The Gophers recorded a victory over a top-10 opponent Saturday — Oklahoma State.
Despite the victory, head coach J Robinson said the team has room for improvement.
“We didn’t wrestle as good as we should have,” he said. “It’s always good when you win, [but] there are things that we need to work on.”
With a 6-0 decision in the 157-pound weight class, redshirt senior Dylan Ness clinched the 19-15 team victory for the No. 1 Gophers against the No. 8 Cowboys.
“It is good to wrestle a top-10 opponent so you can really see where you are … and get an idea of where some of the individuals are and the team as a whole,” Robinson said.
The victory marked the second consecutive year the Gophers have defeated Oklahoma State.
Minnesota won its first three matches before dropping two in a row in the heavyweight and 125-pound weight classes.
Tied 9-9 going into the sixth match — the 133-pound weight class — the Gophers looked to redshirt senior Chris Dardanes to regain the lead.
Dardanes had only a slight advantage entering the third period, but he took control of the match once the period began.
Dardanes scored 13 points during the last two minutes, giving him a final score of 20-8 in the major-decision victory over his opponent.
“That was my match strategy,” Dardanes said. “The third period is usually the time when I am looking to break the guy and look to exhaust him. It is a period where I am feeling comfortable and just ready to wrap [everything] up.”
The victory gave the Gophers a 13-9 lead. After the next two sets, they led 16-12.
Oklahoma State was within striking distance, but Ness’ victory over Anthony Collica sealed the victory for the Gophers in the second-to-last match of the night.
“I [wrestled] pretty fair,” Ness said. “I didn’t end up getting the takedown in the third period to give my team more points, [so] that was a disappointment. [But] it felt good going out there and getting a win. I think [winning] took pressure off our freshman that was coming up after me.”
That freshman, redshirt Nick Wanzek, ended up losing to No. 1 Alex Dieringer in a 9-2 decision.
But despite that loss, the Gophers won six matches in the dual meet.
Robinson said the team has to continue moving forward this season and win extra points to defeat opponents of similar caliber.
“We need to get those points — we just need to,” Robinson said. “[It] really defines what we do and how we wrestle. We have to be super aggressive, and we were not really aggressive tonight.”