Gophers finish the weekend 1-1

Although the Gophers lost on Friday against Nebraska, Minnesota bounced back Sunday against Maryland.

Freshman Gable Steveson competes during the match against the University of Maryland on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers beat Maryland 45-0.

Image by Elle Moulin

Freshman Gable Steveson competes during the match against the University of Maryland on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers beat Maryland 45-0.

by David Mullen

The Gophers (13-3, 6-2 Big Ten) wrestling team dominated the Maryland Terrapins 45-0 Sunday, bouncing back after falling to Nebraska on Friday. 

The win is the first shut-out for the Gophers in a Big Ten conference dual since 2012.

After falling to Nebraska on Friday, head coach Brandon Eggum said there were endless opportunities of growth that come with losing.

“It’s hard to have any growth without any challenges,” Eggum said. “We [have to] wrestle and make adjustments.”

Those adjustments showed Sunday as the Gophers started hot and never cooled off. 

After No. 6 Sean Russell won by a forfeit decision, No. 8 Ethan Lizak came onto the mat determined to make up for his Friday defeat.

“To get better you have to change some stuff and if that means getting a little out of your comfort zone,” Lizak said. 

He began his match by getting a quick takedown within the first 45 seconds, which set the tone for the rest of the match. Lizak pinned his opponent in the first period.

No. 10 Mitch McKee and No. 19 Tommy Thorn followed in Lizak’s footsteps by also getting quick, first period victories. McKee won with a pin in 2:37 while Thorn got his victory with a technical fall, which put the Gophers ahead 23-0. 

No. 8 Steve Bleise followed with a major decision victory of his own after registering six takedowns in his match, which put Minnesota ahead of the Terrapins 27-0.

Carson Brolsma, No. 12 Devin Skatzka, Brandon Krone and Dylan Anderson won their matches, which gave the Gophers a commanding 42-0 lead before freshman standout Gable Steveson had his turn. 

Steveson won the match after a quick takedown, earning his 26th straight victory. The streak is tied for 16th longest in Gophers history. 

Nebraska comeback leads Minnesota to defeat on Friday.

Although the Gophers began the dual with early momentum after three consecutive wins, the Nebraska Cornhuskers won the following six matches, putting them ahead of the Gophers 21-18.

Steveson continued his historic freshman start winning his 25th consecutive match, which at the time put him 19th on the Gophers all-time consecutive winning streak. 

Russell began the dual for the Gophers with a pin over No. 16 Zeke Moisey in the final period. 

Lizak and McKee followed Russell’s victory with wins of their own, but the momentum switched in favor of the Cornhuskers from there.

After registering the first takedown in the 149-pound dual, Thorn was dropped by his opponent in a major decision 10-2, which gave Nebraska their first points of the dual as they trailed 14-4. 

Bleise, Brolsma, Skatzka, Krone and Anderson were dropped by Nebraska, which put them ahead in the dual. Steveson ended the dual in Lincoln, Nebraska with a victory for the Gophers with a major decision, but it was not enough to overturn the late Nebraska lead as the Cornhuskers won 21-18.

Jack Warrick contributed to this story.