Jaxon Smith barely gave his opponent a chance. In less than two minutes, the redshirt sophomore dismantled his opponent en route to 15-0 tech fall victory that extended Maryland’s large lead.
Smith’s win was representative of the Terps’ performance on Thursday. Behind eight victories, two by tech fall and two by majority decision, Maryland wrestling opened its season with a dominant 30-7 win over American in Washington, D.C.
“Overall, I think we did pretty good for our first match,” Smith said. “Lots of technique stuff we got to work on.”
The Terps (1-0) notched their 11th consecutive win against the Eagles in simple fashion, rattling off six straight victories to overcome a small deficit after its first bout.
Braxton Brown starts well, but falls to American’ only ranked opponent
No. 15 Braxton Brown was the only Terp facing a ranked opponent on Thursday in No. 29 Jack Maida. The redshirt sophomore Brown went to work early, securing a quick takedown to take a 3-0 lead. Maida immediately responded, getting an escape and a takedown of his own to close out an action-packed first period with a 4-3 lead.
The rest of the match was all Maida. The junior controlled Brown by establishing hooks while on his back, keeping him on the ground in a defensive position.
Maida continued to pick up points, taking advantage of a visibly gassed Brown in the third with takedowns and work from the redshirt sophomore’s back for an eventual 13-4 major decision win that gave American an early 4-0 lead.
Kal Miller earns a rare tech fall win
Last season, No. 27 Kal Miller wasn’t one of Maryland’s best scorers. Thirty-five of the sophomore’s 36 matches resulted in decisions, with the only other one coming in a loss by fall.
But against redshirt junior Ethan Szerencsits, Miller came out strong. He got Szerencsits down to the mat early with a single leg shot then went to work, picking up nearfall points and a second takedown after his opponent escaped for a 10-1 lead at the end of the first period.
The second and third periods were more of the same. Miller built his lead to 13-2 after the second, and in the third he found a late takedown to get a technical fall win — the first of his Terps career. The five points from the technical fall gave Maryland its first lead of the match, 8-4, one it wouldn’t relinquish.
“This summer I’ve worked a lot on top,” Miller said. “Being in the first match, I just wanted to get a takedown and show what I’ve learned from my freshman summer.”
Dominic Solis hangs on for another strong start to the season
Junior Dominic Solis got off to a hot start last season, winning his first five bouts while picking up two major decisions. Solis had an opportunity to continue that trend against his first opponent of the campaign in Jack White.
Solis secured a double leg takedown within the first two minutes against the redshirt sophomore. After White escaped, Solid picked up a second right before the end of the first period. A Solis escape in the second gave Maryland wrestling’s captain a 7-1 advantage, and he came into the third looking to grow his lead while starting on White’s back.
White answered in the third, picking up a reversal to cut his deficit to four before attempting to pin Solis on his back. The Maryland wrestler escaped and reversed the position, then proceeded to control White for the rest of the period and hang on for a 10-6 decision win with the riding time point.