Iowa wrestling beats Northwestern as Cullan Schriever sheds redshirt, Max Murin tops an All-American

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

The Iowa wrestling team kicked off the first leg of its Friday-Sunday doubleheader with a dominant 33-6 win over 11th-ranked Northwestern on Friday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.

After Northwestern won two of the first three matches, the second-ranked Hawkeyes won the final seven for their 27th consecutive dual win. Iowa is 9-0 overall and 3-0 against the Big Ten. The Wildcats dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-3 against conference foes.

"We won eight matches, and it was kind of ho-hum," Iowa coach Tom Brands said afterward. "A lot of positive there."

Much of Iowa’s firepower came in the final five matches — or, really, the final four. Alex Marinelli accepted a forfeit at 165 pounds, Michael Kemerer followed with a first-period pin at 174, Abe Assad then secured a 16-0 technical fall at 184, and Jacob Warner added an 11-2 major decision at 197.

Tony Cassioppi closed the dual with a 7-3 win over Lucas Davison, the same Lucas Davison he beat twice in a three-match series last spring to make the U23 men’s freestyle world team. Cassioppi went on to win a U23 world title.

Iowa finished with a 15-9 total takedown advantage and scored 69 total match points to Northwestern’s 32. Over the final four matches, Iowa wrestlers outscored their Wildcat counterparts by a combined 44-5. Davison’s first-period takedown against Cassioppi was Northwestern’s only offensive scoring in that stretch. The other three were escapes.

But the most interesting parts of this dual came during the first five matches.

Previously:Iowa Hawkeye wrestling team thumps Purdue, 36-4, before another sell-out home crowd

Drake Ayala secured another top-10 win, rallying to defeat Michael DeAugustino, 6-5, at 125 pounds. Ayala rallied from a 3-1 deficit thanks to a cradle in the second period that netted him a takedown and two back points. DeAugustino is ranked No. 7 at 125 by InterMat. Ayala debuted at No. 12 this week, and may see a boost in the next rankings.

"Ayala, great," Brands said. "We like what we've got there. The story is going to keep writing itself. He'll keep writing his own story. That's where we're at."

At 133, it was Cullan Schriever, not third-ranked Austin DeSanto, who got the nod. This was Schriever’s first official dual appearance for the Hawkeyes after posting a 15-3 record in redshirt this season. Cannon, a returning All-American who’s ranked No. 9 nationally, used a second-period rideout and third-period escape to beat Schriever, 5-3.

After the dual, Brands told Hawkeye wrestling radio announcer Steven Grace that Schriever will go again Sunday when the Hawkeyes travel to No. 18 Illinois. Then they’ll figure out what to do ahead of next week’s dual against No. 9 Ohio State. Brands also said not to assume “impending doom” when a normal starter isn’t wrestling.

That was likely in reference to the match at 141, where Drew Bennett, not second-ranked Jaydin Eierman, got the nod, and fell 10-6 to Frankie Tal-Shahar. Brands said Eierman was resting — he appeared to injure his left pinky finger during last Sunday's dual against Purdue.

More:Wrestling Mailbag: Big Ten Network's new show, COVID affecting NCAA Championships, Gable Steveson, Hawkeyes

On Friday, Bennett scored two early takedowns for a 4-1 lead, but Tal-Shahar rallied with three of his own, plus a point for riding time, to give Northwestern a 6-3 lead after three matches.

That was the last match Northwestern won on Friday night. Max Murin then came out and beat fifth-ranked Yahya Thomas, 4-3, at 149 pounds. Thomas, another returning All-American, led 3-2 after a first-period takedown, but Murin level-changed into a double-leg takedown with 17 seconds left in the third and rode out to win.

"I need to get to my scoring opportunities earlier," Murin said. "Short time left, really nothing to lose. Let it fly. I got in there, quick finish, and rode out. It felt good. He's a really good opponent, but I definitely need to get to my scoring opportunities earlier."

Brands added: "Murin got us going. When we have guys that do that, chances go way up — not to win, but to dominate."

Murin’s victory is really what started the run of Hawkeye dominance on Friday night. Kaleb Young followed with a 6-4 win over a Trevor Chumbley at 157, rallying from an early Chumbley takedown thanks to a reversal, a third-period takedown and additional point for riding-time.

That gave the Hawkeyes the lead, 9-6, midway through the dual. They never trailed again.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

#2 Iowa 33, #11 Northwestern 6

  • 125: #12 Drake Ayala (IA) dec. #7 Michael DeAugustino (NW), 6-5
  • 133: #9 Chris Cannon (NW) dec. Cullan Schriever (IA), 5-3
  • 141: #32 Frankie Tal-Shahar (NW) dec. Drew Bennett (IA), 10-6
  • 149: #12 Max Murin (IA) dec. #5 Yahya Thomas (NW), 4-3
  • 157: #12 Kaleb Young (IA) dec. Trevor Chumbley (NW), 6-4
  • 165: #1 Alex Marinelli (IA) by forfeit
  • 174: #2 Michael Kemerer (IA) pinned Ankhaa Enkhmandakh (NW) in 2:36
  • 184: #18 Abe Assad (IA) tech. fall Jack Jessen (NW), 16-0
  • 197: #5 Jacob Warner (IA) maj. dec. #28 Andrew Davison (NW), 11-2
  • 285: #5 Tony Cassioppi (IA) dec. #14 Lucas Davison (NW), 7-3
Max Murin, shown during a Jan. 7 dual against Minnesota, beat fifth-ranked Yahya Thomas, 4-3, at 149 pounds on Friday in Evanston, Ill.