After the flowers were given out to the six Maryland seniors on Friday night for their contribution to the program, the Scarlet Knights from Rutgers stole the show. The No.18 ranked team in the nation downed the Terps 25-12 in the last Big Ten match of the season.
Maryland started the night off strong, earning a victory in the 125 lb. match. Redshirt freshman Brandon Cray picked up his second consecutive victory, defeating his opponent, Shane Metzler, by a score of 4-3. In Cray’s last match, he won by technical fall against George Mason. This momentum for the 125 pounder is building up for the conference tournament next weekend.
“He’s starting to find his way, finding ways to score.” said head coach Kerry McCoy.
Despite the early victory for the Terps, it was Rutgers who controlled the rest of the night. In the following match, No.4 Nick Suriano pinned Maryland’s Orion Anderson in one minute 10 seconds, continuing his dominance this season.
Senior Alfred Bannister went out with one last fight, going up against top-ranked Anthony Ashnault at 149 lbs. Bannister came out shooting early, but it was Ashnault who ended up coming out with the victory, winning 11-3 and a major decision.
In the 197 lb. match, redshirt sophomore Niko Cappello picked up his first conference win in fashion. With the dual tied late in the third, Cappello forced a takedown with eight seconds remaining to seal his victory.
“[The win] means a lot. It’s hard going out there everytime just working.” said Cappello. “It finally paid off against Rutgers, my home state.”
Philip Spadafora, the redshirt freshman from New York, picked up Maryland’s second victory of the match. In a close dual, Spadafora took down his opponent, Stephan Glasgow, as time expired in the second period to secure a lead that he never gave up, winning the match 6-4.
An season full of injury led redshirt junior Josh Ugalde to a battle in the 174 lb. match. After stopping the match in the first period due to a knee injury, Ugalde came back strong, taking his opponent to overtime. There, the two fought neck and neck, until Rutgers’ Joseph Grello escaped late to earn the late victory.
In the last match of the night, heavyweight Youssif Hemida took the mat for one last time in College Park. The No.9 ranked wrestler in the nation took down his opponent late in the first to break things open and never looked back. Two more takedowns in the match gave Hemida a 7-2 win on senior night.
“I’ve grown a lot in Maryland, my time here.” said Hemida. “I’m going to miss this feeling, coming after a win in front of a home crowd.”
After this match, the Terps end with a 0-9 record in the Big Ten. This match also concludes their home duals for the year, as they head to Rider on Sunday to round out the regular season. Following their last match, Maryland looks to do some damage in the Big Ten tournament the next weeked.