By Juan Herrera
The University of Maryland wrestling team opened the new season with a 27-9 loss to No. 12 Rutgers on the road on Saturday.
The match was held outdoors as a part of a doubleheader at High Point Solutions Stadium. It took place right before the Maryland football team faced off against the Scarlett Knights on the same field.
In the first bout of the day, Maryland’s Brandon Cray squared off against Rutgers’ third-ranked Nick Suriano at the 125-pound class.
Suriano took an early lead in the first period with several quick takedowns and never looked back. He dominated the redshirt freshman through two periods and earned a technical fall in the third. His 23-7 win gave Rutgers a 5-0 overall lead.
Next in the second bout, Rutgers’ No. 11 ranked Scott DelVecchio took on Maryland freshman Michael Doetsch at 133. The two wrestlers traded takedowns early on, but the more experienced DelVecchio pulled away in the end to win 11-5.
Trailing 8-0, Maryland was able to get three points on the board in the 141-pound class. Redshirt junior Ryan Diehl picked up a close win over Rutgers’ Michael Van Brill. The Rutgers wrestler clawed away at Diehl’s early lead but the redshirt junior held on to win down the stretch 10-9.
At the 149-pound class, Rutgers’ Eleazar DeLuca picked up a 10-4 win over Maryland’s Adam Whitesell. The Rutgers wrestler built an early lead over Whitesell with multiple takedowns that overwhelmed the redshirt junior.
Riding an 11-3 overall lead over the Terps, Rutgers continued its winning streak in the next bout. Maryland freshman Kyle Cochran faced off against Rutgers’ No. 6 Richie Lewis. Although the freshman was able to keep it close at the start, Lewis proved to be too much. He won the match 13-4 and gave Rutgers a 15-3 overall lead.
The Scarlett Knights picked up five more points after redshirt junior John Van Brill collected a 15-0 technical fall over Maryland’s Brendan Burnham at 165.
Then at 174, Maryland’s Josh Ugalde picked up a huge upset win over Rutgers’ No. 16 Jordan Pagano. Although Ugalde trailed early on, he picked up a huge reversal and collected near fall points to build a 6-2 lead over the ranked wrestler in the first period. He held on to win the match 8-3 in his home state.
Just when it seemed like the Terps would build some momentum in the next matchup, Rutgers’ No.10 Gravina pulled off an impressive comeback win over Maryland’s redshirt sophomore Jaron Smith. The Terp wrestler initially led 4-0, but Gravina picked up a reversal and near fall points to take the lead and win the match.
With a 23-3 overall lead, Rutgers continued its momentum in the 197-pound class where Rutgers’ Kevin Mulligan beat Maryland’s Niko Cappello 12-2.
One of the biggest bright spots for the Terps on Saturday came at the heavyweight class where No.17 Youssif Hemida defeated Rutgers’ Razohnn Gross. The Maryland wrestler earned an escape and several key takedowns down the stretch. Although Hemida won his bout, the Terps lost the match to Rutgers 27-9.
Maryland (0-1) will be in action on Sunday, Nov. 12 where they will host Campbell University at 1 p.m. and George Mason at 3 p.m. in their home opener.