Spartans Drop to Giddy Gophers

The Michigan State wrestling team came into Jenison Field House after almost a month-long rest looking to put a 41-0 shutout by Iowa behind them. The Spartans came into the meet versus the No.2 Minnesota Golden Gophers, hoping for a different result this time. Unfortunately, the Gophers had a different idea.

The meet began at 125 pounds with MSU senior Brenan Lyon going up against Minnesota’s Sam Brancale. Lyon came out aggressively and seemed to burn himself out, looking fatigued in the second period. Brancale ended up getting a 7-1 victory over Lyon, putting the Gophers up 3-0. From then, Minnesota’s ninth-ranked David Thorn got a tech fall over MSU’s 133 pounder Garth Yenter, putting the Gophers up 8-0.

Brian Gibbs was the lone Spartan with a victory at 141 pounds over Gopher wrestler Josh Schupe. Gibbs got a takedown in the last period over Schupe and ended up with a 3-2 victory after a Schupe escape to put the Spartans on the board for the first time of the evening.

At 149 pounds, Spartan Nick Trimble battled valiantly against the Gophers second-ranked Nick Dardanes in an 8-4 loss that was far closer than the score appeared. Trimble fell down 5-0, but cut the score to 5-2 after the end of the second period with an escape and a locked hands penalty on Dardanes. Starting the third, Trimble notched an escape and placed himself in a prime position for an upset. However, after the beginning Dardanes took control of the match, notching a reversal and a takedown to close out the match.

MSU’s 165 pounder Bobby Nash nearly snatched a victory over Minnesota’s Daniel Zilverberg. Nash escaped in the third period to bring the score to 3-2, trailing Zilverberg by a point. Zilverberg got a takedown then Nash slipped out to notch an escape with 22 seconds left on the clock. Nash attempted to get a last second takedown, but fell by a score of 5-3.

Michigan State’s 197 pound Nick Diarmid faced a formidable opponent in Minnesota’s top ranked Scott Schiller. Schiller is currently undefeated on the year and has not lost a Big Ten match in his career. Diarmid came out with an early lead, prompting some of the Spartan faithful to inform the referee that Schiller was cheating. Schiller scored various takedowns throughout the match, leading to an unfortunate Schiller win by a score of 15-6.

In the highest ranked and last match of the evening, the Spartan’s ninth-ranked Mike McClure faced off against Minnesota’s two-time defending national champion, Tony Nelson. After a scoreless first period, Nelson notched an escape after to take the bottom position. McClure started the third period on bottom and attempted multiple escapes, but ultimately Nelson ended the match with riding time that amounted to a 2-0 victory for the Gophers. The Gophers secured a 35-3 victory over the Spartans after the final match.

The Men of Sparta fought valiantly against a Minnesota wrestling team that, according to MSU head coach Tom Minkel, “will be in the hunt for the national championship.”

Michigan State will return to action next Friday, January 24 to take on No. 19 Michigan in Ann Arbor at 7 p.m.

Nick Carver is the host of Pinned Down for Impact Sports.

Photo: Nubia Buckingham/Impact Sports