The University of Minnesota wrestling team took to the road on Friday and defeated No. 18 Rutgers 20-12 at the RAC. Minnesota won six matches during the dual, including a tech fall by No. 6 Ethan Lizak at 125-pounds.
The Gophers picked up victories, all by decision, from Rylee Streifel, No. 12 Mitch McKee, No. 14 Tommy Thorn, No. 17 Jake Short and Dylan Anderson.
“We had really good intensity by all ten guys who went out there today,” head coach Brandon Eggum said after the dual. “Even the matches we lost today, three of those four were matches we should have had. Miles [Patton] did a great job stepping in for us today, almost pulled off the upset at 149.”
“I think the guys showed great intensity to begin matches, and it led to scoring a lot of points. There is no question that the guys who score the opening takedown often win matches,” Eggum said. “We were just happy to see guys going out there and not focusing on winning, but wrestling the way we want them to wrestle for seven minutes.”
For the first time this season, the Gophers began a dual at heavyweight, giving Rylee Streifel the opportunity to come out and set the pace. Streifel and Razohnn Gross wrestled to a scoreless first period, and then Streifel started on top in the second.
Streifel was able to ride out Gross in the second period, keeping the Scarlet Knight off balance for the entire period, and putting riding time at two full minutes. Streifel kept his energy up, and was able to earn an escape quickly in the third period, giving him the first point of the match. Streifel was able to defend his way to a 2-0 decision, giving the Gophers the first points of the dual.
At the top of the lineup, it was Ethan Lizak who took the mat. With No.1 Nick Suriano not wrestling for the Scarlet Knights, Lizak went out and dominated. The 2017 NCAA Finalist took his opponent, Luke Ecklof, down within seconds of the first period, and went to work on top. Lizak eanred four points on a near fall, and held a 6-0 lead after one period.
In the second, Ecklof started on top, and Lizak slipped out between Ecklof’s legs to earn a two-point reversal, extending his lead to 8-0 early in the second. Lizak wouldn’t stop there, he earned a pair of four-point near falls, giving him his seventh tech fall of the season.
— Minnesota Wrestling (@GopherWrestling) February 10, 2018
With an 8-0 Minnesota lead, Mitch McKee took the mat for the Gophers at 133-pounds. McKee exchanged takedowns and escapes with No. 20 Scott DelVacchio, knotting the score at three near the end of the first period.
DelVacchio took McKee down once again at the end of the first, and then an escape in the second made McKee’s deficit 6-3. The sophomore began to chip away at DelVacchio, earning a takedown making it 6-5. Then McKee held his position on top for the remainder of the period, giving him over a minute of riding time, essentially tying the match headed into the third period.
In the third, DelVacchio was able to erase the riding time point, but McKee escaped to tie the match with 1:30 to go. McKee wasted no time, earning a takedown just 15 seconds later, and McKee rode out DelVacchio to earn the 9-6 decision, extending the Minnesota lead to 11-0.
All-American Tommy Thorn took the mat at 141-pounds against Michael Van Brill. The theme of the night continued to be early Minnesota takedowns, and Thorn kept that going, giving him a 2-0 lead early in the first. Thorn would force two stall calls on Van Brill, giving him a 3-0 lead after one.
After a quiet second period, Thorn escapes in the third, and then used a second takedown to go up 6-0 before the riding point made it a 7-0 decision for the redshirt junior.
In his first dual action since Nov. 21, 2015, Miles Patton showed heart in his match against No. 11 Eleazar DeLuca. Patton fell behind after an early takedown, but continued to hang around and trailed 3-1 early in the second. Patton had some good stuff offensively, and tied up the match at three with a takedown with short time in the second. Patton was able to take a 4-3 lead with 1:45 to go in the third after his escape, but DeLuca took it back with 1:10 to go, and was able to ride out Patton the rest of the way for the 6-4 decision.
After halftime, the Gophers returned with a 14-3 lead, and Jake Short was on the mat for the Maroon and Gold. After two minutes of scoreless wrestling, Short elevated John Van Brill’s leg and scored a takedown to open up the scoring.
Short chose to start the second period in the neutral position, and it paid off. Short earned a second takedown, giving him a 4-0 lead. Short held a 4-1 lead heading into the final period, and was able to hold on for the 4-3 decision by the time the horn rung out at the RAC, giving Minnesota a 17-3 lead with four matches to go.
The biggest match of the night came at 165, No. 8 Nick Wanzek took on No. 11 Richie Lewis. The two exchanged escapes heading into the final period, but Lewis was able to scramble his way to a takedown with short time, earning him a 3-1 decision over Wanzek.
At 174, Pfarr was put in an early hole after a takedown and four-point near fall in the first. Pfarr didn’t break though. He fought back, earning an escape and a reversal made it 7-3 at the end of two.
Pfarr continued to battle, and forced Joe Grello backwards continually. Grello was hit with numerous stall calls, giving Pfarr a chance with 1:10 to go, down just 9-7. Grello was able to secure a second takedown of Pfarr, giving him a 12-7 decision over Pfarr.
After Krone took a loss against No. 12 Nicholas Gravina, Dylan Anderson had the dual on his shoulders with the score at 17-12. Against Anthony Messner, a senior wrestling for the Scarlet Knights on senior night, Anderson stepped up to the challenge.
Anderson fell behind after a quick takedown to open the match, but the redshirt freshman made an adjustment and continued to press forward. He earned a reversal in the first, and by the start of the second period, riding time was also on his side.
The Hudson, Wis. native shook off Messner, and scored his second takedown, giving him a 5-3 lead with short time in the second. Anderson wouldn’t be denied, he escaped in the third to make it 6-3, but he didn’t stop wrestling. He earned two more takedowns to end the match, and earned the 11-4 decision and the Gophers the dual victory.
— Minnesota Wrestling (@GopherWrestling) February 10, 2018
Minnesota continues their final Big Ten roadtrip with Maryland on Sunday. The Gophers will be on the Big Ten Network for the third time this season, the dual is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. CT.
Make sure to follow the Gophers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you do not miss any content as we get closer to postseason action.
HWT: Rylee Streifel dec Razohnn Gross, 2-0 | Minn 3 - Rutgers 0
125: No. 6 Ethan Lizak tech fall Luke Ecklof, 16-0 | Minn 8 - Rutgers 0
133: No. 12 Mitch McKee dec No. 20 Scott DelVacchio, 9-6 | Minn 11 - Rutgers 0
141: No. 14 Tommy Thorn dec Michael Van Brill, 7-0 | Minn 14 - Rutgers 0
149: No. 11 Eleazar DeLuca dec Miles Patton, 6-4 | Minn 14 - Rutgers 3
157: No. 17 Jake Short dec John Van Brill, 4-3 | Minn 17 - Rutgers 3
165: No. 11 Richie Lewis dec No. 8 Nick Wanzek, 3-1 | Minn 17 - Rutgers 6
174: Joe Grello dec Chris Pfarr, 12-7 | Minn 17 - Rutgers 9
184: No. 12 Nicholas Gravina dec Brandon Krone, 7-1 | Minn 17 - Rutgers 12
197: Dylan Anderson dec Anthony Messner, 11-4 | Minn 20 - Rutgers 12
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