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Maryland wrestling can’t complete comeback, loses 19-16 to Indiana

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The dual came down to the final match, where the Terps could not finish.

Photo courtesy of Maryland athletics

After Maryland wrestling mounted a 13-point comeback, its dual against Indiana was tied 16-16 going into the final match.

The two heavyweights would be the deciding factor in which team received its first Big Ten conference win of the season.

But Terp Parker Robinson fell just short of the feat as he lost 8-3 against Indiana’s Rudy Streck — the Hoosier’s first dual win of the season — in a 19-16 defeat for Maryland.

Down 13 points going into the final match before intermission, Maryland lacked all momentum after its first four individual losses. But Jahi Jones lit up the stands as he won a close 3-2 battle over Fernie Silva in the 157-pound bout, sending the Terps into intermission with some hope for a comeback over the Hoosiers.

“We were in a hole four matches to zero and he got us going,” head coach Alex Clemsen said. “Thats not easy to do, to turn the tide like that. Dual meets have a lot more momentum than people realize.”

Tied 2-2 going into the final period, Jones was on bottom and needed an escape to win in regulation. He did just that as Silva could not hold on any longer and Jones escaped with under a minute left in the match.

After the break, 165-pounder Kyle Cochran gave Maryland its second win against Hoosier Dillon Hoey. Cochran started off the match in a big way with a takedown and four-point tilt for a total of six points in the first period.

Although Cochran did not score in the second period, he rode out Hoey for two minutes and secured riding time with a total of 4:05. The final period brought more points for Cochran as he got a reversal, a two-point near-fall and a stalling point from Hoey. Cochran earned the Terps their first bonus points of the match with his dominant 12-0 major decision.

“I got to my turns which was huge, it got me bonus points and got me my second major [decision] of the weekend, I kept pushing the pace,” Cochran said. “Coming into the match I felt confident, I won the match on Friday so I was feeling good, trying to keep riding the wave and put all of my faith into my training.”

The 174-pound bout also went in favor for the Terps, but in an unlikely fashion. Indiana’s Jake Covaciu hit his head with 20 seconds left in the first period, and after undergoing concussion protocol he was deemed ‘not fit’ to continue wrestling the remainder of the match. The Terps received six team points from Covaciu’s medical forfeit, giving Philip Spadafora the win after trailing 2-1. The victory made the contest tied at 13-13 with three matches to go.

But the Terps’ individual win streak would not be enough to give them their first Big Ten conference win, much in part to how the dual meet started and finished.

Maryland’s Brandon Cray first faced off against Indiana’s Liam Cronin in the 125-pound bout. The match started slow with Cronin scoring the only points in the first period with a takedown. Cronin was on top to start the second period and kept it that way as he pressed Cray against the mat for two minutes.

Sitting with 3:03 of riding time to start the third period, Cronin had Cray worn down and made easy work of the Terp. Cronin started with a reversal in the final period and went on a four-takedown spree to ultimately win by a 13-4 major decision.

The Terp’s 133-pound King Sandoval was unable to put together an offense in his 7-1 loss against Cayden Rooks. Rooks only allowed Sandoval to score one point from an escape in the first period. From there, he slowly built his lead with a total of two takedowns, two escapes and two extra points — one from a stall call on Sandoval and one for riding time.

A closer matchup occurred in the 141-pound bout as Maryland’s Hunter Baxter and Indiana’s Eddie Bolivar were neck-and-neck for their entire seven-minute match. Bolivar started the match with a takedown, but Baxter quickly tied it the score with a reversal.

That would be Baxter’s only two-point move for the remainder of the match as he only scored two more times off of escapes. Although Baxter never gained a lead over Bolivar in his 6-4 loss, he ignited a spark of fight for the Terps.

The 149-pound bout featured the only ranked wrestler of the dual in Indiana’s No. 16 Graham Rooks. Michael Doetsch came out in hopes to upset the Hoosier, but would fall short in a close 4-2 loss.

The first two periods were stale as neither wrestler scored until Rooks’ escape deep into the second period. Then the stadium erupted when Doetsch got a reversal to start off the third period, getting the Terps’ first individual lead of the night. His moment of triumph was short lived though as Rooks countered with an escape and proceeded to win the match.

The Terps earlier mentioned three-match win streak stopped in the 184-pound bout. Kyle Jasenski was only able to earn one point from an escape through three period in his 4-1 loss against Indiana’s Jake Hinz as Maryland was defeated in two of its final three battles of the afternoon.

In the 197-pound match, Jaron Smith returned to the mat after sitting out Maryland’s dual against No. 13 Purdue. Smith led over opponent Nick William for the entirety of the match and ultimately came away with a 7-2 decision with riding time. This would be the Terps’ last individual win of the dual as Smith tied up the score at 16-16 before the heavyweight showdown.

“The positives that we had, it is important to make note of them because you don’t want them to be disregarded and then the next day you're making the same mistake. You don’t want to just reverse them,” Smith said. “It is important to acknowledge the successes you had and the positions you had that were positive, but at the same time ‘no moral victories.’ Even if we had won the match, if we had looked poor, then coach would have still been on us to look better.”

Three Things To Know

1. Maryland struggled in the lower weight bouts. Momentum is everything when starting off a dual, and the Terps have recently struggled to put together many wins in the first half of play before intermission. Cray (125), Sandoval (133), Baxter (141) only have a combined seven wins in dual play throughout the season. With the Terps heavy hitters falling in the middle of their lineup, starting off trailing their opponents does not make the chance for victory any easier.

“125 you have to start us off, every night you have to come out of the gate and try to get us going, it’s a lot of pressure on a young man,” Clemsen said. “If you feel pressure you should accept it... Immense pressure creates diamonds, the most valuable substance on the planet is created through immense pressure. You got to shine, you got to go out there and shine.”

2. Terps still winless in Big Ten and advance their losing streak to seven. With Sunday’s loss, the Terps gave Indiana its first dual win and conference win of the season. Meanwhile, the Terps officially fall to last in the Big ten. With Indiana being their best chance at putting together a conference win so far this season, the Terps will have only four more chances to get a win in the Big Ten. Though it’ll be tough as three of those teams are ranked, and two are in the top-five in the nation.

3. The Terps next match is against No. 5 Ohio State. The Terps will travel to Columbus, Ohio, Friday to take on their toughest opponent yet. The 7-2, 3-1 in conference play, Buckeyes have only suffered losses to No. 4 Virginia Tech and No. 1 Iowa, proving to be an elite contender in the NCAA Tournament. Friday’s away match will commence at 7 p.m.