The American University wrestling team posted five wins in its first dual meet of the season against No. 21 Maryland, but couldn't upset the Terrapins' ranked wrestlers as it fell, 23-21, in Bender Arena on Sunday night.
"I was really happy with the performance of our guys, we came out fighting and battling and I think on paper nobody expected us to be able to do this with Maryland," said Head Coach Teague Moore. "For us, the time and effort that we put in with practices, this goes to the guys and the team. They deserved a match like this and we came out and battled with one of the better teams in the country. I hope they gained the confidence that I gained out of this tonight."
The match started at 149 lbs. and Kevin Tao put the Eagles on the board early. Maryland's Lou Mascola opened the bout with a takedown in the first period for the 2-0 advantage. Tao chose down to start the second and got the escape point, registering his first takedown of the match as time expired for the 3-2 lead heading into the third period. Mascola was unable to get away after starting down in the third period, as Tao built up his advantage in riding time for the 4-2 decision.
Maryland won the next bout at 157 lbs., with TJ Giudice earning a first period pin over Mark Cirello in 2:51 to give the Terrapins the 6-3 lead in the match.
Phillip Barreiro and Keithen Cast put American back on top with back-to-back falls. After facing a 5-0 deficit in the second period against Josh Snook, Barreiro tied it at 5 on a reversal and earned the pin shortly thereafter, registering his career fall in Bender Arena in 5:44. Cast also posted his first career fall, pinning Aaron Norris in 4:47.
The Terrapins retook the lead after consecutive wins by No. 10 Jimmy Sheptock at 184 lbs. and No. 16 Christian Boley at 197 lbs. Sheptock and Thomas Barreiro battled back and forth at the start, before Sheptock was able to build his lead for the 21-8 major decision. Boley scored an early takedown against Devon Bradley before getting a fall in 1:38.
A 5-2 decision by Blake Herrin at heavyweight gave American back the 18-16 lead. Dallas Brown earned two escape points but was warned for stalling multiple times to give Herrin the advantage.
Maryland took the lead for good after No. 14 Shane Gentry earned an 8-4 decision over David Terao at 125 lbs. In the next bout, No. 14 Geoffrey Alexander jumped out to an 11-0 lead over Esteban Gomez-Rivera. Gomez-Rivera got on the board in the third period with a reversal in the final minute, but Alexander held the advantage in riding time and picked up a 13-2 major decision.
John Boyle won the final match of the night over Danny O'Malley at 141 lbs. After a scoreless first period, Boyle got the escape to start the second and O'Malley gave up three straight points due to stalling. Boyle held the advantage in riding time to earn the 5-0 decision, but it was not enough as the Eagles fell, 23-21.
American will return to the mat on Thursday, December 20 when it hosts George Mason at 7 p.m. before traveling to take on Old Dominion on Friday, December 21 at 5 p.m.
Maryland 23, American 21
149: Kevin Tao (American) dec. Lou Mascola (Maryland), 4-2; American, 3-0
157: TJ Guidice (Maryland) fall Mark Cirello (American), 2:51; Maryland, 6-3
165: Phillip Barreiro (American) fall Josh Snook (Maryland), 5:44; American, 9-6
174: Keithen Cast (American) fall Aaron Norris (Maryland), 4:47; American, 15-6
184: #10 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) major dec. Thomas Barreiro (American), 21-8; American, 15-10
197: #16 Christian Boley (Maryland) fall Devon Bradley (American), 1:38; Maryland, 16-15
285: Blake Herrin (American) dec. Dallas Brown (Maryland), 5-2; American, 18-16
125: #14 Shane Gentry (Maryland) dec. David Terao (American), 8-4; Maryland, 19-18
133: #14 Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland) major dec. Esteban Gomez-Rivera (American), 13-2; Maryland, 23-18
141: John Boyle (American) dec. Danny O'Malley (Maryland), 5-0; Maryland wins, 23-21