On a cold, sunny Saturday afternoon in Piscataway, Maryland wrestling opened up its 2017-2018 schedule outdoors against No. 12 Rutgers at High Point Solutions Stadium.
In front of over 2,300 people, the Terps (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) fell to the Scarlet Knights (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten), 27-9. This was unfamiliar territory for Maryland, facing Rutgers outside in a football stadium. It was the first of two outdoor matches for the Terps this season.
Overall, Maryland won only three of the nine matches, but each of those wins were by decision. Rutgers, meanwhile, recorded two technical falls and two major decisions.
Ryan Diehl (141 lbs.) and Yousiff Hemida (heavyweight), Maryland’s two ranked wrestlers who wrestled in Saturday’s match, both won their madcaps by decision. The Terps’ other victory, Josh Ugalde at 174 lbs., was an upset over No. 16 Jordan Pagano in an 8-3 decision.
Rutgers went on three multi-match win runs, which solidified their victory over Maryland. Other than Maryland’s three match victories, the Terps weren’t able to keep any of the other matches close.
It’s a tough task to go up against a top-15 opponent for your first match of the season. It didn’t help that the match was away, outside, in a football stadium.
Along with the match against Rutgers, Coach Kerry McCoy sent several other Terps to the Princeton Open. Alfred Bannister, Philip Spadafora and Idris White would place for Maryland.
Bannister came close, but fell in a 7-6 championship match to Ke-Shawn Hayes of Ohio State in the 149-pound class. Spadafora and White finished third and fourth respectively in the 165-pound-class. These are positive signs for the Terps moving forward into the season, with many more team and individual meets left to wrestle in.
Maryland returns home for their next day match, a tri-meet against Campbell and George Mason on Nov. 12.