Dec. 11, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The No. 7 University of Maryland wrestling team returned to College Park to compete at home for the first time in over a month and didn't disappoint, easily defeating Penn 32-6 in front of 436 fans Friday night at Comcast Pavilion.
The Terps won eight of 10 matches to improve their record to 7-1 on the season, which marks the best start by Maryland since it opened the season 9-1 in 1994-95.
"I'm very happy with how the first part of the season has gone," said head coach Kerry McCoy. "Obviously the perfectionist in me wishes we were undefeated and thinks that we could and should be undefeated. But I'm really happy with where we are because we're not wrestling our best and we're having good results, and our guys are improving every week. The situations that are costing us matches are tactical, but there aren't too many people we're going against that are just straight better than us."
The Terps were out to a lead before anyone had the chance to wrestle. A forfeit by Penn at heavyweight gave Maryland a 6-0 edge entering the 125-pound match between James Knox and Mark Rappo. After Knox got an early takedown, Rappo countered with a reversal to knot the match at two. The two battled back and forth for much of the match, and with the score tied at four late in the third period, Knox earned two points for a takedown and picked up one more in riding time, giving him the 7-4 decision and a 9-0 lead for Maryland.
Penn pulled the match to 9-6 by taking two close decisions at 133 and 141 pounds, but that would be the only points the Quakers would earn.
Jon Kohler earned an early takedown for a 2-0 lead in his match against Troy Hernandez, and nearly pinned him midway through the second period. In control for most of the match, Kohler took a 10-3 decision to increase Maryland's lead to 12-6.
At 157 pounds Kyle John dominated Jake Hunter throughout the match on his way to a 16-4 major decision. Ranked No. 19 in the nation, Kohler had five takedowns as Maryland stretched the lead to 16-6.
Josh Asper had perhaps the toughest test in taking on Gabe Burak at 165 pounds, who entered the match 18-2 on the season. Asper nearly ended the match by pin in the first period, but a reversal by Burak kept him alive. The two battled back and forth for the final two periods, but Asper came out on top with a 12-7 decision.
No. 6 Mike Letts clinched the win for Maryland by earning a 7-4 decision over Scott Giffin at 174 pounds. Corey Peltier followed that with a 9-0 major decision over Harrison Cook at 184 pounds, setting up the finale at 197 pounds.
No. 3 Hudson Taylor, who last week set the Maryland career record for wins (140) and pinfalls (72), needed just 49 seconds to pin Micah Burak. It was the 14th pin of the season for Taylor, who ran his record to 18-0.
Maryland gets two weeks off for finals and Christmas break before returning to action on Dec. 27 at the Wilkes Open in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Two days later, the Terps head to Evanston Ill. to compete at Midlands.
No. 7 Maryland 32, Pennsylvania 6
HWT - Patrick Gilmore (MD) wins by forfeit (6-0)
125 - James Knox (MD) dec. Mark Rappo, 7-4 (9-0)
133 - Bryan Ortenzio (UP) dec. Mookie Golden 6-5 (9-3)
141 - Zack Kemmerer (UP) dec. Matt Bogusz, 10-4 (9-6)
149 - Jon Kohler (MD) dec. Troy Hernandez, 10-3 (12-6)
157 - Kyle John (MD) major dec. Jake Hunter, 16-4 (16-6)
165 - Josh Asper (MD) dec. Gabe Burak, 12-7 (19-6)
174 - No. 6 Mike Letts (MD) dec. Scott Giffin, 7-4 (22-6)
184 - Corey Peltier (MD) major dec. Harrison Cook, 9-0 (26-6)
197 - Hudson Taylor (MD) pinfall over Tyler Blakely, 0:49 (32-6)