By: Jacob Steinberg
The Maryland Terrapins wrestling team lost the first of their final two home matches to Rider 23-18. It was a back and forth affair all day with the Broncos doing just enough to edge out the Terps.
The first match featured redshirt freshman Brandon Cray vs redshirt senior J.R. Wert at 125- pounds. There was a lot of defense in the match, but Wert was able to execute the only takedown allowing him to defeat Cray 3-1.
Jhared Simmons one of four wrestlers being honored on senior day, struggled against Junior Anthony Cefolo. Cefolo conducted multiple takedowns in the first period taking a commanding 10-2 lead after one. Simmons kept fighting, but was unable to recover losing the match by technical fall 21-3, increasing Rider’s lead to 8-0.
Ryan Diehl looked to continue his momentum after two consecutive pinfall victories against Illinois and Minnesota. Redshirt senior Tyson Dippery of Rider executed two escapes in the second period to take a 2-0 lead after two.
After looking down and out, Diehl executed a beautiful takedown in the final 30 seconds to tie it at two. He was also awarded four points for a nearfall, winning the match by a decision of 6-2.
No. 18 Alfred Bannister, who is having a fantastic junior season, came out looking to continue the momentum after Diehl’s last second victory. Facing off against junior Gino Fluri, Bannister started out slow in the first period, but quickly picked it up executing three takedowns.
Bannister continued his success in the final period executing another takedown to win the match by a decision of 8-2 in the 149-pound weight class.
B.J Clagon narrowly defeated Justin Alexander by decision in what was one of the closest matches of the day. Alexander executed an amazing late match comeback from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits.
The atmosphere in the Pavilion was electric, as Alexander fought extremely hard to come back. Unfortunately, redshirt senior B.J Clagon was able to do just enough extending the Broncos lead to 11-6.
Brendan Burnham had an extremely tough test facing off against No. 6 Chad Walsh, Rider’s only ranked wrestler. Walsh executed multiple takedowns throughout the first and second periods, finally able to execute a pinfall victory in the final period. Burnham was able to manage a few escape points, but Walsh’s quickness and precision proved too much.
Then at 174-pounds, redshirt sophomore Josh Ugalde faced off against Junior Dean Sherry. Ugalde was able to execute an early takedown, but had trouble fending off Sherry’s takedown attempts. Sherry had four takedowns throughout the match and won the match by decision 11-5.
In front of his family, redshirt junior Patrick Gerish looked to pick up the victory over redshirt junior Wayne Stinson at 184-pounds. Stinson fought for a 4-0 lead after a takedown and a reversal, but Gerish did not give up.
After executing a takedown and an escape Gerish cut the lead to 4-3. After a challenge by Coach Kerry McCoy, Gerish was awarded another point because Stinson illegally grabbed his head gear. Although Gerish was able to tie the score at 4, Stinson won by decision extending the Rider lead to 23-6.
Redshirt Sophomore David-Brian Whisler won by forfeit at 197-pounds, cutting the Bronco lead to 23-12.
No. 6 Junior Youssif Hemida defeated junior Ryan Cloud picking up his eighth pinfall victory of the season at 285-pounds. Hemida dominated early on earning a near fall and pinfall victory in the first period. Unfortunately, Hemida’s victory was not enough for the Terps who fell by a final of 23-18.
After a 33-14 victory in the second match of the day against Ohio, the Terps look to make some noise in the Big Ten Conference Tournament.
“The way we won and the intensity, the guys were fired up and they’re cheering for each other,” McCoy said. “You know, build that energy, it feels good to have that so keep that momentum rolling into the conference tournament.”