MINNEAPOLIS -- David Thorn ignited third-ranked Minnesota against 16th-ranked Hofstra on Friday night, picking up a first-period pin over returning All-American Steve Bonanno in the opening match of a 32-6 Gopher victory over the Pride.
David Thorn pinned All-American Steve Bonanno in his debut at 125 pounds (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)It was Thorn's career debut at 125 pounds after competing at 133 pounds the previous two seasons.
"I love being the 125-pounder," said Thorn, who entered the dual meet ranked 11th. "I'm the first guy on the mat. There's no question in your mind when you're wrestling. They announce the lineups and you go out there and wrestle."
Thorn scored a takedown off an inside trip just over a minute into the match to take a 2-0 lead. Bonanno picked up an escape to make it 2-1. Late in the first period Bonanno nearly scored the go-ahead takedown off a single leg, but Thorn countered. Bonanno then transitioned to a body lock and looked to have the upper hand as he attempted to throw the Gopher to the mat, but Thorn reversed the action and pinned Bonanno as time expired in the first period.
Thorn admitted that he couldn't see the clock, but was sure he had Bonanno's shoulders flat on the mat.
"I had a pretty good view from where I was at, and I definitely thought he was pinned," said Thorn. "I had no idea what the clock was at."
Hofstra coach Rob Anspach challenged the call, arguing that time had expired before the pin occurred, but the call stood.
"I thought time was clearly out," said Anspach. "I was on the mat when it was zero, and then he hit the mat, so it was at least two or three seconds. The crowd was going crazy. Obviously, the official couldn't hear us yelling. But time was out. That's six points for them."
All-American Chris Dardanes kept the ball rolling for Minnesota as he picked up a 9-5 victory over 15th-ranked Jamie Franco at 133 pounds. Dardanes used a reversal and three takedowns in the final period to pull away.
No. 13 Luke Vaith picked up a mild upset over No. 7 Nick Dardanes at 141 pounds (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)One of Hofstra's few bright spots on Friday night came at 141 pounds where Luke Vaith scored a late takedown off a double leg to win 6-4 over No. 7 Nick Dardanes.
"I just train on keeping a good pace all the time and wrestling hard," said Vaith. "I wrestle with (Hofstra assistant coach) Zach Tanelli almost every day, and that's kind of what we work on all the time. I was well prepared to go out there and grind for seven minutes. I think that's probably one of the biggest things."
Vaith, native of Hastings, Minn., was wrestling in front of many family members and friends in his home state.
"It was great," said Vaith of his return to Minnesota. "It's always fun coming to see your family and friends and everyone who has supported me through the years. It was a good opportunity for me, and I'm glad that my coaches were able to set this up. I thank Minnesota for letting Hofstra come in and wrestle here."
At 149 pounds, it was originally expected to be a battle of returning All-Americans with Minnesota's Dylan Ness taking on Hofstra's Justin Accordino. But neither wrestler took the mat on Friday night. Matt Spataro filled in for Accordino and edged Minnesota's Tommy Giamio 5-4 to cut the deficit to 9-6 Minnesota.
Two-time All-American Kevin Steinhaus proved to be too much for Taras Luzhnyy (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)But it would be all Minnesota the rest of the way. The Gophers swept the remaining six matches, with four of those victories coming with bonus points. At 157 pounds, Seth Lange earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Tyler Banks in the second sudden victory period. Cody Yohn won by technical fall at 165 pounds. The next three Gophers to take the mat, Logan Storley (174), Kevin Steinhaus (184), and Scott Schiller (197), earned major decision victories. NCAA champion Tony Nelson closed out the dual meet with a 6-3 victory over Hofstra's Paul Snyder at 285 pounds.
Robinson characterized his team's performance as "all right" despite the lopsided 32-6 victory.
"There were some good things in the dual meet and there were some things that we need to work on," said Robinson. "But at some point you need to start."
125: No. 11 David Thorn (Minnesota) pinned No. 4 Steve Bonanno (Hofstra), 2:59
133: No. 6 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. No. 15 Jamie Franco (Hofstra), 9-5
141: No. 13 Luke Vaith (Hofstra) dec. No. 7 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota), 6-4
149: Matt Spataro (Hofstra) dec. Tom Giaimo (Minnesota), 5-4
157: Seth Lange (Minnesota) dec. Tyler Banks (Hofstra), 3-1 SV2
165: No. 10 Cody Yohn (Minnesota) tech. fall. Nick Terdick (Hofstra), 15-0
174: No. 6 Logan Storley (Minnesota) maj. dec. Jermaine John (Hofstra), 12-1
184: No. 4 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) maj. dec. Taras Luzhnyy (Hofstra), 10-0
197: No. 11 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) maj. dec. Victor Pozsonyi (Hofstra), 14-4
285: No. 1 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) dec. Paul Snyder (Hofstra), 6-3