MANKATO, Minn. — Pins from freshman Blake Bosch and junior Conner Monk propeled the Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team to a 24-16 win over Minnesota State, Mankato, in a dual meet Thursday night in Mankato, Minn.
MSUM improved to 5-4 overall and 2-0 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with the win, while Mankato, which was ranked in the top 20 earlier this season, fell to 2-5 overall and 2-1 in the league.
“I’m really happy with this win. They’ve got a young team and have had some injuries, which we also have dealt with,” Nelson said. “We both have young teams. It was good to get the win.”
“It’s a big deal,” said senior Connor MacGregor, who earned a key win at 149 pounds for MSUM. “The last time we beat Mankato I wasn’t even in school. It feels good to be a part of it and have contributed.”
Bosch set the tone for MSUM at 125 pounds. He gradually built an 8-0 lead and in the third period, finished off a pin in 6:10 to give MSUM a 6-0 lead in the dual. Bosch is now 12-8 on the year.
“That got us going with that pin,” Nelson said. “Blake wrestled a great match.”
MSUM won by forfeit at 133 pounds to stretch the lead to 12-0. Mankato got on the board at 141 as Alphonso Vruno beat Dragon redshirt freshman Isaac Novacek, 13-8, bringing the Mavericks within 12-3.
MacGregor’s big win came at 149. He trailed 7-5 against Weston Droegemueller in the second period but scored six straight points — four coming on a pair of takedowns — to take an 11-7 lead. Droegemueller scored a reversal to climb within 11-9, but MacGregor followed with an escape and takedown to secure a 14-9 win, pushing the MSUM lead to 15-3 in the dual.
“He got a shot and wound up putting me on my back,” MacGregor said. “We got a scramble and I ended up reversing him and putting him to his back, and I started riding him…I felt like I had a lot of presence.”
“Connor went out there and got us a win,” Nelson said. “That was one of the bigger matches of the night. It got the guys on the bench excited.”
Wins by decision at 157 and 165 brought Mankato within 15-9. Monk then helped MSUM regain the momentum for good.
The junior from Wausau, Wis., scored a takedown, and then got Darick Vancura — who entered the match with a 22-7 record to his back and recorded the fall in just 37 seconds to push the MSUM lead to 21-9.
“My strategy was to go in with a more defensive approach,” Monk said. “The guy ended up shooting in on me and we sprawled and I ended up getting a cradle right away. He took the shot and that worked out perfect for me.”
Senior Matt Lewellen continued his good season, beating Scott VanDeLoo by a 3-1 decision at 184 pounds to give the Dragons an insurmountable 24-9 lead.
“Matt wrestled a good match. He wrestled hard and got us the win,” Nelson said.
Mankato won by decision at 197 and by major decision at 285 to climb within 24-16 at the end.
MSU-Mankato will get an eight-day break after competing in five duals in the last seven days. The Mavericks return to action Saturday, Jan. 25, as it hosts Augustana at Taylor Center.
The Dragons will look to continue the momentum off of its big win at No. 10-ranked Upper Iowa on Friday. The match begins at 7 p.m. in Fayette, Iowa.
“It means a lot,” Monk said of beating Mankato. It definitely helps our team with our confidence. We need to refocus and hit it hard at Upper Iowa.”
MSU-Moorhead 24, MSU-Mankato 16
125-Blake Bosch (MSUM) pinned Trevor Schultz, 6:10
133-Shane Novak (MSUM) won by forfeit
141-Alphonso Bruno (Mank) dec. Isaac Novacek, 13-8
149-Connor MacGregor (MSUM) dec. Weston Droegemueller, 14-9
157-Adam Cooling (Mank) dec. Dan Murakami, 13-5
165-Sawyer Hoffman (Mank) dec. Shawn Porter, 7-3
174-Conner Monk (MSUM) pinned Darick Vancura, 0:37
184-Matt Lewellen (MSUM) dec. Scott VanDeLoo, 3-1
197-Brendan Eichmann (Mank) dec. Tyler Schlosser, 7-1
285-Corby Running (Mank) maj. dec. Gerad Fugleberg, 11-3