Terps Dismiss Patriots, 32-10 in Regional Matchup
Zach Ulm (George Mason) is repeatedly cautioned by the referee for potentially dangerous moves during his dual with Chris Lloyd in the Comcast Pavilion in College Park MD on February 21, 2009. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Maryland wrestling team easily defeated George Mason (32-10) Saturday in Comcast Center.
In the opening matchup Maryland junior Brendan Byrne faced junior Brian Wright at 125 lbs. Byrne dominated the first period with a number of takedowns and an escape (7-2), but Wright fought back in the second period with a near fall to bring the match to 7-5. Wright earned an additional point in the third period, but Byrne’s first period performance was strong enough to allow him to take the match, 7-6.

In the 133 lb match up, Maryland junior Steven Bell (currently No. 11), dominated George Mason freshman Denny Herndon. Bell scored 6 points through 3 consecutive takedowns, then swiftly pinned Herndon just 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the first round. Bell’s fall put the Terps up 9-0.

Maryland also claimed victory in the 141 lb match up, where No. 9 Maryland junior Alex Krom dominated George Mason sophomore Ryan Watson. Krom pulled out to an early lead (7-0) and ultimately pinned Watson with 45 seconds remaining in the third round. Krom’s fall put the Terps up 15-0.

With three solid wins in a row, including one decision and two falls, it looked as though the Terps would easily defeat George Mason. At the end of the third match the Patriots remained scoreless (15-0), but George Mason sophomore Brandon Bucher proved the Patriots weren’t going home without a fight. Bucher wrestled freshman Chris Stinnett in the 149 lb weight class with a series of unyielding takedowns and a near fall that resulted in an 8-0 major decision. With Bucher’s victory the Patriot’s score crept upward, 15-4.

Spurred on by the momentum of a major decision, George Mason sophomore Frankie McLaughlin IV took to the mat against Maryland freshman Kyle John at 157 lbs. In what was to become one of the closest matchups of the afternoon, McLaughlin and John matched each other move for move and remained scoreless throughout the first period. John commanded the second period with a takedown and an escape (3-0), but McLaughlin caught his second wind and drove John to the mat in three separate takedowns in the third. Despite escaping from McLaughlin twice, John could not maintain his lead and fell to the Patriot 6-5. With another victory behind them, George Mason crept up the scoreboard, 15-7.

Unwilling to relent the Terrapin lead, sophomore Brian Letters took commanding control of George Mason sophomore Jimmy Kaden in the 165 lb matchup. In the first period Letters earned 7 points, including a decisive near fall. In the second period Letters again dominated Kaden, scoring 6 additional points through a series of reversals and takedowns. In the third period it became clear that Kaden was clearly outmatched as Letters earned an additional 4 points. With less than one minute remaining in the third period, the score reached 17-2 and a technical fall was declared in favor of Letters, 20-7.

The last George Mason victory of the afternoon came in the 174 lb matchup where George Mason freshman Mendbagana Tovuujav easily defeated freshman Corey Peltier 9-2. The Patriots’ victory brought the score to 20-10.

In the 184 lb weight class Maryland freshman Chris Lloyd defeated George Mason sophomore Zach Ulm. This was one of the loudest matches of the afternoon, as Maryland fans yelled and screamed in response to Ulm’s use of illegal maneuvers. Lloyd earned two points in response to Ulm’s illegal actions and was also awarded two points for a swift reversal. Lloyd stood victorious at 4-2 and the Terps lead expanded to 23-10.

As Maryland’s No. 10 Hudson Taylor and George Mason’s No. 9 Cayle Byers took to the mat, Maryland fans moved to the edge of their seats. Taylor, an All-American and returning ACC Champ, was 27-6 coming into today’s match, but 1 of those 6 losses came to Byers, who pinned Taylor in 4 minutes, 27 seconds at the Nittany Lion Open on December 7th. Today Taylor reclaimed victory over Byers in a 5-0 shutout, which further expanded the Terrapin lead to 26-10.

The final heavyweight match sealed the Terrapin victory as sophomore Patrick Gilmore pinned freshman Hunter Manspile with only 1:28 elapsed in the first round. Gilmore’s victory brought the final score to 32-10.

Maryland closes out the 2008-09 schedule tomorrow with a dual against the Virginia Cavaliers. The dual will take place in Comcast Center Pavilion at 1 pm.