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Shorthanded Maryland wrestling falls to Navy, 31-6, in home opener

The Terps won just two of their 10 matchups, as the lineup was missing two of its top talents.

Maryland wrestling

No. 18-ranked Alfred Bannister and redshirt freshman Kyle Jasenski were the lone victors as the Maryland wrestling team was defeated comfortably by a score of 31-6 against the Navy Midshipmen on Friday at the Xfinity Center Pavilion.

This loss drops the Terps to 0-2 on the dual season, coming off a 26-6 defeat in their dual season opener against Penn. With the win, Navy improves to 1-1 in the dual season, and hold a 56-11-3 all time record against the Terps.

Maryland was without two of its key wrestlers, as Youssif Hemida and Ryan Diehl were not in the lineup. Hemida is still out of action after wrestling for the under-23 world championship and earning silver, while Diehl is still recovering from injury. Those two and Bannister are Maryland’s only ranked wrestlers.

The featured bout of the night was a 149-pound matchup between Bannister and Navy’s No. 19-ranked Jared Prince, with Bannister edging out the 5-4 decision victory.

A first-round takedown by Bannister following an escape from Prince resulted in the only points of the first period, with Bannister holding a 2-1 lead. The second period was much slower on the scoreboard, with another Prince escape evening the score at 2-2 with one period to play.

A Bannister escape from the defensive starting position saw him take a 3-2 lead earlier in the third, following a takedown that saw him extend his lead to 5-2. Prince was able to mark another escape, to make the score 5-3, and added one more point to bring the score within one point. However, it proved to be too little too late, as Bannister held on for a 5-4 victory.

“This whole week I’ve just been training to move more, fake more, shoot more, getting back to what I usually do to win, and I think I did that today,” Bannister said on his win.

The victory saw the team get on the scoreboard for the first time all night, trailing the Midshipmen 12-3. But the only other win for the Terps was in the 184-pound division, when redshirt freshman Kyle Jasenski pulled in another narrow decision victory for the home side, defeating Anthony Cable by a score of 3-2.

Jasenski started out strong, scoring a takedown 30 seconds into the match, giving him the early 2-0 lead. An escape by Cable saw him get onto the scoreboard to bring the score to 2-1, which is how the first period ultimately would end. An escape by Jesenski in the second round saw him go up 3-1, and that score held entering the third. Cable brought the score within one with an escape in the third period, but Jesenski held on and squeaked out a 3-2 decision victory. He’s now 2-0 in dual matchups, the only member of this team who has accomplished that, as Bannister lost a sudden victory matchup against Penn.

“I’ve just been sticking to what my coaches have been telling me to do. I’m sticking to the game plan, working hard,” Jensenski said.

While it was a valiant effort from the redshirt freshman, the dual had all but been decided at that point, with the homeside trailing 23-6 despite Jesenski victory.

Another notable match was Maryland’s Michael Doetsch against Navy’s No. 18-ranked Nicholas Gil in the 141-pound weight division. While Gil was certainly the favorite being ranked, Doetsch was certainly able to give him a run for his money. Doetsch utilized great takedown defense throughout the match, scoring two points off of escapes. But his efforts were cancelled out by a Gil takedown in the third, and Doetsch would go on to lose the decision 3-2.

While Maryland certainly had its struggles, there are some positives for the Terps to look at moving forward. The Midshipmen only pinned the home team once, when the Midshipmen’s Casey Cobb pinned Maryland’s Orion Anderson in the 133-pound division matchup. All nine of the other visiting team victories came from decision, with no technical falls taking place.

“We’re moving in the right direction. I think the guys went out there and showed some of the stuff we’re working on, [we’ve] still got more to go,” Maryland head coach Kerry McCoy said.

The 0-2 Terrapins will take on Central Michigan on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.