Gophers Fall in Conference Opener to Northwestern
EVANSTON, Ill. – The No. 8 University of Minnesota wrestling program suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, as they fell to Northwestern by a score 18-11 inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The story of the dual was the swing matches, as Northwestern won five of the six ranked matchups in the dual, with all five wins coming in the final five bouts to help the Wildcats overcome a halftime deficit.
After dropping the first bout of the dual at 165 pounds, Bailee O’Reilly put the Gophers on the board first with a dominant 17-5 major decision over Ankhaa Enkhmandakh. O’Reilly put on a clinic on the feet, with a total of seven takedowns in the bout in order to secure the bonus-point win.
Isaiah Salazar followed that performance up with a major decision of his own, as he defeated Evan Bates by a 15-1 score. Salazar collected nearly five minutes of riding time in the contest, proving to be the superior wrestler both on the feet in the match.
Michial Foy kept Minnesota in the win column at 197 pounds, as he defeated No. 27 Andrew Davison by 2-0 decision. After a scoreless first period, Foy struck first with a second-period escape, then rode out the entirety of the third frame to close out the narrow victory.
That would be the last time the Gophers would find the scoreboard, however, as Northwestern would rally back to take each of the remaining bouts by decision to help secure the dual victory.
With the loss, the Gophers fall to 7-1 on the year and 0-1 in Big Ten competition. Northwestern jumps to 2-0 this season, with a 1-0 record in conference play.
Looking ahead, the Gophers will resume Big Ten action next weekend as they travel to Lincoln for a dual with Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8:00 p.m. CST, before heading home to host their conference home opener against Michigan State on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 p.m. CST.
January 7, 2023 | Evanston, Illinois | Welsh-Ryan Arena | Attendance: 506
#7 Northwestern 18 #8 Minnesota 11
165: Maxx Mayfield (NW) dec. #21 Andrew Sparks (MINN), 5-3
174: #15 Bailee O’Reilly (MINN) maj. dec. Ankhaa Enkhmandakh (NW), 17-5
184: #12 Isaiah Salazar (MINN) maj. dec. Evan Bates (NW), 15-1
197: #30 Michial Foy (MINN) dec. #27 Andrew Davison (NW), 2-0
HWT: #4 Lucas Davison (NW) dec. #25 Garrett Joles (MINN), 5-1
125: Double Forfeit
133: #13 Chris Cannon (NW) dec. #20 Aaron Nagao (MINN), 7-4
141: #13 Frankie Tal-Shahar (NW) dec. #8 Jake Bergeland (MINN), 2-1
149: #6 Yahya Thomas (NW) dec. #14 Michael Blockhus (MINN), 2-1 TB1
157: #9 Trevor Chumbley (NW) dec. #13 Brayton Lee (MINN), 8-4
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