STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — No. 4 Minnesota pulled an upset, topping defending national champion and No. 2 Penn State 23-14 on the road.
Minnesota took seven of the 10 matches, with Sonny Yohn’s match at 197 pounds being the deciding factor. He defeated the Nittany Lions’ Morgan McIntosh by a thrilling 4-3 decision to give the Gophers a 20-14 lead heading into the final match.
Yohn, who was down 0-1 after the second period, started down to begin the final frame and quickly got the escape point to make it 1-1. Both grapplers then went down to the wire in the closing minute. McIntosh scored a takedown with 20 seconds left for a 3-1 lead, but Yohn quickly got the escape and scored a takedown to win the bout 4-3 and in effect ice the dual for the Gophers.
Tony Nelson stepped into the circle needing to just stay alive and not fall to a pin to give Minnesota the win. Nelson and Penn State’s Cameron Wade went scoreless through the first period, before Nelson started on bottom in the second and scored the escape point. Nelson then recorded a takedown to make it 4-0 and closed it out winning 5-0 to cap the Gophers’ 23-14 victory.
“This was great for the guys today,” head coach J Robinson said. “The guys wrestled with great intensity, focus and dominance. Overall it was our attitude that carried us and that is what will carry us throughout the season.”
Other Gopher wins came from senior Zach Sanders (125 pounds), David Thorn (133), Nick Dardanes (141), Jake Dietchler (157) and Kevin Steinhaus (184).
Sanders started the morning pretty similar to his match on Friday night. He had control of Penn State’s Nico Megaludis for all seven minutes and pulled through with the 6-2 victory. Sanders now has 108 career wins for the Gophers.
Following Sanders performance, Minnesota picked up two wins by major decisions. Thorn, who was trying to follow his performance on Friday night — a fall in 2:25 — and took down Derek Reber by score of 14-5. Nick Dardanes got back on the winning side of things and picked up the19-6 major against Sam Sherlock.
Dardanes’s victory gave Minnesota the 11-0 lead and gave the Gophers a total of 10 takedowns against Penn State’s zero.
Deitchler picked up the win in a close 9-4 decision against Dylan Alton. Both wrestlers traded shots during the first period but most of the action took place in the second. Alton started underneath to start the second and got away at 20 seconds into the period. They battled back-and-forth for a bit before Deitchler got in on a single leg takedown to make it 3-3 after the second. Deitchler scored a couple more takedowns in the third and, with the riding time, pulled out the win.
Steinhaus’s upset against No. 1 Quentin Wright was the highlight that sparked the Gophers. After a quiet first period, Wright started on bottom to open the second and quickly scored the escape. Steinhaus responded with a take down to lead 2-1 and controled the remainder of the match with a pair of takedowns and riding time, picking up the 6-1 win.
“That match was a huge match for us,” assistant head coach Brandon Eggum said. “As a group we regrouped pretty well after Friday’s loss. We told the guys that today was a new day and that we can learn from our mistakes.”