Maryland snaps losing streak with 23-22 win over Harvard

Maryland wrestling
Photo courtesy of UMTerps.com

By: Juan Herrera 

Just two days after losing to No. 23 Navy in Annapolis, the Terps looked to snap a six match losing streak against Harvard on the road.

Maryland got off to a strong start against the Crimson, but nearly ran out of steam down the stretch. Thanks to No. 6 Youssif Hemida, Terps were able to hold off Harvard for the win.

At the 125-pound bout, Maryland’s Brandon Cray picked up an impressive 4-0 win over Harvard’s Matt Rodriguez after collecting an early takedown, an escape and picking up a point from riding time.

After giving up a tech fall at 133, the Terps went on to win the next three bouts. First at 141, Ryan Diehl held off Harvard’s A.J. Jaffe for his eighth win of the season. Then at 149, redshirt junior Alfred Bannister picked up the pinfall victory over Hunter Ladnier in the second period to give the Terps a 12-5 lead.

Next at 157, freshman Kyle Cochran put on a strong performance against Harvard’s Aaron Kruk. The Terps wrestler picked up multiple takedowns and near fall points throughout the match to earn a 18-2 tech fall win. It was Cochran’s first career technical fall victory.

Although Maryland had a 17-5 lead over Harvard heading into the 165-pound bout, it didn’t last long. The Terps dropped four straight weight classes before the heavyweight matchup.

It all started at 165, where Harvard’s Peter Bearse pulled off a comeback win against Brendan Burnham in the final period of their match. Then at 174, Harvard’s Josef Johnson picked up a late technical fall over Jahi Jones to cut Maryland’s lead to four.

After Niko Cappello lost to Harvard’s Kanon Dean 11-5, Maryland freshman Mansur Abdul-Malik gave up a pin to Logan Kirby that gave Harvard the 22-17 lead.

Trailing by five points, the Terps would need at least a technical fall from No. 6 Youssif Hemida to tie up the match.

Neither wrestler could get anything going in the first period, but after an escape and a takedown in the second period, Hemida took control of the match. He continued to attack Cowell and forced the Harvard wrestler into five stalling calls.

Hemida went on to pick up the major decision, but it was later ruled that Cowell should have been disqualified for his five stalling violations. As a result of the disqualification, Maryland was awarded six points that gave the team a 23-22 win over Harvard.

This was Maryland’s first win since November 18, when the team beat Stanford in Palo Alto, California. Yet again, it was heavyweight Youssif Hemida who helped the Terps pick up a win near the end of the match.

Despite this win, consistency in the middle weight classes continues to be a problem for the Terps. Maryland will look to keep its momentum going against Brown University at 4:00 p.m. today.

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