Wins on Senior Night by four Gopher seniors provided highlights for the home crowd
No. 1 Minnesota’s 17-match winning streak ended on Friday night as the Gophers fell to No. 2 Iowa, 23-12, in front of a crowd of 13,630 at Williams Arena, the second-largest crowd ever to witness a Gopher/Hawkeye dual. The loss is only Minnesota’s second in its last 31 dual meets.
Friday’s dual was the last home competition for the Gophers this season, and four graduating seniors – No. 6 Scott Schiller, No. 1 Chris Dardanes, No. 4 Nick Dardanes and No. 1 Dylan Ness – provided highlights for Gopher fans by winning their matches. In the case of both Schiller and Ness, those wins came in particularly exciting fashion.
Schiller took on No. 3 Nathan Burak at 197 in the night’s fourth bout. With the score tied at one with only seconds remaining, Schiller finished a takedown and, as the referee signaled the two points, the buzzer sounded, sealing Schiller’s 3-1 victory. The emotion of the moment was clear for Schiller, who rose to his feet with a huge smile on his face and saluted the home crowd as he left the mat.
Ness, who had been fighting an illness throughout the week, wrestled the night’s final match. He trailed No. 15 Michael Kelly 8-5 early in the third period but, with a big throw and persistence to collect back points, Ness made a four-point move, the key swing in claiming an 11-9 victory. The win improved Ness’ record this season to 23-0. His 23-match winning streak is tied for the 18th-longest in Gopher history.
The Gophers two other victories on the evening came from the Dardanes brothers. First, at 133, No. 1 Chris Dardanes remained undefeated this season by winning the third period of his match. Tied 2-2 with No. 5 Cory Clark after the second, Dardanes began the period with an escape before scoring his second takedown of the match, positioning him for a 5-3 victory. In the very next match, No. 4 Nick Dardanes also used an impressive third period to secure the victory, scoring five points in the final period (an escape and two takedowns) to defeat No. 5 Josh Dziewa, 7-3. Neither of the Dardanes allowed a takedown during their matches.
Friday’s dual began at 165, where a tight match between Brandon Kingsley and No. 7 Nick Moore ended when Moore pinned Kingsley in the second period, giving Iowa an early advantage. Iowa took the next two bouts, first at 174, where No. 2 Mike Evans scored a controversial takedown on No. 4 Logan Storley in sudden victory overtime to win, 3-1. On the takedown, it wasn’t initially clear that Evans had control on the mat before Storley kicked him over and ended up on top of Evans. After video review, the officials stuck with the initial call, giving Evans the 3-1 win. At 184, No. 11 Brett Pfarr dropped a 13-7 decision to No. 8 Sammy Brooks in one of the more wide-open matches of the night.
Schiller followed with his victory at 197. At 285, No. 13 Michael Kroells held tough with No. 2 Bobby Telford, but ultimately fell just short, 6-4, which gave Iowa a 15-3 lead at intermission. Following the break, No. 5 Thomas Gilman scored a tech fall over Ethan Lizak, 23-7. The Dardanes won the dual’s next two matches before a tight bout at 149, which No. 2 Blake Sorensen won over Jake Short, 4-0. With Iowa leading 23-9, Ness took the mat for the night’s final match and defeated Kelly.
With their home schedule now complete, the Gophers will hit the road next weekend for a pair of road duals, first against Ohio State at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Feb. 6, then against Maryland at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday, Feb. 8. Those two duals are the last in the 2014-15 Big Ten schedule for Minnesota. Both will be available to stream on BTN Plus.
#2 Iowa 23, #1 Minnesota 12
165: No. 7 Nick Moore (Iowa) fall (4:27) Brandon Kingsley (Minn) / Minnesota 0 – Iowa 6
174: No. 2 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. (SV-1) No. 4 Logan Storley (Minn), 3-1 / Minnesota 0 – Iowa 9
184: No. 8 Sammy Brooks (Iowa) dec. No. 11 Brett Pfarr (Minn.), 13-7 / Minnesota 0 – Iowa 12
197: No. 6 Scott Schiller (Minn) dec. No. 3 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 3-1 / Minnesota 3 – Iowa 12
285: No. 2 Bobby Telford (Iowa) dec. No. 13 Michael Kroells (Minn), 6-4 / Minnesota 3 – Iowa 15
125: No. 5 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) tech fall (5:39) Ethan Lizak (Minn), 23-7 / Minnesota 3 – Iowa 20
133: No. 1 Chris Dardanes (Minn) dec. No. 5 Cory Clark (Iowa), 5-3 / Minnesota 6 – Iowa 20
141: No. 4 Nick Dardanes (Minn) dec. No. 5 Josh Dziewa (Iowa), 7-3 / Minnesota 9 – Iowa 20
149: No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) dec. Jake Short (Minn), 4-0 / Minnesota 9 – Iowa 23
157: No. 1 Dylan Ness (Minn) dec. No. 15 Michael Kelly (Iowa), 11-9 / Minnesota 12 – Iowa 23