Ashnault, Goodale near historic milestones from Rutgers' dominant win against Hofstra

The Rutgers wrestling team earned its fifth win of the season at Hofstra, in Hempstead, N.Y., in a dominant 40-3 showing, Friday evening. 

The No. 23 Scarlet Knights (5-1) have defeated the Pride (0-1) in 10 out of their last 11 meetings when visiting Long Island and have won 11 of the last 12 against the New York school.

Head coach Scott Goodale got numerous quality performances up and down the lineup, as the team handed Hofstra 10 loses. At one point, Rutgers led by as much as 37 points in the midweight bouts.

Goodale went with similar lineups as the wrestlers that started against Appalachain State and Utah Valley at the Journeymen Duals last weekend, also in New York State. The only change he named was substituting junior 141-pounder Peter Lipari in for sophomore 141-pounder Michael van Brill after van Brill lost both of his bouts last weekend. 

The Knights had three falls in their strong win and saw dominant performances from No. 2 graduate student 149-pounder Anthony Ashnault, No.2 junior 133-pounder Nick Suriano and junior heavyweight Christian Colucci. 

Here are three takeaways from a very successful outing against the Pride:

Inching closer to program milestones

Rutgers’ performance against Hofstra was not just any normal win for the team against a non-conference opponent — it was a historic one for both Ashnault and Goodale. 

After missing all of last season due to injury and several surgeries, it is safe to say Ashnault has regained his three-time All-American form. He earned his fifth fall of the season to maintain his undefeated record against the Pride’s Ryan Burkert. 

Ashnault is fast approaching the 100-win mark. He currently has 997 career victories on the Banks and could become the 17th Knight to reach 100. The South Plainfield, N.J. native is the team’s leader with five falls and 35 points on the season.

The month of November has been a historic month for Rutgers coaches. After women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer captured her 1,000th win last Tuesday, Goodale can become the winningest coach in the wrestling program’s history. He captured his 166th win against Hofstra, tying his predecessor, former head coach John Sacchi, for the most victories on the Banks.

Goodale has an opportunity to leapfrog Sacchi as the all-time wins leader on Dec. 16 against Rider, at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC).

Several pins dropped

Although the Knights managed three pins against the Pride, the pins came off gritty matchups.

Ashnault picked up his 17th pin against Burkert, giving Rutgers an 18-point lead before intermission. His bout took almost 4 minutes.

Since moving up to 133-pounds, Suriano has established himself as mentally and physically tough to wrestle at a slightly heavier lightweight class. He earned his third fall of the season against Hofstra’s Trent Olson in a little more than 2 minutes in the first period to secure his fifth win of the season.

A surprise performance was that of sophomore 174-pounder Joseph Grello. After splitting both of his bouts several weekends ago, he picked up his third fall of the season against the Pride’s Sage Heller, with a quick pin in a time of 1:03. 

Midweight sweep

The Knights had a strong showing in the midweight classes against Hofstra, including several notable wins.

In his first dual appearance in a Rutgers singlet, Lipari cruised to a 6-2 win over Garrett Lambert, in the 141-pound class to give the Knights a 12-0 lead.

After Ashnault’s pin, No. 15 graduate student 157-pounder John van Brill won by forfeit to give the team a 24-0 lead at the break. Van Brill bounced back from a 0-2 outing in the Journeymen Duals and picked up his second win of the season by the forfeit.

Freshman 165-pounder Stephan Glasgow has impressed in his first season on the Banks. He won a tight 5-3 bout against the Pride’s Ricky Stamm to give the Knights a 27-0 lead.

Junior 174-pounder Willie Scott was bumped up to 184-pounds, as Grello earned the start at 174-pounds. Scott had no trouble adjusting to the weight, winning a 13-4 major decision over Trey Rogers. 

It will be interesting to see who Goodale starts in the 174 and 184-pound weight classes, as both Grello and Scott had successful performances. 

For updates on the Rutgers wrestling team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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