In front of a nearly packed house in Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D., the No. 6 ranked University of Minnesota battled through every level of adversity to defeat South Dakota State University 20-12 on Friday night.
“Our guys wrestled really well today, and I loved how they competed,” head coach Brandon Eggum said after the dual. “This type of environment provided us a huge test and for these guys to respond in the ways they did was phenomenal.”
The difference in the dual ended up being junior Tommy Thorn’s victory at 141-pounds. Thorn earned a major decision victory over Henry Pohlmeyer after missing the Air Force dual. Thorn dominated throughout the match and earned numerous takedowns to win 13-4 with the bonus point.
“Thorn looked great tonight,” Eggum added. “He has a great match coming on Sunday, so it was nice to see him come out tonight and perform at such a high level.”
The night began with a strong performance from Owen Webster at 184-pounds. The sophomore turned defense into offense in the first period after sprawling; he spun around and scored the opening points of the dual. Webster’s opponent was able to tie up his match at 2-2 after a headgear grab and escape, but Webster countered with an escape of his own and one final takedown before adding his second straight bonus point to give Minnesota the opening victory.
After a close defeat at 197 in sudden victory time, Rylee Streifel put Minnesota back in front of the Jackrabbits. Streifel and his opponent, Alex Macki, remained scoreless after one period. Macki escaped to earn the first points of the match, but a takedown at the end of the second period gave the Prior Lake native his first lead of the match heading into the final period. The sophomore was able to defend his way to the 3-1 victory in the third period, his second straight win with that score.
Lizak took the mat at 125, and struck early and never looked back. The junior scored at 1:30 in the first period, and then not only did Lizak not allow the escape, he put his opponent on his back for two separate near fall calls, giving him an 8-0 lead at the end of the first period. Then at the start of the second, instead of an escape, Lizak scored on a reversal, and make it 10-0 and added a bonus point to win 11-0 and put Minnesota up 10-3.
“I think sometimes people forget how dangerous Ethan is when he gets to the legs because of his length. It was a good win for him, I thought he looked really sharp.”
After Thorn’s victory, Hunter Marko continued his early season success at 149. After a scoreless first period, Marko escaped in the second and then secured a takedown with just mere seconds left in the second, which was unsuccessfully challenged by SDSU. Marko used the 3-0 lead and was able to grind his way to the Gophers fifth victory.
The Maroon and Gold earned their sixth and final victory of the night when Nick Wanzek took the mat. The senior jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, and he never surrendered his lead for the remainder of the match.
Minnesota will jump on a flight to Oklahoma for a big matchup with No. 3 Oklahoma State on Sunday. The Gophers will enter Gallagher-Iba Arena at 5:00 p.m. to possibly have four ranked matchups take place.
The Jackrabbits continue dual action by traveling to fifth-ranked Arizona State on Nov. 26. The match is slated for a noon Mountain (1 p.m. Central) start in Tempe, Arizona. The dual is scheduled to be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
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#6 Minnesota 20, #16 South Dakota State 12
184 Owen Webster (Minnesota) dec. Martin Mueller (South Dakota State) 6-2
197 Brady Ayers (South Dakota State) dec. Bobby Steveson (Minnesota) 8-6 sv
285 Rylee Streifel (Minnesota) dec. Alex Macki (South Dakota State) 4-1
125 #5 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) maj. dec. Connor Brown (South Dakota State) 11-0
133 #1 Seth Gross (South Dakota State) dec. #6 Mitch McKee (Minnesota) 9-4
141 #8 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) maj. dec. Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State) 13-4
149 Hunter Marko (Minnesota) dec. Colten Carlson (South Dakota State) 3-2
157 #18 Luke Zilverberg (South Dakota State) dec. #10 Jake Short (Minnesota) 5-2
165 #10 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) dec. Zach Carlson (South Dakota State) 8-5
174 #15 David Kocer (South Dakota State) dec. Chris Pfarr (Minnesota) 6-2
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