Terps suffer fifth straight loss of the season against No. 16 Nebraska

By: Juan Herrera 

After suffering a one-sided loss to No. 2 Ohio State on Friday, the Maryland wrestling team looked to bounce back against No. 16 Nebraska.

However, the Terps had no luck against the Cornhuskers, losing 48-3 against yet another Big Ten opponent. The team’s struggles against Ohio State seemed to carry over to Lincoln.

The Terps gave up a forfeit to Nebraska’s No. 9 Tyler Berger in the first match of the day at 157. The likely reason for the forfeit was an injury Justin Alexander suffered in his match against Ohio State that forced him to sit out against the Cornhuskers.

Brendan Burnham looked to put some points on the board for the Terps, but No. 10 Isaiah White proved to be too much. He earned a pin over the Maryland wrestler in the first period to give Nebraska a 12-0 lead.

The bad news continued for Maryland at 174, where the team gave up yet another forfeit. Josh Ugalde, the projected starter, also suffered an injury against Ohio State that likely kept him out against Nebraska.

With Maryland trailing 18-0, Niko Cappello faced off against Nebraska’s No. 6 Taylor Venz. The Terp wrestler was no match for Venz, who was able to collect a tech fall in the second period to extend the Cornhuskers’ lead to 23.

After Mansur Abdul-Malik dropped his match to Nebraska’s Eric Schultz 19-3, the Terps had a chance to change the momentum of the match at heavyweight with No. 10 Youssif Hemida.

The Terp heavyweight took an early lead over David Jensen after the first period. Then after the second period, Hemida was able to hold off his opponent to win the match 7-4 and earn his 17th win of the season.

Despite the win at heavyweight, it did not get any easier for the Terps at the lighter weight classes. At 125, Brandon Cray wrestled well at the start, but was unable to hold off Nebraska’s Mitchell Maginnis, who won the match 9-4.

The final three matches of the day didn’t go Maryland’s way. Freshman Danny Beroni, Ryan Diehl and Alfred Bannister all gave up pins to their opponents. The Cornhuskers went on to win 48-3, with Hemida giving Maryland its only points of the day.

Though the Terps struggled against the Big Ten competition this weekend, there were a few wrestlers who found success at the F&M Open on Saturday. Redshirt Junior Patrick Gerish dominated the competition on his way to an undefeated first place finish in the 165-pound bracket of the tournament.

Gerish beat teammate Phil Spadafora in the semifinals before beating Bryce Rogers of Brown University 6-0 in the finals. Spadafora also earned a fourth place at the open with a 4-2 record in the 165-pound bracket.

The Maryland wrestling team will be looking to bounce back against Navy January 12 in Annapolis at 7:30 p.m. The Terps have not won a dual meet match since November 18, when they beat Stanford 18-15 on the road.