Iowa wrestlers dominate nine of 10 matches in 35-4 win over Minnesota
Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 66-10 in dual meets this season
By Tyler Devine
By the time heavyweight match arrived, the top-ranked Iowa wrestling team already had asserted its dominance against No. 14 Minnesota in a 35-4 dual meet victory on Friday in Minneapolis, the largest margin of victory in the series since Iowa won 44-2 in 1992.
Prior to the heavyweight match, the Hawkeyes won five matches with bonus points and led 34-1 in takedowns, but Minnesota’s top-ranked heavyweight Gable Steveson asserted his own kind of dominance beating Iowa’s third-ranked Tony Cassioppi by major decision 15-6.
“Good, lopsided win,” head coach Tom Brands said. “A lot of good things. A lot of hustle. But there’s also things where I know we can score more points and be more efficient as well.
“Heavyweight, I just got done talking to the radio. We are going to have to make hustle part of our main ingredient in our wrestling to turn that one around. There was a point in the match where it was 5-2, or 5-3, or whatever it was and Steveson still had riding time. We seemed to shut him down a little bit, but we need to attack on those shutdowns.”
As has been the case through Iowa’s first two meets of the season, Spencer Lee, Austin DeSanto and Jaydin Eierman got the Hawkeyes off to a good start.
The 125-pound Lee pinned Minnesota’s Patrick McKee in the first period, and now has two first period pins in two matches this season.
“He’s a mean little bastard on the mat,” Brands said. “He’s a nice kid, but he’s a mean little bastard on the mat.”
The 133-pound DeSanto recorded his second technical fall of the season and 141-pounder Jaydin Eierman won by major decision to give Iowa a 15-0 lead in team points right off the bat.
“It’s great,” Brands said. “And not only that but the leadership is there as well. Great teams with great leadership pick each other up. You can have a guy that’s rock solid in your lineup and you never see him struggle and all of a sudden, he’s struggling and that’s maybe an attention getting.
“Then, all of a sudden, you’ve got a guy like Eierman who picks it up and is a mood swing for that guy that you’ve never really seen struggle. That happened today, and it makes a difference.”
It wasn’t all easy for Iowa, though.
Sixth-ranked 157-pounder Kaleb Young and second-ranked 165-pounder Alex Marinelli gutted out 4-3 and 7-4 decisions, respectively.
Sixth-ranked Nelson Brands also had a tough road to a 10-6 decision at 184 pounds.
“(Young) and Nelson Brands won gutsy matches,” Brands said. “Marinelli won a match that was gutsy. That kid was game. Our guys are getting ready to wrestle. You get a penalty point you don’t let it affect you. Gutsy win there.”