Gophers drop fourth straight dual

Down four starters, Minnesota lost to Iowa on the road.

Junior Brandon Krone at 197 wrestles a Northwestern wrestler during the match on Sunday, Jan. 28 at Maturi Pavillion.

Ellen Schmidt

Junior Brandon Krone at 197 wrestles a Northwestern wrestler during the match on Sunday, Jan. 28 at Maturi Pavillion.

Owen Mageau

Coming into the dual, head coach Brandon Eggum knew his team had a tough matchup with the seventh-ranked Hawkeyes.

Iowa made sure to reaffirm Eggum’s beliefs by the time the 10th match was finished.

No. 18 Minnesota (5-6, 2-4 Big Ten) fell to No. 7 Hawkeyes (11-2, 6-2 Big Ten) 34-7, handing the Gophers their fourth consecutive loss on Friday in Iowa City, Iowa.

“I’m proud of the guys that stepped in,” Eggum said. “We lost some close ones. It was a tough one.”

The Gophers were once again without Steve Bleise at 149 pounds, Owen Webster at 184 pounds and Bobby Steveson at 197 pounds.

Minnesota scored points in just two matches. Brandon Krone had Minnesota’s best performance of the night. He earned a major decision over No. 20 Mitch Bowman at 184. Mitch McKee provided Minnesota’s other points with a 7-2 decision at 133.

“Krone at 184, it was great to see him come out and dominate a top ranked opponent,” Eggum said. “He comes out and gets a major decision for us; that was big.”

Ben Brancale was pinned in the second period at 149. It was his second consecutive dual in which he was pinned. No. 10 Tommy Thorn was pinned late in the third period of his match after he was ahead 4-3 at 141. No. 6 Ethan Lizak was also pinned. Eggum thought he lost his focus while trying to hold on for the victory.

Dylan Anderson had a good night, despite not emerging from his match victorious. Anderson made his debut at 197. He put up a strong effort in a 10-7 loss to No. 7 Cash Wilcke.

“I’m every bit as impressed with Dylan Anderson, weighing in at 184, bouncing up, and wrestling the No. 5-ranked guy in the country,” Eggum said “He scored a couple take downs and in every bit, deserves to win that match, runs [his opponent] out of gas. I thought that was really impressive.”

Minnesota will now come home for a few days before traveling to New Brunswick, New Jersey for a dual with Rutgers on Feb. 9. With or without getting starters back, Minnesota needs to find it’s winning ways again in the near future. 

“Some of these guys have to step up,” Eggum said. “If they’re going to wrestle, they have to go wrestle to compete. We have a couple of tough duals coming up next week, especially at Rutgers, so some of these guys will get an opportunity to see if they can make the difference here.”