Minnesota earns pair of wins on the road

The Gophers won both meets by a total of three points over the weekend.

Michael Kroells contends against Purdue wrestler Tyler Kral in the heavyweight weight class matchup at the Sports Pavilion on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Liam James Doyle, Daily File Photo

Michael Kroells contends against Purdue wrestler Tyler Kral in the heavyweight weight class matchup at the Sports Pavilion on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Jack White

The outcome of a dual came down to the final match twice for the Gophers over the weekend.
 
 
On Friday, No. 9 Michael Kroells picked up a major decision to give Minnesota a 22-20 victory over Northwestern. No. 7 Tommy Thorn won at 141 pounds to push the team past Wisconsin 17-16 on Sunday
 
 
“I think the guys are wrestling with more intensity,” head coach J Robinson said Friday. “We talked a little bit about getting out there and getting in a fight. I think some of our guys wrestled harder today, and when they do that, good things happen.”
 
 
Minnesota lost the first two matches on Friday in Evanston, Ill., by a decision and technical fall, respectively. 
 
 
Thorn won the third match 10-3 to give Minnesota its first three points of the night.
 
 
Gophers No. 16 Jake Short then pulled off an upset over No. 4 Jason Tsirtsis in the fourth match of the night. Short scored two takedowns in the third period to come back in the match and earn the victory.
 
 
The Gophers pulled ahead when redshirt junior Brandon Kingsley pinned his opponent but fell behind again by losing two of their next three matches.
 
 
No. 3 Brett Pfarr won at 197 pounds to put Minnesota within two points, and Kroells clinched the dual for Minnesota with an 11-2 major decision.
 
 
“I felt good. I took a lot of shots,” Kroells said. “I was glad was able to pull it off for the team. I knew I could beat that guy. … The situation didn’t change.” 
 
 
Saturday was Thorn’s turn to give the Gophers a late push.
 
 
Short lost the first match of the dual in an overtime period to put Minnesota in an early 3-0 hole. Kingsley managed to tie the dual in the next match, rallying from a 6-0 deficit to win 13-7.
 
 
“Today, [Kingsley] got behind, and in the past, I’m not sure he would have come back, but he fought his back and did a great job. And that’s what you want to see,” Robinson said. “You want to see those guys fighting.”
 
 
The two teams split the next two matches, and redshirt sophomore Chris Pfarr narrowly avoided a pin as the second period expired in his match.
 
 
His match went into overtime where he lost on a takedown, and Minnesota trailed 10-6.
 
 
Brett Pfarr put the Gophers ahead again with a technical fall, and Kroells won the heavyweight matchup to increase the team’s lead to 14-10.
 
 
Wisconsin won the next two matches to take a two-point lead into the 141-pound weight class bout, but Thorn never left the outcome in doubt.
 
 
He defeated Luke Rowh of Wisconsin 6-0 to give the Gophers their second victory of the weekend.
 
 
“It was exciting to get the win, seal the deal,” Thorn said. “I’ve never been in that position before.”