Bonus point from Steinhaus allows Minnesota to edge Oklahoma State, 16-15

By Roger Moore | Dec. 08, 2013, 6 p.m. (ET)
STILLWATER, Okla. – A bonus-point victory by a senior in his first match of the season and two, two-minute rideouts were the difference as No. 2 Minnesota edged No. 4 Oklahoma State, 16-15.

Gopher senior Kevin Steinhaus hit the mats for the first time in 2013-14 on Sunday. The two-time All-American beat Cowboy rookie Jordan Rogers, 14-5, at 184 pounds to bring UM (4-0) to 15-10 after the visitors trailed 15-6. UM’s top-ranked duo of Scott Schiller and Tony Nelson then finished the deal with a pair of decisions. It was OSU’s second straight 16-15 setback – the Cowboys lost to rival Oklahoma by the same count last Sunday.

“We had some guys who came here and did some of the things we thought they could do,” said UM head coach J Robinson. “That’s what these matches are … they are tough. Steinhaus made the difference when it counted. (Steinhaus) was going to wrestle regardless, but this match made it a little easier to decide. When you look at it on paper, (bringing Steinhaus) out was probably the best thing to do today.”

UM also weighed in Brett Pfarr, but Robinson went with his veteran.

“We talked about what I wanted to do last week because the rehab was going quicker than expected,” said Steinhaus. “(Gallagher-Iba) is a great place to wrestle. It was really a sweet way to come back. I’m one of the 10 guys in the puzzle and it was nice to, I guess, make the difference.”

For the second straight week, Oklahoma State (1-2) built a solid lead in a dual meet. And for the second dual in a row, OSU split the 10 bouts but came up short thanks to one bonus-point loss. Replacing Jordan Oliver and Alan Gelogaev, as anticipated, is proving to be difficult for head coach John Smith’s squad.

Eddie Klimara (5-2) set a quick pace at 125 pounds, leading Sam Brancale, 8-3, after three minutes. But the Gopher battled back and Klimara managed a 14-10 decision to open the day.

All-American Jon Morrison (6-0) won a tough 3-2 bout with David Thorn at 133 to put the hosts up 6-0. UM then tied the dual with back-to-back decisions by the Dardanes brothers – Chris beating OSU rookie Anthony Collica, 5-3, at 141, and Nick controlling Josh Kindig, 6-2, at 149. Kindig knocked off defending NCAA champion Kendric Maple one week ago. The Dardanes’ are a combined 28-0 this season.

Two bouts – 157 and 174 – lived up to the pre-match billing.

Two talented All-Americans, OSU’s Alex Dieringer and UM’s Dylan Ness, faced off at 157 pounds. A number of fantastic flurries highlighted a 4-2 overtime win for Dieringer. A third scramble, halfway through overtime, saw Dieringer (8-0) secure a takedown.

“I’ve known (Ness) since fifth grade; I’ve wrestled him, so I knew that his hips are crazy,” said Dieringer. “I knew I had to keep on my attacks, not give anything away.”

After the hosts took a 12-6 lead thanks to Tyler Caldwell’s workmanlike 2-0 win over Danny Zilverberg at 165, the second “highlight” bout of the day hit the mats at 174.

2013 NCAA champion Chris Perry (6-1), coming off a loss to OU’s Andrew Howe, was better in multiple scrambles with two-time All-American Logan Storley (12-1), winning 6-3. It was Perry’s third win in four tries against Storley.

However, a 9-point lead for the hosts did not hold up down the stretch.

Steinhaus started the rally with a six-takedown effort against Rogers, one of three OSU rookies to start at 184 this season.

OSU’s Blake Rosholt tried to stem the tide with a takedown one-minute into his 197-pound match with Schiller. But Schiller (13-0), who beat Oregon State’s Taylor Meeks last weekend, used a second-period rideout and a takedown late to beat Rosholt, 8-2, to draw UM to 15-13 with one bout remaining.

That final bout saw Nelson, a two-time NCAA champion, use a third period rideout to beat Austin Marsden, 2-0. Schiller and Nelson are a combined 26-0 to start 2013-14.

The win improved Minnesota to 6-8 all-time in Stillwater. In Minneapolis, OSU leads the series, 13-3.

“(Coach Robinson) prepares us for matches (at OSU),” said Steinhaus. “We know it is always going to be tough here, so we have to be ready to go.”

Robinson, an Oklahoma State graduate, cannot explain his program’s success on OSU’s home mats.

“Our guys, historically, are pretty good on the road,” said Robinson. “Our guys aren’t intimidated by these places. It has a lot to do with being prepared. It’s like Notre Dame football (used to be); you know they are going to be ranked and you know they are going to be good, so you better be ready to wrestle.”

Gopher and Cowboy will certainly meet again, sooner rather than later – both compete at the Southern Scuffle to start 2014.

At Stillwater, Okla., Dec. 8, 2013

125 – Eddie Klimura (OSU) dec. Samuel Brancale (Minnesota), 14-10
133 – Jon Morrison (OSU) dec. David Thorn (Minnesota), 3-2
141 – Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Anthony Collica (OSU), 5-3
149 – Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. Josh Kindig (OSU), 6-2
157 – Alex Dieringer (OSU) dec. Dylan Ness (Minnesota), 4-2, sv
165 – Tyler Caldwell (OSU) dec. Danny Zilverberg (Minnesota), 2-0
174 – Chris Perry (OSU) dec. Logan Storely (Minnesota), 6-3
184 – Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) maj. dec. Jordan Rogers (OSU), 14-5
197 – Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. Blake Rosholt (OSU), 8-2
285 – Tony Nelson (Minnesota) dec. Austin Marden (OSU), 2-0

Story by Roger Moore, Special to