Maryland wrestling continues to take small steps forward as a program. Thanks to Tyler Goodwin's pin at 133 pounds, the Terps were right there with ranked Minnesota after the first five matches of the dual. Minnesota lost to Indiana at home earlier this season; it was only the third time that Minnesota has lost at home since the start of the 2011-2012 season. The Golden Gophers are not as strong as they usually are and Maryland couldn't take advantage of it tonight.
Here are three things that we learned from the Minnesota dual:
1) Tyler Goodwin is going to make waves this season
Goodwin was named the Cliff Keen Outstanding Wrestler of the Match on Friday night for pinning Sam Brancale at 133 pounds. He's one of the most exciting wrestlers in the country to watch. He has the potential to hit a big move any time he steps on the mat. Keep an eye on him.
2) Kerry McCoy is going to keep using freshmen
Alfred Bannister, Wade Hodges, Brendan Burnham, Jaron Smith, Garrett Wesneski and Youssif Hemida all wrestled for the Terps on Friday night. Smith was the only one to get a win but every single one showed a lot of fight in their matches. Bannister, Hodges, Wesneski and Hemida all wrestled top-10 kids. Bannister almost got majored, Hodges was competitive throughout and Wesneski and Hemida got majored. All in all, it came out to two decisions and two majors. Not terrible for four freshmen against four top-10 guys. McCoy is going to keep plugging those guys in and it's going to pay big dividends in a couple of years.
3) The bottom half of Maryland's lineup from 165-Heavyweight needs improvement
It was 9-9 going into 165. Then Brendan Burnham lost 8-3. Snook went for a super high-risk move at 174 and ended up getting pinned. All of the sudden it was 18-9 and the pressure was all on Maryland. Smith won at 184 to close the gap but there was no margin for error at 197 and heavyweight. Minnesota had two top-10 guys and only needed a win from one of them. No. 4 Brett Pfarr sealed the dual win for the Golden Gophers with a major over Wesneski and Hemida got majored by No. 7 Michael Kroells. The Terps dropped four out of five in the second half of this match and three of those were by bonus points. The middle and upper weights have to improve.
History on the Horizon
Maryland will have a very good chance to make some history on Sunday when they host Michigan State at 1:00 p.m. The Spartans are probably the Big Ten's worst team. If the Terps take care of business and beat them, they'll get their first-ever Big Ten dual win. This is Maryland wrestling's best shot at a conference win since they joined the Big Ten.