To wrap up its two-day trip to the nation’s capital, the Harvard wrestling team made the short drive to College Park, Md. to take on No. 23 Maryland and Stanford in two dual matches.
After losing, 21-19, to American on Friday night, the Crimson opened up on Saturday against the Terrapins. Despite having the lead at the midway point, Harvard was unable to hang on, falling by a final of 22-14.
But the Crimson stormed back a few hours later and dismantled the Cardinal to coast to a 28-9 victory.
“I think that we wrestled really well this weekend,” co-captain Steven Keith said. “The loss to Maryland was a tough, close match where a couple things could’ve gone differently, and we [would have won] that match against the No. 23 team in the country. We rebounded really well and just annihilated Stanford, so it was a really good way to finish the weekend.”
Harvard received solid performances from Keith and fellow co-captain Walter Peppelman, who both went undefeated on the day. The only seniors to take the mat, Keith contributed a shutout and a fall, and Peppelman demonstrated similar consistency to win his matches by a combined score of 21-2.
“[Keith and Peppelman] both wrestled strong,” Crimson coach Jay Weiss said. “I tell the seniors, this is the last time they’re doing this, so you have to treat every time like it’s the last time, and they’re doing that. They’re doing a nice job.”
HARVARD 28, STANFORD 9
A team effort from start to finish gave Harvard its sole victory of the weekend. The outcome was all but decided by the midway point, as the Crimson held a commanding 17-3 lead over Stanford.
Harvard would go on to further expand its lead, ultimately winning by 19 points. The 28 points were the most scored by the Crimson since Jan. 7 of last year and came after two consecutive losses.
“It’s a huge thing to learn [how to bounce back],” Weiss said. “When we get into tournament situations, you have to be able to push that away and have a short term memory. They really wrestled a lot better [against the Cardinal].”
Harvard won seven of the ten bouts, and held Stanford to three-point decisions in its three losses.
Every match, with the exception of Keith’s, who achieved a fall, went the distance, and Crimson wrestlers took advantage of a number of takedowns to keep the scoring high and secure bonus points for the team.
Peppelman, junior Cameron Croy, and sophomore James Fox all secured major decisions and held their opponents to three points or fewer. Keith’s fall at 2:00 racked up even more bonus points.
The victories were the 98th and 94th career wins for Peppelman and Keith, respectively. The two co-captains currently rank sixth and seventh on the program’s all-time wins list.
MARYLAND 22, HARVARD 14
WRESTLING: Individual Success Characterizes YearComing off of a year that had very few individual or team victories, the Harvard wrestling team (5-10, 1-4 Ivy) performed considerably better in 2011-12, sending four grapplers to the NCAA tournament—the most since 2007—and posting its best head-to-head record since the 2008-09 season.