Grapplers Drop Match To Fifth-Ranked Golden Gophers
GREELEY, Colo. - Northern Colorado junior Justin Gaethje (157 pounds) continues to excite crowds wherever he goes and Sunday was no exception as he was the lone Bear winner against fifth-ranked Minnesota (2-1). Gaethje won an 8-6 decision for the Bears (0-6) only points in a 41-3 loss.
Gaethje trailed 4-2 after the first period and closed the distance, lagging behind just 5-4 after the second period to Joe Grygelko. Just three seconds into the final stanza, he knotted the score with an escape then took the lead on a takedown at the 1:53 mark. Grygelko escaped with 20 seconds remaining, but Gaethje had 1:37 of riding time for the 8-6 decision.
Gaethje has now won nine of his last 10 bouts and is 17-7 on the year, with his last four losses coming to nationally-ranked wrestlers.
"We had more of a presence than we did on Wednesday night (against Ohio)," said Head Coach Ben Cherrington. "We wrestled hard, competed harder, everything was better and it's always nice to get one win against a team like that. Our lineup is a little better. We got one hurt guy (Casey Cruz) back and I think if we had two or three of those other guys back (Justin Gonzales, Kenny Hashimoto, Ed Matthews) maybe we get two or three wins."
Senior Tony Mustari (125) started the afternoon match with a close 10-6 loss to fourth-ranked Zach Sanders. Mustari trailed 6-2 after the first period, matched Sanders with a 2-2 tally in the second stanza and then recorded a two-point nearfall with 1:24 remaining to pull within two, 8-6, but an escape and riding time gave Sanders the win.
Minnesota tallied two falls (133 and 285), two technical falls (141 and 184) and one major decision (165) en route to the 41-3 victory.
The Bears take a break for the holiday season, returning to the mat on Jan. 9 at the Stanford Duals.