Gophers Falter 21-17 to Rider
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota wrestling team fell to the Rider Broncs 21-17 on Friday night at Williams Arena.
After the Gophers fell behind early in the dual, 141-pound Mitch McKee righted the ship with a quick 40-second pin to tie the dual up at six. McKee now has three pins in just six matches this season.
Just one bout later, 149-pound Brayton Lee kept the momentum rolling with an 11-7 decision that saw him earn five takedowns to his opponent’s lone two-point takedown.
Coming out of intermission, 165-pound Bailee O’Reilly gave the Gophers a jolt of energy with his major decision over Georgio Poullas. An aggressive O’Reilly had the scoring advantage from the start and ultimately finished with a 17-9 major decision to start the second half.
Earning his second dual victory of the season was Owen Webster at 184-pounds. Sensing his opponent tiring out, Webster continued to shoot takedown attempts which ultimately paid off in the final minute.
With less than 20 seconds remaining, Webster locked up Rider’s George Walton and flipped him to his back for a four-point nearfall sent the Williams Arena crowd into a wild frenzy.
While the Gophers held the lead after Webster’s victory, the Gophers dropped the final two bouts to lose the dual.
He dropped the match, but 165-pound Carson Brolsma only fell to No.8 Jesse Dellavechia by 3-2 decision. A late takedown in the waning moments of the first period proved the difference as Brolsma’s escape and riding time point weren’t enough for a top-ten upset.
Closing out the night was heavyweight Bobby Steveson making his first dual appearance for the Gophers in nearly two seasons.
With the Gophers trailing 6-0 after the first two bouts, 141-pound Mitch McKee came to the rescue. The 2019 All-American and Minnesota native took only 40 seconds to pin Rider’s Chris Wright and earn the Maroon and Gold a critical six team points.
“It’s tough but we’ve got to move on. It’s early in the season and we’ve got another chance on Sunday. It’s just a sour taste in our mouth.” – Head Coach Brandon Eggum said postgame.
The Gophers return to tournament action on Sunday when they head to Brookings, South Dakota, for the annual Daktronics Open. Over half over the Minnesota roster will compete either attached or unattached.
Rider 21 Minnesota 17
125: Jonathan Tropea dec. (10-3) over Pat McKee (Rider leads 3-0)
133: Chris Wright dec. (6-5) over Brent Jones (Rider leads 6-0)
141: No. 4 Mitch McKee fall (0:40) over Herb Edwards (Tied 6-6)
149: No. 10 Brayton Lee dec. (11-7) over Gino Fluri (Minnesota leads 9-6)
157: No.8 Jesse Dellavecchia dec. (3-2) over Carson Brolsma (Tied 9-9)
165: Bailee O’Reilly major dec. (17-9) over Georgio Poullas (Minnesota leads 13-9)
174: Dean Sherry fall (2:52) No.7 Devin Skatzka (Rider leads 15-13)
184: Owen Webster major dec. (11-3) over George Walton (Minnesota leads 17-15)
197: No. 13 Ethan Laird dec. (7-3) over Dylan Anderson (Rider leads 18-17)
285: Ryan Cloud dec. (1-0) over Bobby Steveson (Rider leads 21-17)