Taylor Drops 1-0 Decision In Semifinal

March 19, 2010

Updated Bracket (PDF) | Updated Standings (PDF)

OMAHA, Neb. - Senior Hudson Taylor dropped a final minute, 1-0 decision to second-seeded Craig Brester of Nebraska Friday night, ending his quest for a title at the NCAA Championships. Despite the loss, Taylor had already clinched All-American status and is Maryland's first three-time All-American.

Should Taylor win both of his matches on Saturday, he could secure a third consecutive third-place finish.

Steven Bell won his first match of the evening session and also clinched All-American status, while redshirt-freshman Josh Asper fell agonizingly short.

Taylor and Brester battled through two scoreless periods, and it looked as if the match was destined for overtime.

Brester started on top in the second period and rode Taylor the entire period. While it was scoreless entering the third, Brester had a 2:00 advantage in riding time.

Taylor was on top to start the third period, and rode Brester for the first 1:41 of the period. But after a reset with just 19 seconds left, Brester managed to escape, earning a point and the 1-0 decision.

Taylor faces fifth-seeded Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin Saturday morning. Should he win, he would wrestle once more for third place.

Bell clinched All-American status in dramatic fashion. Wrestling against tenth-seeded Nicholas Fanthorpe of Iowa State, Bell took a 2-0 lead with a takedown 40 seconds into the match. Fanthorpe countered with an escape and a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead, and Bell got the match even with an escape to make it 3-3 after one period.

After Fanthorpe took a 4-3 lead with an escape in the second, Bell started in the down position for the final period. He quickly reversed Fanthorpe's hold, earning two points and a 5-4 lead. Fanthorpe later tied the match with an escape, sending it into sudden-victory overtime.

In the overtime period Bell recorded a stunning takedown, ending the match and guaranteeing Bell a top-eight finish. With the win, Bell became just the fifth two-time All-American in Terrapin wrestling history. Bell dropped his second match of the day to Dan Mitcheff of Kent State and will wrestle tomorrow for seventh place.

"Having Hudson [Taylor] become a three-time All-American and having [Steven] Bell battle back to become an All-American are great things," said head coach Kerry McCoy. "Our guys work so hard and they do things the right way. We can definitely be proud of our guys that they left it all on the mat. They didn't get the finish they wanted but that we can be proud of."

While Bell won in dramatic fashion, Asper came up on the short end of a last-second scoring decision. The redshirt freshman held a 3-2 lead as the final seconds of his match with Old Dominion's Chris Brown ticked away. As he inched closer to clinching All-American status, Brown recorded a takedown, but it appeared time had expired. After a lengthy discussion, the referees awarded Brown two points, giving him a 4-3 win.

Maryland coaches filed an official protest, but video and audio review couldn't overturn the referees' decision and the protest was denied.

Session five begins at 11 a.m. Eastern time Saturday and will be televised live on ESPNU.