Minnesota opens Big Ten season with victory over Rutgers

Heavyweight Gable Steveson earned a technical fall (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)

The University of Minnesota kicked off the Big Ten season with a 22-15 dual victory over No. 20 Rutgers. The win is the Gophers seventh consecutive victory this season dating back to Nov. 25, 2018.

The Gophers remain undefeated against the Scarlet Knights, improving to 4-0 since the New Jersey school entered the Big Ten.

125-pound Sean Russell got the Gophers started fast with a 16-5 victory over Shane Metzler. Russell got to Metzler's legs twice in the first period to take a quick 4-1 lead which he turned into a 9-2 lead by the end of the second period. With over 3:30 in riding time, Russell dominated the match for his sixth consecutive bonus point victory.

With Ethan Lizak out for the dual due to a skin issue, 133-pound Skyler Petry made his 2018-19 dual debut against No.3 Nick Suriano. Petry and Suriano were locked in a tight battle until the end of the first period where Petry found himself on his back for four nearfall points. Suriano extended the lead in the final periods before notching the tech. fall 20-4.

Mitch McKee cruised to a 13-2 major decision at 141 pounds (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)

No. 5 Mitch McKee, wrestling for the first time at home since returning from injury, excited the crowd effortlessly. McKee got two quick takedowns in the first period before scoring two separate two-point nearfalls in the second as he rode out the entire period. McKee closed out the bout in the third period with an escape and takedown.

In his first home dual since Oklahoma State on Nov. 18, 2018 No. 11 Steve Bleise got off to a fast start with two takedowns within the first minute of the bout. Bleise got off bottom quickly in the second period and immediately turned to his double leg shot to get his offense going.

165-pound Carson Brolsma got the Gophers started out of intermission. After suffering an early takedown Brolsma got a takedown for himself and rode out the period to take a 3-2 lead into the second period. From there Brolsma scored another trio of takedowns to cement the victory.

No. 15 Devin Skatzka got his offense with a pair of first period takedwosn as well as a reversal soon after he got in a bad position. The 174-pounder transfer from Indiana finished off the match with a crucial riding time point providing the necessary cushion to leave victorious.

Heavyweight Gable Steveson continued his great freshman season with a takedown right off the whistle which he transitioned into a four-point nearfall. Steveson dominated the bout, constantly increasing his riding time advantage as he worked towards an ultimate 17-2 technical fall. He has four bonus point victories in a row since his decision over No. 6 Jordan Wood of Lehigh.

In the dual's first battle of ranked wrestlers No.20 Tommy Thorn and No. 2 Anthony Ashnault battled again after Thorn had previously beat Ashnault by 8-1 decision years ago. Ashnault got his revenge due in large part to a first period nearfall which gave the opponent a 6-0 lead. Ashnault extended the lead to win 14-4.

184-pound Brandon Krone made the most of his time on top to take the riding time above two minutes along with a two-point nearfall. Krone let up a late takedown to No. 12 Nicholas Gravina and fell 4-3 on that move.

Making his home debut at 197-pounds Rylee Streifel survived a scoreless first period before he found himself tied at one midway through the final period. Streifel got to Matthew Correnti's left leg but couldn't finish. Correnti wound up with a takedown with 22 seconds remaining for the decisive score.

Minnesota was deducted a team point for arguing during the second period of the 197-pound bout.

125: No.6 Sean Russell major dec. Shane Metzler (16-5)
133: No. 3 Nick Suriano tech. fall Skyler Petry (20-5)
141: No. 5 Mitch McKee dec. Peter Lipari (13-2)
149: No. 2 Anthony Ashnault major dec. No. 20 Tommy Thorn (14-4)
157: No. 11 Steve Bleise dec. No. 17 John Van Brill (11-9)
165: Carson Brolsma major dec. Stephen Glasgow (11-3)
174: No.15 Devin Skatzka dec. Joe Grello (10-8)
184: No. 12 Nicholas Gravina dec. Brandon Krone (4-3)
197: Matthew Correnti dec. Rylee Streifel (3-2)
HWT: No. 2 Gable Steveson tech. fall Christian Colucci (17-2)


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cradleman (3) about 8 months ago
Gable Stevenson needs to leave the BS home. He's too talented to be acting like a fool. I was embarrassed for him as I watched his antics throughout the bout.
MKTWM (2) about 8 months ago
I'm always amazed at how people think other people should act or behave. Just because it doesn't fit your style doesn't mean he's acting like a fool. I feel bad for those who try to control how others should act. Wrestling is hard, we want excitement for the sport, let a kid have fun. These are 18-22 year old kids, not boring old adults. Keep it up Gable!
cradleman (2) about 8 months ago
And that's why I'm old and boring because I like the way Penn State acts with class and discipline. You don't have to mimic the WWE to get people to watch. He's a good wrestler and hopefully someone will teach him what being humble is through his many victories to come. It is sad to think that a whole generation should act like that as you say MKTWM. They can get attention in many other ways and the generations before me felt as I do.
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D_W (1) about 8 months ago
Cradleman, I didn't see the match, just the score and talked to my dad last night. He DID see the match and said that he was scratching Stevenson off of his list of people to watch because of his antics trying to show up the guy he was wrestling.

Like a commenter later said, he wouldn't wrestle for Cael acting like that. At the same time, he was wrestling against rutgers. If there's a dirty team in the Big 10, it's rutgers and their leg twisting ( against nolf) and rabbit punching (against zain last year) antics.
cradleman (1) about 8 months ago
Agree totally on the Rutgers thing. I know, as a high school coach, this would be considered taunting and penalized. I'm not afraid or against a little mixing it up but I also know that guys like Tom Ryan, John Smith and Pat Popolizio wouldn't allow that stuff either. I'm surprised that Minnesota would all that. Brandon Eggum is a quality guy also.
Orlandor21 (1) about 7 months ago
Lmao out of all teams, Cradleman mentions Penn state when it comes to discipline. Let me guess, Your mental gymnastics will tell me that Sanderson throwing a chair on a mat is “passion”. You’re just an old fart that bandwagons if you don’t know that.
johnmac47 (1) about 7 months ago
Orlandor21 you must be proud of your comment "You're just an old fat that bandwagons if you don't know that". It certainly takes a lot of nerve to make sarcastic remarks when no one knows who you are - actually it is called being a COWARD! Have a nice day, although I am of the opinion that a person of your intellect probably never has a nice day. God Bless
cradleman (2) about 7 months ago
Orlandor21 Class and humility has no age boundaries and, for many of us , hasn't changed over the years like for some of you the difference between right and wrong. Wrestling is supposed to teach respect and for those who win without class/respect they miss the most important lessons. I guess we will have to watch the season play out. By the way(Ray Miro)Not trying to hide behind a moniker.
Goeodp (1) about 3 months ago