By: Brandon Simberg
The Maryland men’s wrestling team fell to the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines 34-4 on Friday night at the Xfinity Center Pavilion. The loss drops Maryland to 0-8 in conference play while Michigan sits at 7-1.
The Terps sole win of the night came in the 174 weight class. Redshirt junior Josh Ugalde had a dominating performance to defeat Michigan’s Reece Hughes in a major decision 12-2. The match was 0-0 after the first period, but then Ugalde had two near-falls to gain an 8-0 lead.
“It takes a while to warm up, so once I felt my grove I was able to start scoring points,” said Ugalde, who picked up his second win in conference.
While the final score was lopsided, there were several exciting matches. Alfred Bannister trailed 6-1 in the third period of the 149 weight class match but made an impressive late comeback. He used four takedowns to cut the deficit to 10-9, but fell just short.
Despite the loss, Coach Kerry McCoy was pleased with Bannister’s performance. “Being down early and still being able to fight back and not give up is a big deal,” McCoy said. “That’s the ‘Baby J’ we know. He can go out there and score points and put pressure on.”
The quickest match of the night took place in the 133 weight class. Maryland freshman Orion Anderson was pinned in the first period by Michigan’s Stevan Micic, the No. 1 wrestler in that weight class.
“He’s an elite wrestler. He’s not just one of the best wrestlers in his weight class, he’s one of the best wrestlers in all weight classes both on the college level and on the senior level,” McCoy said. “He’s a special kid and it’s great for the sport when someone like that can go and perform at a high level.”
Micic was not the only top-10 wrestler out on the mat for the Wolverines on Friday. No. 6 Kanen Storr defeated Maryland’s Danny Bertoni 12-0 by major decision. Additionally, No. 5 Alec Pantaleo defeated Terrapin senior Ryan Diehl by decision 5-1. This was only Diehl’s third conference match of the season after suffering an undisclosed injury earlier this year.
The most anticipated match of the night was a battle of top ten opponents in the 285 weight class. Maryland’s Youssif Hemida, ranked ninth, fell to Michigan’s Mason Parris, ranked seventh, 6-2 in a match that went down to the wire. Parris led 3-0 heading into the third period but then a Hemida escape followed by a hands to the face penalty on Michigan cut the lead to 3-2. The last thirty seconds were intense, but ultimately Paris put the match away with a takedown.
The Terrapins will get a good opportunity to get their first dual win of the season when they travel to George Mason at 12 p.m. on Sunday. They will conclude conference play with a home match against Rutgers next Friday.