The No. 10 Gophers overpowered Fresno State on Sunday afternoon at Maturi Pavilion.
Minnesota won all but two matches en route to a 38-7 victory. As a team, they had two pins, two technical falls and four major decision victories.
“Their aggressiveness and the way they started the matches, from the beginning all the way through the end of that seventh minute, I thought guys wrestled really intense with a lot of passion,” head coach Brandon Eggum said.
Minnesota sophomore Bobby Steveson recorded his first victory of the season. He defeated Fresno State’s Richie Brandt in a 19-4 major decision at 197. Steveson had struggled before today’s dual. He was having trouble getting his weight down, which caused him to start the season with an 0-5 overall record. Steveson thinks this win will help get him back on track.
“It’s good momentum,” Steveson said. “The past couple of weeks were kind of a struggle with getting the weight down. At Cliff Keen, things didn’t go the way I wanted to, but I just had to stay positive. I didn’t feel fatigued at all out there today, so I was able to just keep going and going and going. I wasn’t tired at all.”
Minnesota had strong performances up and down its lineup Sunday. No. 8 Mitch McKee and No. 10 Tommy Thorn both had pins. McKee pinned his opponent late in the first period at 133 to give the Gophers a 6-0 lead. Thorn followed him with another pin at 141.
Sophomore Owen Webster won an 18-3 technical fall at 184 and No. 5 Ethan Lizak also won with a technical fall at 125. His match finished 19-2 in his favor. No. 13 Jake Short won a major decision at 157, No. 9 Nick Wanzek won a major decision at 165 and Chris Pfarr won a major decision at 174.
“I think we were all ready to go,” Short said. “You could see it on our faces. Not one of our guys went out there thinking they were going to be close or they were going to lose.”
Minnesota only lost two matches Sunday. The losses came at 149 and heavyweight. Sophomore Hunter Marko fell in a 14-2 major decision at 149 and fellow sophomore Rylee Streifel lost a 5-1 decision at heavy weight.
“We dropped a couple matches that we’d like to get back and win,” Eggum said. “Especially at heavyweight, I think we had control riding him out in the second period. We have to make some adjustments. I think we could have been a little more urgent."
The Gophers improve their dual record to 3-1. They can use this performance as a momentum builder as the season goes on.