Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

Gophers wrestling falls to Ohio State

Despite returning two starters, Minnesota wasn’t able to secure a victory.
Senior Mitch McKee grapples with Ohio States Luke Fletcher at the Maturi Pavilion on Sunday Jan. 26. The Gophers lost 21-13 to the Buckeyes.
Image by Parker Johnson
Senior Mitch McKee grapples with Ohio State’s Luke Fletcher at the Maturi Pavilion on Sunday Jan. 26. The Gophers lost 21-13 to the Buckeyes.

Despite returning Gable Steveson and Brayton Lee to the lineup, the Gophers wrestling team dropped their second straight dual, falling to Ohio State 22-13 on Sunday. 

After earning a ranked victory in his dual debut against Michigan State, 157-pound Ryan Thomas opened Sunday’s dual with another win for the Gophers. He earned a 3-2 decision over Ohio State’s Elijah Cleary to give Minnesota an early 3-0 lead. 

The Gophers lead didn’t last long, as 165-pound Bailee O’Reilly lost a 12-4 major decision and 174-pound Devin Skatzka took a heartbreaking 2-1 loss as No. 8 Kaleb Romero landed a last minute takedown.

“The guys did some good things, and got exposed in a few areas,” head coach Brandon Eggum said. “It can be good, I know we can make some improvements and we need to win a couple of those matches.”

The Gophers fell even further behind when No. 1 Kollin Moore notched a technical fall over the Gophers’ 197-pound Hunter Ritter. At the halfway point, Minnesota found themselves down 12-6. But out of the break, Steveson, the No. 1 heavyweight in the nation, returned for the Gophers after missing the previous two duals with an injury. Steveson quickly made his presence known, landing a takedown in the first 10 seconds of his match against No. 23 Gary Traub. He kept his momentum going through all three periods as he notched the 13-2 major decision, cutting the Gophers deficit to two. 

“I feel real good tonight. Things didn’t go our way as a team. We had it,” Steveson said. “It’s a long season, we got to forget about some of the losses real quick, have short term memory and I think next week will be a good bounce back for us. And just keep it rolling from there.” 

At 125 pounds, Patrick McKee was able to retake the lead for Minnesota. His 5-1 victory put the Gophers up 13-12. After the Gophers lost at 133, the dual came down to two top-10 matches at 141 and 149 pounds. No. 5 Mitch McKee quickly landed a takedown on No. 1 Luke Pletcher, but Pletcher fought back, taking 16-6 decision and putting the dual out of reach for the Gophers. Trailing 19-13, Minnesota would need a pin from Lee to keep their hopes alive. 

Lee wasn’t able to get it for Minnesota. He nearly landed a late takedown against No. 6 Sammy Sasso, but Sasso beat him to it, securing a third period takedown for the 4-2 decision. 

“In a dual like this against a high ranked team, you got to win some of those close ones,” Eggum said. “It would of been nice for Brayton [Lee] to win that. I love the way he was moving his hands and attacking. There was a lot of offense by him. It would nice to be rewarded.” 

The Gophers return to the mat on Friday Jan. 31 at Purdue.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *