The Wisconsin Badgers took on the Michigan Wolverines on the mat Sunday evening. Despite wins from Austin Gomez at 149 pounds and Braxton Amos at 197 pounds, the Badgers lost 27-6 in the dual meet. The only wins on the night for Wisconsin came from familiar faces, but there was quite a bit the team wishes they could re-do.
What went right for the Badgers against Michigan
Before discussing the obvious loss, the Badgers should first focus on what they did right. Coach Bono opened up the night by telling the team this was their chance to make an impression. After losing the previous two dual meets, traveling to Michigan to take on the Wolverines meant more than usual.
— Wisconsin Wrestling (@BadgerWrestling) January 15, 2023
Wisconsin was physical and stayed in the face of their opponents. The matches were kept in the center and contained fast paced wrestling. Austin Gomez was aggressive all night at 149 pounds against Chance Lamer. His aggressiveness and intelligent wrestling resulted in a 17-10 decision over a ranked opponent. Braxton Amos showed the same aggressiveness as he controlled the center of the mat all match against Brendin Yatooma. Amos finished with a 4-0 decision to give Wisconsin their second and final win on the night.
What went wrong for the Badgers against Michigan
With the final score of the dual meet being 27-6 in Michigan’s favor, it is safe to say a lot went wrong for the Badgers. The start of the issues on the night came down to mat control. Michigan wrestlers pushed the Badgers to the outside of the mat and shot for take-downs from there. Wisconsin struggled to stop these shots or gain mat control against their opponents. Eric Barnett suffered a tough loss at 125 pounds after being taken down multiple times.
The highly anticipated match-up between Wisconsin’s #5 ranked Dean Hamiti and Michigan’s #6 Cam Amine came down to the final seconds. Ultimately, Hamiti struggled to close the space and get close enough to effectively shoot for take-downs. The same could be seen at 174, 184, and heavyweight as the Badgers were out-muscled by the Wolverines. Trent Hillger put up a good fight against #2 Mason Parris, but ultimately lost against a stronger opponent.
It wasn’t the result the Badgers or Coach Bono were looking for. The team has been built and bred to win meets, and the losing streak certainly won’t sit well with anyone. Wisconsin will get their chance to right the ship against Purdue in Madison on January 20th in a dual meet that is sure to bring the action.