Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland wrestling falls to Virginia in first dual meet, 24-9

By Duncan Irvine

Missed opportunity was the theme of the night for Maryland wrestling on Friday night. 

There were several instances when the Terps came close but just couldn’t seem to finish, falling to the Virginia Cavaliers in the first dual meet of the season, 24-9.

The Terps’ Wrestlemania-themed home opener kicked off with the 125-pound bout. Maryland’s Zach Spence took on UVA’s Patrick McCormick, who got the scoring started with a takedown in the first period. Spence was able to takedown McCormick with 20 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late, and McCormick won by a score of 6-3 thanks to points from riding time.

At 133 pounds, redshirt junior King Sandoval took on the Cavaliers’ 16th ranked Brian Courtney. Sandoval appeared to gain an advantage over Courtney but failed to pick up any points. 

With 45 seconds left in the first period, Sandoval was able to pin Courtney for a takedown. The two continued to struggle until Courtney took down Sandoval with just over 40 seconds remaining. Courtney was able to accumulate another point for riding time making the final score 4-2. 

The low-scoring night continued as neither Danny Bertoni nor Dylan Cedeno was able to score the first period of the 141-pound bout. 

Bertoni nearly picked up a takedown with 20 seconds remaining but was unable to finish. With Bertoni on the verge of another takedown, the wrestlers went out of bounds. The match went to overtime with the match tied at two and ended via a Courtney takedown with 1:18 remaining. His 4-2 victory moved the Cavs’ team lead to 9-0.

Will Berkowitz entered his match against 31st ranked Jarod Verkleeren winless. Verkleeren made sure that this did not change. Verkleeren picked up an early takedown and didn’t look back, winning via technical fall after going up 15-0 midway through the second period.

Lucas Cordilo represented the Terps at 157 pounds, squaring off against Jon Errico. Errico took down Cordilo in the first fifteen seconds of the first period. Cordilo was able to get an escape but suffered an injury shortly thereafter. 

The match resumed with Cordilo in the top position and Errico escaped. He took down Cordilo and got a near fall. The first period ended 11-1. Cordilo was able to escape after starting the second in the down position and used this momentum to takedown Errico. He got another takedown in the third, making the final score 14-6. Halfway through the meet, the team score sat at 18-0 UVA.

31st ranked John Martin Best was out for blood after falling in the finals at the Clarion Open. The freshman was juiced to take on 19th ranked Justin McCoy. McCoy led 6-4 heading into the third thanks to a pair of escapes and a last-second takedown. Best wasn’t able to capitalize off the energetic crowd in the final period and the match ended with a 9-4 McCoy victory.

Dom Solis and Justin Phillips wrestled another low-scoring bout at 174 pounds. Solis took down Phillips early in the first period and got an escape late in the second to go up 3-1 by the end of the second. 

Phillips picked up an escape early in the third period. Solis responded with another takedown with just 30 seconds remaining in the final period. His 5-2 victory was the Terps’ first victory of the night. The team score stood at 21-3.

Kyle Cochran squared off against Michael Battista at 184 pounds. Battista jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but Cochran picked up a takedown with just over a minute remaining in the first. A pair of escapes knotted the match up at three at the end of the first. 

By the end of the second period, Cochran had accumulated over two minutes of riding time. He picked up another escape point and takedown in the third and won 6-4. 

Following his third-place finish at the Clarion Open, Jaron Smith represented the Terps at 197 pounds, taking on Ethan Weatherspoon. He got a takedown in the first ten seconds of the match and ended the first period up 6-0. Smith continued dominating Weatherspoon, adding a fourth takedown in the second period. He held a 10-2 lead heading into the third. 

The third period opened with a flurry of scoring. When the dust settled, Smith held a 13-8 lead with just over a minute remaining. Smith dug deep and managed to hold on for a 16-14 victory in nail-biting fashion. Three straight victories cut the UVA lead to 21-9 with one match to go.

The Heavyweight matchup featured 32nd ranked Zach Schrader and 21st ranked Quinn Miller. The first two periods ended with no points on the board but Miller had accumulated nearly two minutes of riding time. 

Miller picked up an escape at the beginning of the third period and a pair of takedowns later in the frame. Schrader was able to grab escape points but couldn’t pull off the upset. Miller’s 8-2 victory contributed to Virginia’s 24-9 victory.

The Terps will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pitt Panthers on Monday, November 22nd.

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