Maryland wrestling struggles against Wisconsin at home

By: Brandon Simberg

The Maryland wrestling team fell to Wisconsin 30-9 on Saturday at the Xfinity Center Pavilion. The loss dropped the Terps to 0-8 in dual matches on the season, while the Badgers are now 7-5.

The Terps got off to a strong start when Brandon Cray won the 125 weight class by decision. The win was Cray’s first in Big Ten competition and fifth of the season. He defeated Wisconsin’s Ethan Rotondo, who had an impressive 15-5 record coming into the match.  

“It feels good. I’m just looking to use this as a spark for me. I’ve been putting in the work and I’m going to use this momentum from the match to carry on,” Cray said.

Wrestling in the 125 weight class Cray, who is now 5-11 in dual matches on the season, wrestles first in dual matches so he understands his role as a tablesetter.

“The smallest guys always go out there and set a tone for the whole team,” said the redshirt freshman from New Jersey. “I hoped my performance could start momentum for the team.”

The 3-0 lead that Maryland built would be their last of the day. The Badgers would win the next five matches to gain a 20-3 lead. In the 149 weight class, Alfred Bannister held a lead late into the third period but a takedown by No. 20 Cody Martin gave Wisconsin the victory.

In the 174 weight class match, the Terps had their best result of the day when junior Josh Ugalde pinned Wisconsin’s Pat Spray to cut the deficit to 20-9. The win was Ugalde’s first in conference competition. Ugalde used some early takedowns to build an early lead before finally pinning Spray. Regardless of the result, Ugalde’s mindset remains the same.

“My mindset is to relax and do what I love to do. I put in a lot of work to show what I can do,” said Ugalde. “Points come how they come.”

Ugalde’s victory was Maryland’s last of the day as the Terps would lose the next three bouts eventually falling 30-9. Coach Kerry McCoy was not too pleased with his team’s performance.

“We left some matches on the table. We left some opportunities on the table and it stinks when you do that,” said coach McCoy. “I think the attitude and effort was a little bit off today and that is why the results didn’t follow.”

The schedule does not get any easier for the Terrapins as they travel to Iowa next Friday to take on the third-ranked Hawkeyes. Two days later, they will face off against seventh-ranked Minnesota.

“Matchup wise Iowa and Minnesota are way better than we are,” said McCoy, anticipating the schedule ahead. “Going out and wrestling at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on a Friday night at 7 o’clock is going to be a brutal atmosphere, but it’s going to give us that preparation for the Big Ten quarters and semis.”

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