clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buckeyes Blast Terps at XFINITY Center, 31-9

For the second straight dual, Maryland lost their first four matches and managed to win only three of the ten matches.

Kai Dambach

#4 Ohio State vs. Maryland

Ohio State had only lost three matches all season long. All of them were against teams in the top-5 and they came by a combined total of six points. This Ohio State team is seriously good and all ten of their starters are ranked wrestlers. They came in knowing that they would be utilizing four of their back-ups but one of those back-ups still went out and got a win.

Penn State came into College Park and beat Maryland 38-3 and Ohio State had beaten Penn State 22-15 so there was potential for a blowout of the same magnitude. The script was similar to the Rutgers match. Ohio State was better than Maryland at Maryland's best weight classes and the Terps fell into a huge hole early on. The Terps dropped the first four matches just like they did against Rutgers and despite the lopsided score of the dual, there were a couple of close matches.


Josh Polacek took the mat against top-10 ranked Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State. Tomasello took down Polacek with 43 seconds left in the first and then turned him to take a 5-0 lead going into the second period. Tomasello escaped quickly to start the second, got a takedown with a minute left in the second and got another three point near-fall to lead 11-0 going into the third and final period. Tomasello turned Polacek for three and rode Polacek for the rest of the period to get the 15-0 tech fall because of the riding time point.


Alexander nearly put top-10 ranked Johnni DiJulius on his back but settled for the takedown at the beginning of the first period. DiJulius wrestled out for the escape and got a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead going into the second period. DiJulius managed to ride out Alexander for the second period despite Alexander nearly escaping multiple times. Maryland coaches felt that DiJulius was stalling and it wasn't being called. This would become significant later in the match.

DiJulius was hit for stalling with under 50 seconds left in the match. Alexander couldn't erase DiJulius' riding time advantage and after DiJulius escaped, Alexander tried a roll-through attempt but got caught on his back. The takedown and near-fall together with the riding time gave DiJulius a 10-2 major decision even though the match was much, much closer than that. The Scarlet and Grey had a 9-0 lead going into 141.


In another match-up of ranked wrestlers, Shyheim Brown took on the #1 ranked and three-time defending NCAA Champion Logan Stieber. Stieber racked up three takedowns in the first period and Brown escaped twice when Stieber tried to tilt him. Stieber had legs in and turned Brown twice and then got the fall with six seconds left in the second period. Three matches into the dual the Buckeyes were up 15-0.


Randall Languis took the mat instead of top-10 Hunter Stieber for Ohio State and Ben Dorsay came out for Maryland. Neither wrestler scored in the first and Dorsay escaped after 37 seconds to start the scoring in the second period. Languis escaped and took down Dorsay with 20 seconds left in the third period to get the 3-1 decision win.


One of Maryland's highest scoring wrestlers, Lou Mascola wrestled Kyle Visconti, who came out in place of top-10 ranked Josh Demas. In a thrilling and action-packed first period, Mascola picked up a takedown and the crowd applauded a fantastic three minutes of wrestling. Visconti erased Mascola's riding time but Mascola escaped to take a 3-0 lead. Visconti escaped but Mascola hit a great counter attack after Visconti got in deep on a single to get a takedown and take a 5-1 lead. With the riding time point, Mascola won 6-1 to get the Terps on the scoreboard. Ohio State led 18-3 going into the intermission.


Top-10 ranked Bo Jordan pinned Maryland's Tyler Manion one minute into the first period with a spladle. The pin was Ohio State's second of the dual and they led 24-3 going into 174.


Mark Martin of Ohio State was ranked in the top-15 but didn't wrestle. Instead Ohio State sent out Dominic Prezzia. Josh Snook fought hard to avoid getting taken down at the end of the period and video review determined that he was successful. After a scoreless first period, Snook turned Prezzia for three points in the same way that he turned Phil Bakuckas of Rutgers the week before. Prezzia let him up to start the third and Snook had a 4-0 lead with two minutes of riding time. Snook got a late takedown and added the riding time point to win a 7-0 decision.


The Buckeyes sent out top-15 ranked Kenny Courts to wrestle Maryland's Anthony Gardner. Courts got a takedown and a three point near-fall in the first period to take a 5-0 lead going into the second period. Neither wrestled scored in the second period and Courts escaped after 55 seconds elapsed in the third period to take a 6-0 lead. Courts had the riding time point secured and went after the major decision but fell short and settled for a 7-0 decision win.


Top-5 ranked Kyle Snyder, a graduate of Good Counsel, came out for Ohio State and Rob Fitzgerald came out looking to get back to back wins over ranked opponents. Fitzgerald toppled his first ranked wrestler of his career last week against Rutgers. Snyder finished a single leg with 1:05 left in the first period to start the scoring. Snyder let Fitzgerald up and went back to work, getting in on a high crotch and finishing with a double leg. Snyder escaped in the second period and added another takedown. He let Fitzgerald up again and took him down again to take a 9-2 lead going into the third period.

Snyder added an escape and then continued the takedown clinic. Fitzgerald almost pinned Snyder with a headlock in the closing seconds but Snyder was able to get out for the 17-9 major decision. It was 31-6 heading into the last match of the dual.


There would not be a match-up between top-10 heavyweights because Ray Gordon came out for Ohio State in place of Nick Tavanello. Spencer Myers and Gordon were scoreless after one and they went to the second period tied 0-0. Myers escaped after only six seconds. Myers was able to hold off Gordon in an anti-climactic end to the match to win 1-0 and continue his perfect season.


Ohio State went on a tear in the first four matches, recording a tech-fall, a major, a pin and a decision to go up 18-0 after four matches. Lou Mascola continued his great season with a decision win to get Maryland on the board and Josh Snook and Spencer Myers added decision wins.

Ohio State had two pins, a tech-fall, and two majors along with two decisions. Those were big bonus points matches and Maryland couldn't score bonus. That was one big difference in the match.

Maryland Head Coach Kerry McCoy said after the match that he thought that some guys could have fought a little bit harder, however he also said, "We have to expect more from ourselves against any level of competition this time of year." McCoy did think that the team out-wrestled the Buckeyes in some aspects saying, "We were definitely better in the third period...I think we were doing a good job in the third period for all these matches."

There are only four duals left in the season. Maryland will be the underdog in all of them. The Terps hit the road next week for the first of those duals when they head to Champaign to take on top-10 Illinois. Then they come back for a bruising week with the #1 and #2 teams in the nation as Iowa and Minnesota come to College Park on Friday and Sunday respectively. Maryland finishes up the week after that with a road trip to Evanston to take on a ranked Northwestern squad.

McCoy said that his guys are focused on the big picture, "It's not about winning and losing right now. It's about going out there and fighting for position for the postseason, conference seeding, national ranking, qualifying spots...we're going to focus on setting the tone for the end of the year."

Maryland is clearly looking to the postseason for their chance to show their competitiveness in the Big Ten instead of the duals format. Maryland has a number of wrestlers that could be dangerous in the conference tournament. Alexander, Brown and Myers are all nationally ranked wrestlers but Lou Mascola could make a run if he continues wrestling at a high level. Josh Snook took 4th at the Midlands and has wrestled a lot of close matches this season. He finally broke through for his third dual win against a Division I opponent this season against Mark Martin's back-up but it all leads to confidence as he heads to the Big Ten tournament.

The success of Maryland's season shouldn't be judged on their performance in the duals. This team is not built to win duals this year. The conference tournament will be the real barometer for success of Maryland's first year in the Big Ten.