Minnesota tops top-10 Penn State

The team came away with a one-point victory in Sunday’s meet.

Danny Chen

The Gophers fell short of a national championship last year, only losing to Penn State.

The No. 1 Gophers came up on top on Sunday, outplaying the No. 6 Nittany Lions 17-16 to remain undefeated in the season.

This is the second consecutive year the Gophers defeated Penn State by one point in the regular season.

“We split [the meet] five to five,” head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said. “There were a lot of tough [matchups], but we were just proud that the guys are continuing every weekend to get out there and finding ways to win.”

The Gophers had a 17-6 lead after the meet’s first seven matches, but they lost the final three that gave Penn State 10 team points.

The meet began with redshirt senior Chris Dardanes in the 133-pound weight class.

After a sudden victory against Illinois in his previous meet, Dardanes put on yet another show.

Dardanes, No. 1 in his weight class, wrestled Penn State’s No. 9 Jimmy Gulibon.

The match was scoreless until Dardanes’ escape in the second period.

In the third period, Gulibon also had an escape, tying the match 1-1.

Then, with the final seconds of the third period winding down, Dardanes had a takedown to give him a two-point lead.

He ended up winning the match 3-2 with a takedown.

Dardanes said the key for him was to be patient and not let the crowd distract him.

“I just tried to stay in good position [during the match],” Dardanes said. “[Gulibon] is a really explosive wrestler, and I thought that I needed to keep the pressure on him. In the third period, I finally had an opening, and I went for it.”

Redshirt sophomore Brett Pfarr also won his match. Eggum said he did a nice job of competing in the 184-pound weight class.

Pfarr won his duel over Matthew McCutcheon with an 11-5 decision.

Even with a decision win, Pfarr said he was a little disappointed he didn’t get a major decision victory.

“I was one takedown away,” Pfarr said. “I knew that I could have gotten the points if I had more time. But in the end it was a win, so it was good for the team.”

Eggum said Pfarr had a great chance of getting a major decision victory.

“[Pfarr] actually gave up the first takedown before coming back to rally quite a few [points],” Eggum said. “He has done a great job of scrambling, and he is a hard wrestler to beat [in that situation]. As the match went on, he wore down his opponent, and it opened up [scoring
opportunities].”