After two disappointing performances last weekend at Indiana and Purdue, Maryland looked to turn the page as the Terrapins enter the second half of the season. Instead, the Black and Gold suffered yet another defeat at the hands of their in-state rivals.
The match was tied 12-12 going into 174 pounds. Maryland had been competitive. They had been scrappy. They had held onto leads and won their close matches. It wasn't enough. Navy sent out two top-20 wrestlers at 174 and 184 pounds, and both notched bonus point victories. Michael Woulfe sealed the dual win for Navy at 197 with his decision win over freshman Garrett Wesneski. Peck's pin at heavyweight prettied up the score, but it was too little, too late for Maryland.
Here are three things that we learned from the Maryland-Navy dual:
1) Navy has gained the upper hand in the in-state rivalry with their fourth win a row
The last time that the Terrapins have topped the Midshipmen was January of 2012. In 2013, the Terps lost 22-18 in College Park when Frank Goodwin got pinned in the final bout of the dual. In 2014, Maryland lost 26-12 in Annapolis when they lost the last six matches in a row to end the dual. Maryland's 20-18 loss in College Park last season was particularly painful. The Terps were up 15-3 after the first five matches, but the Midshipmen fired off a salvo with a major at 165, a pin at 174, another major at 184 and a decision at 197. The 15-3 lead had turned into a 20-15 deficit.
As far as figuring out whether or not your team is good, very good or great, beating Navy is a decent measuring stick. For the fourth straight year, Maryland clearly hasn't measured up.
2) Billy Rappo might start the rest of the way at 141 pounds
After Alfred Bannister's struggles, head coach Kerry McCoy put Rappo in against Purdue. Rappo lost to a very good opponent last week, but bounced back with a win against Navy. He might be the guy at 141 going forward.
3) Maryland has racked up a lot of pins this season
Maryland posted two pins against Davidson, one against Illinois, one against Hofstra, one against Drexel, one against Nebraska, one against Minnesota, one against Michigan State, one against Indiana and two against Navy. Leading into the dual against Purdue, Maryland had pinned at least one person in SEVEN consecutive duals. Purdue shut them out, but Maryland still has pins in nine of their last 11 matches.
While the pins themselves are great, the issue is that Maryland is 4-9 as a team. One pin per dual coupled with a decision or two won't get dual wins. Maryland needs more individual wins to complement the big bonus point victories.
Courtesy of Maryland Athletics:
Maryland 18, Navy 24
125: Brant Leadbeter (NAVY) decision over Michael Beck (MD), 10-6 (0-3)
133: No. 16 Geoffrey Alexander (MD) decision over Zack Davis (NAVY), 6-4 (3-3)
141: Billy Rappo (MD) tiebreak decision over Nicholas Gil (NAVY), 3-2 (TB-1) (6-3)
149: Corey Wilding (NAVY) fall over Wade Hodges (MD), 6:02 (6-9)
157: Drew Daniels (NAVY) decision over Lou Mascola (MD), 10-4 (6-12)
165: Brendan Burnham (MD) fall over John Keck (NAVY), 5:41 (12-12)
174: No. 18 Jadaen Bernstein (NAVY) major decision over Josh Snook (MD), 22-8 (12-16)
184: No. 15 Matthew Miller (NAVY) tech fall over Jaron Smith (MD), 21-4 (12-21)
197: Michael Woulfe (NAVY) decision over Garrett Wesneski (MD), 9-4 (12-24)
285: Dawson Peck (MD) fall over Nick Mabry (NAVY), 1:15, (18-24)