By Mike Touma
The Maryland wrestling team (0-1) is back home for the first time this season to compete in a dual match against longtime rival Navy (0-1) on Friday night in the XFINITY Center.
After spending the first month on the road competing in a number of tournaments, including the Princeton Tiger Open, the Was Stroudsburg Open, the Wolfpack Open and the Mat Town Open. Coming off their first loss of the season last week in a 26-6 decision to Penn in Philly, the Terps look to bounce back against the Mids in College Park.
A name to keep in mind this season for Maryland is Alfred Bannister, the 18th ranked 149 lb. redshirt senior out of La Plata, Maryland. A top-five finish in the B1G last year and a NCAA Qualifier each of the last two seasons has placed Bannister as one of the top wrestlers in the conference. Now in his last year, Bannister looks to lead this Terps team to an early season victory.
Some of this Terps team has even taken their talents overseas this past offseason. Senior heavyweight Youssif Hemida earned a silver medal at the U23 World Championship, posting a 3-1 record in the event, which took place in Bucharest, Romania.
Navy leads the series against Maryland at a record of 55-11-3, including wins in all of the last six meetings. Last year, the Mids defeated the Terps 29-10 in Annapolis. Maryland will look to gain its first victory over their close-town rivals since Jan. 20, 2012.
For the Mids, they are led by Junior 174 lb. Spencer Carey from Ringwood, NJ. Carey, unranked at the CKLV Invitational, finished fifth in the tournament, starting out his season strong. He faced five nationally-ranked wrestlers in his seven matches, finished with a 4-1 record against them. Carey, along with the rest of the Navy team, will see what he can do to match up against this Terps squad.
Like Maryland, Navy has also spent much of the early season participating in tournaments. In their first dual match, they lost to No. 2 Ohio State in a 28-9 decision, giving them an identical record with the Terps at 0-1.
It’s a battle in Maryland once again for these two programs as they are both looking for their first win of the season. The match will be at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland and will be streamed live on BTN Plus at 7 pm on Friday.
After this battle, the Terps get right back into action with another home match against Central Michigan on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Xfinity Center.
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