By: Dominic Gugliotta
Following a tight match against Illinois on Jan. 28, the Maryland Terrapins wrestling team suffered another crushing defeat to No. 21 Minnesota 26-22.
The Terps were unable to get off to a fast start as both Brandon Cray and Jhared Simmons were defeated in their weight classes.
Both wrestlers were up against ranked opponents in Ethan Lizak and Mitch McKee. Neither Maryland wrestler was able to do much, and after two tech falls, the Terps trailed 10-0 overall.
After the rough start, Ryan Diehl made the crowd erupt with his upset victory over 14th ranked Tommy Thorn. Diehl gained control of Thorn early and was able to defeat Thorn by fall. Diehl’s victory gave Maryland six points and sparked the crowd at The Pavilion.
“That was huge,” Diehl said. “Every time you get a pin or something like that when it’s a close match, it’s a huge moment.”
Next up for the Terps was redshirt junior Alfred Bannister who faced off against Minnesota’s Miles Patton. Riding the momentum created by Diehl’s victory, Bannister used his quickness and array of spin moves to win by points 14-6.
“[Diehl’s win] got me hype. That was a big win for him, so I just wanted to come bring the same energy when I got on the mat,” Bannister said.
Bannister had evened up the overall score at ten points.
In the last bout before intermission, Kyle Cochran faced off against seventh ranked Jake Short. Short was able to score points quickly and eventually caught Cochran off-guard with a pin fall in the second period. Heading into the intermission, the Golden Gophers led the Terps 16-10.
After the intermission, the Terps suffered two straight losses at both the 165-pound and 174-pound weight classes. Minnesota’s Nick Wanzek was able to secure a major decision victory over Brendan Burnham. Redshirt sophomore Josh Ugalde suffered a pin fall loss in the first period to Chris Pfarr and Maryland now trailed 26-10.
The rough start after the intermission did come to an end as Maryland concluded the day with three straight wins. The Gophers were forced to forfeit the 184-pound weight class giving Maryland a free six points. Then at the 197-pound class, David-Brian Whisler was able to defeat Minnesota’s Dylan Anderson by a score of 11-5.
The final bout of the day between Youssif Hemida and Rylee Streifel was the most strategic match of the day. After 3 periods, the score stood 1-1 and the match would be decided in sudden victory. In this final period, Hemida secured a takedown and received the final win of the day.
Maryland now sets their sights on Feb. 18 where they face off against Rider and Ohio at the Xfinity Center.