Absences persist in win over Ohio State, loss to Iowa

by Matt Anderson

C.P. Schlatter and Roger Kish can’t come back soon enough for Minnesota’s wrestling team.

Eighth-ranked 184-pounder Kish was joined by 157-pounder Schlatter on the sidelines this weekend, and their absences proved to be detrimental to the Gophers in a pair of dual meets.

No. 7 Minnesota (9-7, 3-3 Big Ten) dropped a 23-14 decision at No. 12 Iowa on Friday and then beat Ohio State in a less-than-impressive fashion Sunday by a score of 19-15.

In both dual meets, Minnesota lost at 157 and 184. On Friday, the Gophers gave up bonus points in both.

“I don’t think we wrestled real well,” second-ranked heavyweight Cole Konrad said. “We lost some we shouldn’t have lost, we didn’t win any that we weren’t supposed to and that’s the biggest problem.”

Each team won five bouts Sunday, but Matt Nagel’s pin at 165 and a major decision from Andrew Domingues, starting for the resting Bobbe Lowe at 125, provided the necessary bonus points to secure a victory over the Buckeyes.

The final outcome Sunday was overshadowed by third-ranked 133-pounder Mack Reiter’s 5-3 overtime loss at the hands of Ohio State’s No. 18 T.J. Enright.

“People aren’t going to do a whole lot on their feet (against Reiter),” coach J Robinson said. “They’re going to try and keep it as close as they can, so there’s just one takedown, one score. Enright shot once and got one takedown, and other than that last scramble, he never shot in the whole match.”

An opponent’s conservative strategy also frustrated Konrad on Sunday against Ohio State’s 16th-ranked Kirk Nail.

Konrad scored just once offensively with a third period reversal for a 3-2 win.

“These guys know how I wrestle, so they’re just trying to slow me down and block me,” Konrad said. “You can tell that they’re not really trying to win; they’re trying to keep it close. I’ve got to get through that.”

Konrad was also hampered offensively in his 2-0 victory over ninth-ranked Matt Fields of Iowa on Friday. Konrad’s only points came from his riding time advantage and an escape.

By the time Konrad wrestled, the outcome of the dual meet had already been decided.

After Danny Williams, wrestling up a weight class at 157 because of injury, was pinned to give Iowa a 13-8 lead at halftime, the 165-pound bout between fourth-ranked Mark Perry of Iowa and Minnesota’s 10th-ranked Matt Nagel became all the more crucial.

Nagel lost 3-1 after being taken down with 15 seconds remaining in overtime.

The match became controversial when, with 1:04 remaining in the third period, Perry was granted an injury timeout.

Robinson said he thought the timeout was for reasons other than injury.

“It’s nice to see that Iowa’s now taking timeouts,” Robinson said. “Every coach there knows the guy took a timeout, because he wasn’t hurt. And they let him. And they know it. And that’s – what’s the word I would want to use? It’s disappointing.”

The Gophers were unable to keep early momentum going after sixth-ranked Lowe and Reiter won to start the dual, and when Matt Koz was taken down in overtime by Matt Fellers, the Hawkeyes had clinched a dual victory.

With a weekend of disappointment behind them, the Gophers said they are looking forward to next weekend, when Robinson said he expects all of his starters will be able to wrestle.

“It’d just be so much better if we just had all 10 guys at every dual that we were going to put out there at the NCAAs,” Nagel said. “But thats not the way it works, so it’s tough.”