The University of Minnesota wrestling team suffered their first home loss of the 2017-18 season against No. 8 Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
The Gophers picked up two victories during the dual. No. 10 Nick Wanzek defeated No. 5 Logan Massa by decision at 165 and then No. 10 Tommy Thorn picked up a victory at 141.
“Losing the close ones can be a little frustrating,” head coach Brandon Eggum said after the dual. “We had opportunities today and couldn’t come up big in some close matches that we feel we could of won today. We know losing this dual isn’t what we wanted, but we know when March comes around we will be using these moments to become better.”
The dual began at 149 pounds, where Steve Bleise took on Malik Amine. Amine escaped, and Bleise earned a point on an illegal hold, putting the score at 1-1 heading into the final period. Amine was able to turn Bleise and earned a four-point near fall, and a late takedown for Bleise had the match end 6-4 in favor of Amine.
A top-20 matchup was in place at 157-pounds when Jake Short took on No. 5 Alec Pantaleo. Pantaleo used a first-period takedown to take an early 2-1 lead. In the second, Short nearly had a pin in place on Pantaleo, and a challenge came from Eggum, but the call stood, and Pantaleo went on to take Short down a second time and secure the 5-2 decision.
Nick Wanzek continued his best career start when he took the mat at 165-pounds. The top-10 matchup started with Massa applying most of the offensive pressure, which gave him a 6-2 lead after one period. Wanzek responded with a reversal to open the second period, and turned it into a four-point near fall, giving him an 8-7 lead after Massa eventually got to his feet.
Wanzek wouldn’t relax with the lead, the senior took down Massa for the first time in the match and extended his lead to 10-7 in the second period. Massa escaped to begin the third period and looked to tie the match up, but Wanzek used the aggressiveness from Massa to his advantage, earning another takedown and putting his lead to 12-8, and a stall call made it 13-8.
Wanzek was close to a two-point near fall as time expired, but after further review, it was determined there was not enough time remaining to give Wanzek another major decision, and he settled for a 14-8 decision.
“Big win for Wanzek today,” Eggum said. “I could just tell he was excited and looking forward to it. He has been wrestling really well, but I also think he is in a really great spot mentally. He fights hard, and when you do that, good things will happen.”
“I’d say my game plan worked pretty well today,” Wanzek said after the dual. “I gave up some first-period takedowns, but I knew if I could keep it close in the third period, he was going to break and I was going to start to get my stuff.”
Chris Pfarr and Dylan Anderson each dropped matches at 174 and 184, giving Michigan a 15-3 lead after five matches.
At 197, Brandon Krone took the mat, giving up nearly 15-pounds to Minnesota native, Jackson Striggow. Krone would hang with the heavier Striggow. Krone was taken down twice in the first period, but was able to get on top and forced a stall call on Striggow, making it 4-2 in the third. Krone rode out Striggow for the remaining two periods but was unable to score on a turn, ultimately falling 4-3.
Rylee Streifel then faced No. 2 Adam Coon at heavyweight, and wrestled hard for seven minutes, but couldn’t secure a takedown, falling by decision, 7-2.
At 125-pounds, Ethan Lizak held a lead after a second stalling call in the second period on No. 13 Drew Mattin. Lizak wasn’t able to secure a turn on Mattin, and the two were at their feet in the third. Mattin was able to secure a takedown with just seconds left in the match and forced sudden victory.
In sudden victory, the two went scoreless in the first period, and then a reversal put Mattin up 4-2. Lizak would get back on top in the final extra period, but couldn’t score and fell 4-2.
After a pin for Michigan at 133-pounds, No. 10 Tommy Thorn took the mat at 141-pounds for the Golden Gophers. The All-American started the match with high pace, scoring the first takedown within the first 15 seconds. Thorn obtained a 6-1 advantage after a near fall, and then went up 9-1 after an escape and takedown. Thorn went on to finish off the major decision, 12-4, wrapping up the dual on a positive note for the Gophers.
The Gophers will shift their focus to the road this next Friday with No. 1 Penn State on Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. Minnesota will return home on Jan. 28 to take on Northwestern at Maturi Pavilion to wrap up their home schedule and honor the seniors.
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No. 8 Michigan 30 No. 13 Minnesota 7
149: Malik Amine (Michigan) dec. No. 16 Steve Bleise (Minnesota) 6-4
157: No. 5 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) dec. No. 19 Jake Short (Minnesota) 5-2
165: No. 10 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) dec. No. 5 Logan Massa (Michigan) 14-8
174: No. 6 Myles Amine (Michigan) maj. dec. Chris Pfarr (Minnesota) 12-3
184: No. 5 Domenic Abounader (Michigan) tech fall Dylan Anderson (Minnesota) 16-1, 4:33
197: Jackson Striggow (Michigan) dec. Brandon Krone (Minnesota) 4-3
Hwt: No. 2 Adam Coon (Michigan) dec. Rylee Streifel (Minnesota) 7-2
125: No. 13 Drew Mattin (Michigan) dec. No. 4 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) 4-2 tb1
133: No. 5 Stevan Micic (Michigan) fall No. 12 Mitch McKee (Minnesota) 4:13
141: No. 10 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) maj. dec. Sal Profaci (Michigan) 12-4