Broken Hearts in Minnesota

Broken Hearts in Minnesota

High hopes of an undefeated season fell victim to Minnesota’s emotional senior day this past Sunday. Penn State took a painfully close 18-17 loss on the road against the Gophers. The dual kept the crowd in Minnesota, as well as the loyal fans watching from their homes, on the edge of their seats. Upsets erupted on both teams, but some served as a bigger shock than others.

125: PSU Nico Megaludis maj. dec. MINN Jordan Kingsley, 19-5

133: MINN David Thorn dec. PSU Jimmy Gulibon PSU, 2-0

141: PSU Zain Retherford dec. MINN Chris Dardanes, 4-0

149: MINN Nick Dardanes dec. PSU Zack Beitz, 6-4

157: MINN Dylan Ness pinned PSU Dylan Alton, WBF (5:57)

165: PSU David Taylor maj. dec. MINN Danny Zilverberg, 13-3

174: MINN Logan Storley dec. PSU Matt Brown PSU, 8-4

184: PSU Ed Ruth dec. MINN Kevin Steinhaus, 7-1

197: PSU Morgan McIntosh dec. MINN Scott Schiller, 8-4

285: MINN Tony Nelson dec. PSU Jon Gingrich, 6-0

Final: MINN-18, PSU-17

There was far too much excitement to give the spotlight to a single weight class.

The day started off with special recognitions of the Gophers’ senior wrestlers, which sparked the emotional wave that carried them to victory.

Megaludis quieted the crowd a bit with a big win in the opening dual, but senior 133 Gopher David Thorn (No. 8) was ready to make this day one to remember. Gulibon (No. 16) held his ground against Thorn, only giving up an escape going into the third. Worn down toward the end, Gulibon couldn’t gain control in the final minutes and lost 2-0.

Penn State replied with a win at 141 with Zain Retherford (No. 2) over Chris Dardanes (No. 6). Retherford concluded his win with a dominating ride to make the final score 4-0.

A last minute decision put freshman Zack Beitz in the PSU lineup against No. 3 Nick Dardanes. The match up made for the longest dual of the day, ending in a second sudden victory period. The win came down to the final four seconds where Beitz ran out of steam and fell to a Dardanes takedown. Beitz made his presence known in the 149-weight class as he almost caused a major upset.

Penn State was then at a one point deficit (7-6) when the match took a turn for the worst. Junior Gopher Dylan Ness shockingly won by fall over No. 4 Dylan Alton. What looked to be like a promising shot at a takedown for Alton in the third turned into a nightmare as Ness countered the shot. He then took Alton to his back for the pin.

penn state vs minnesotaAn excited Minnesota crowd cheered their own Danny Zilverberg on as he took on No. 1 David Taylor. Minnesota fans and teammates simply hoped to keep the damage to a minimum, and Zilverberg did a pretty good job. He kept the Gopher lead at 12-11.

Another surprise was in store for the 174 dual when No. 3 Matt Brown fell to Minnesota’s No. 6 Logan Storley. Brown scored first with an escape in the second. Soon after Storley countered a Brown takedown attempt and déjà vu ensued to the Ness pin over Alton, but Brown was able to get away only giving up back points. Brown couldn’t make up for the lost time and walked away with a loss at a score of 8-4.

No. 1 Ed Ruth continued to dominate his weight class and took the win on Sunday against Minnesota’s No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus. A minor decision win isn’t the usual for Ruth, but nonetheless it was a win.

The team score stood at 15-14 Minnesota going into the 197 dual. Undefeated, No.1 Gopher Scott Schiller was expected to win over Penn State’s No. 5 Morgan McIntosh. The points went back and forth for the first two periods, but McIntosh took total control in the third. The third started at 2-2, then McIntosh completely dominated the mat with three takedowns and finished the dual 8-4. This was easily the biggest upset of the day.

It all came down to the heavyweights, the score 17-15 Penn State. PSU Jon Gingrich filled in for still injured Jimmy Lawson and took on No. 5 Tony Nelson. Gingrich fought off a few Nelson shots in the first, but couldn’t hold him off towards the end. He let Nelson escape, fell to a takedown, and failed to fight off a Nelson ride. The final score was 4-0, and ended the team score at 18-17 Minnesota.

A tough blow for Penn State, but at 13-1 they still clinch to their No. 1 ranking. Without their starting heavyweight, that deciding last match can win or lose a dual, as it did this past Sunday. Gingrich continues to hold his ground as heavyweight while we wait for Jimmy Lawson to make his return to his closing spot.

There’s no question they’ll be back at their best for the biggest home match of the season coming up this Sunday, February 16th against No. 4 Oklahoma State. The dual will kick off at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall and the Big Ten Network will provide coverage.