves," said head coach Scott Goodale. "We wrestled hard. Every match has to be wrestled like it is the national finals."
Against Princeton, RU took the crowd out of it early by winning tough matches and building an early 11-0 lead.
The only slip up of the day came when Greenwald, ranked No. 20 nationally at 149-pounds, fell to sophomore Daniel Kolodzik by a 6-5 decision.
Greenwald pinned Kolodzik last season when the two faced off.
"Sometimes when a team knows they are going to win, people get lackadaisical," Goodale said. "You can't let that happen. You can't let matches like that get away. We won 19 of our 20 matches today, but the one we lost is going to hurt."
True freshman Daniel Seidenberg got the start in both matches at 174-pounds and did not disappoint, beating his opponents by a combined score of 14-3.
"We knew we had to give Danny [Seidenberg] a shot," Goodale said. "He has done a great job the past few weeks making weight and it was his time to go out and wrestle."
For Seidenberg, the opportunity to make an impact in his first year is something he does not want to relinquish.