COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- With Maryland trailing 12-11, fifth-ranked Josh Asper took the mat at Comcast Pavilion for the final time and recorded a pin with 28 seconds left to send the 24th-ranked Terps past George Mason for a 23-15 victory Thursday night.
Asper's third fall of the season was fitting for the senior's final dual at Comcast Pavilion. Asper, the second winningest wrestler in program history, celebrated Senior Night with teammates Domenic DeRobertis, Brad Molina, Aaron Norris, Danny O'Malley and Ian Squires. DeRobertis and Norris also celebrated Senior Night with a victory.
"Just to see [Asper's] development from his freshman year until now is great," said head coach Kerry McCoy. "To see how he is able to go out and snatch victories and get the job done is a credit to him.
"I am really excited to have been able to coach all of these [seniors] over the last few years. They have all had a hand in our success in some way. When you become a part of our program, you are not just here to try and win a national championship. It's about being a part of a family."
At 165, DeRobertis set the stage for Asper's fall. After Mason won three consecutive matches to take a 12-8 lead, DeRobertis earned a 5-2 decision over the Patriots' Ty Kneep to trim deficit to one. DeRobertis took control of the match in the second period as he turned Kneep for a 3-point near fall 20 seconds into the period. He added a point for an escape and riding time to finish off the win.
Asper had little trouble with Mason's Seth Robertson. Asper scored six takedowns in three periods of action to take a commanding 16-3 lead. With the clock winding down, Asper powered Robertson to his back and pinned him at the 6:32 mark to put the Terps in front for good.
Norris filled in for seventh-ranked Jimmy Sheptock at 184 and finished his Maryland career with a 7-3 decision over Derek Dwyer. Following Norris, 13th-ranked Christian Boley used a late takedown to earn a 3-1 decision over Matt Meadows at 197 and clinch a Terrapin win.
The Terps stormed out of the gate to begin the dual with major decisions at 125 and 133. Paul O'Neill scored three takedowns in the first period and cruised to a 16-8 win over Rich Lavorato at 125. At 133, 12th-ranked Geoffrey Alexander used two takedowns and a 2-point near fall in the first period to distance himself from Zach Isenhour. Alexander won 12-3.
The Terps have two weeks to prepare for the ACC Championships on Saturday, March 9, which will be held at the Comcast Center.
125: Paul O'Neill (MD) maj. dec. Rich Lavorato (GM), 16-8 (4-0)
133: #12 Geoffrey Alexander (MD) maj. dec. Zach Isenhour (GM), 12-3 (8-0)
141: Sahid Kargbo (GM) fall over Brad Molina (MD), 2:55 (8-6)
149: Greg Flournoy (GM) dec. Danny O'Malley (MD), 2-1 (8-9)
157: Jaaziah Bethea (GM) dec. Ian Squires (MD), 10-5 (8-12)
165: Domenic DeRobertis (MD) dec. Ty Kneep (GM), 5-2 (11-12)
174: #5 Josh Asper (MD) fall over Seth Robertson (GM), 6:32 (17-12)
184: Aaron Norris (MD) dec. Derek Dwyer (GM), 7-3, (20-12)
197: #13 Christian Boley (MD) dec. Matt Meadows (GM), 3-1 (23-12)
285: Jake Kettler (GM) dec. Carl Buchholz (MD), 2-1 (23-15)