Wrestling falls to Maryland in opening night battle
Jack Maida led the Eagles with their only major decision
The American University wrestling team (0-1) lost to the University of Maryland Terrapins (1-0) in their Nov. 2 dual in Bender Arena. This was the team’s first match of the season, with a large student body turnout, likely due to the raffle for Doja Cat concert tickets.
Starting with a bang, junior 125-pounder Jack Maida kicked off the match for American. Maida and his opponent were neck and neck in the first period with a score of 4-3. In the second period, Maida extended his lead with a score of 5-3. Maida quickly conquered the battle in period three with a score of 13-4. Ultimately, Maida won by a major decision and secured a victory in match one for the Eagles.
“I was expecting a win and I’m just really excited to get the season started,” Maida said.
The second bout showcased junior 133-pounder Maximilian Leete, whose 12 pins last season ranked third in NCAA Division I. Leete started behind in the first period but stayed within reach of his opponent with a 3-4 score. His opponent got ahead with a score of 3-5 in the second period, and Leete would go on to lose 3-5 in a third period decision.
Redshirt junior 141-pounder Ethan Szerencsits took the mat after the first timeout of the match. Starting 1-10 in the first period, Szerencsits didn't let this discourage him. Keeping up the fight in the second period, he started in the offensive position and ended the period with a score of 2-13. By the third period, he lost by technical fall with a score of 3-20.
The fourth bout of the evening showcased redshirt junior 149-pounder Ryan Zimmerman. Beginning his battle with a score in the first period of 3-12, he continued the match with great effort. In the second period, the score of 3-13 reflected Zimmerman's efforts, though, unfortunately, not triumph. In the third period, Zimmerman lost by a score of 3-16.
Freshman 157-pounder Kaden Milheim began the period with a challenging score of 0-3, though he fought back in the second period to a score of 1-4. Ultimately, Milheim fought hard but lost by a decision of 1-7.
In the sixth bout, junior 165-pounder Breon Phifer started the round with a score of 0-3, fought tooth and nail in the second round, and ended at 1-4. The third period score of 3-11 reflected Phifer’s push for a win, but in the end, he lost via decision with a 3-11 score.
Redshirt sophomore 174-pounder Lucas White began his bout with a score of 1-6. During the second period, he started in the defensive position and ended with a score of 1-7. In the third period, White started in the offensive position and gained 5 points to his opponent’s 3, ending with a 6-10 score. Ultimately, he lost by decision, but not without pushing himself to the limit.
Graduate student 184-pounder Connor Bourne started the match extremely strongly in the first period, with a score of 6-2, and entered the second period of the match in the offensive position with a score of 7-2. He triumphed in the third period and brought the score to 8-3. Ultimately, Bourne won by decision with a score of 8-3.
Redshirt freshman 197-pounder Liam Volk-Kols, in the first period, had a score of 0-16 and quickly lost by technical fall.
Finishing off the bout, graduate student heavyweight Will Jarrell tried to end with a win for the Eagles. During the first period, he employed defensive work and kept the score 0-0, though he started to slip in the second period with a score of 1-2. Later, a score of 2-6 brought the match to a close in favor of Maryland.
“[The match] will impact [the season] in a positive way,” head coach Jason Borrelli said. “I know that the score doesn't look great when you host a home match. It doesn't matter who it’s against, 30-7 is a whooping, but we have a resilient group — we don’t get fixated about the outcome; we focus on how to get better.”
The Eagles will next fly out of the nest and head to Fairfax, Virginia to face the Clarion Golden Eagles on Nov. 11.
This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Olivia Citarella.