Wrestling Battles To The Finish Against NDSU
GREELEY, Colo. - The adage ‘save the best for last' came true inside Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion on Sunday afternoon as the North Dakota State wrestling team edged Northern Colorado 21-19 in Western Wrestling Conference action. The Bears moved to 1-1 in league action and 1-10 in duals this season, while the Bison improved to 4-4 overall and 1-0 in WWC matches.
"They wrestled as good as they have all year," said Head Coach Ben Cherrington about his team. "I have no complaints. If a few little things happen differently in a couple of those matches then we win the dual. If we even have a 197-pounder we win the dual so we have to look at it that way. I don't look at this as a loss, it's a step in a positive direction, which is definitely what these guys needed."
The match started at 285 pounds with Bears senior Justin Tuell winning a 6-3 decision over Joe Arthur. Fellow senior Tony Mustari then won a major decision over Justin Solberg, 14-3 and a medical forfeit by the Bison gave the Bears a 13-0 advantage.
North Dakota State recorded back-to-back decisions at 141 and 149 pounds to close within seven, 13-6. Junior Justin Gaethje then recorded the fastest pin of his career, winning by fall over Vince Salminen in just 1:11 for a 19-6 team advantage.
With the victory Gaethje becomes the first Bear to win 20 matches in the 2009-10 season and is now 20-9 on the year.
Bison Tyler Johnson recorded an 8-4 decision over Bears newcomer Kevin O'Brien, a transfer from Army, at 165 pounds and junior Rocco DePaolo wrestled up four-weight classes in a dogfight with Mac Stoll but eventually lost 6-0 to make the team score 19-12.
The stands then started to buzz as junior Eric Brennan and Kenny Moenkedick took the mat in the final bout as the Bears had a medical forfeit at 197 pounds, so even though the scoreboard read 19-12, it was really 19-18 and the match was on the line.
There was no score after the first three minutes, but Brennan got on the scoreboard early in the second period. He chose down to start the second stanza and recorded an escape just eight seconds in for the 1-0 lead. Twenty-four seconds later he recorded a takedown for the 3-0 advantage, but Moenkedick closed the score to one after getting an escape and a stalling penalty called against Brennan for the 3-2 tally. Moenkedick chose down to start the third period and scored on an escape and takedown for the 5-3 lead. Moenkedick was then called for stalling and gave a point to Brennan for the 5-4 final.
"For some reason it's always a tough match with them (North Dakota State)," said Cherrington. "Our guys always get up for it though. Everybody wrestled hard today, I have no complaints."
The Bears return to the mat at Northern Iowa on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (Central) to continue Western Wrestling Conference action.
285 - Justin Tuell (NC) dec. Joe Arthur,
125 - Tony Mustari (NC) major Justin Solberg, 14-3
133 -Casey Cruz (NC) wins by forfeit
141 - Ryan Adams (NDSU) dec. #20 Kenny Hashimoto, 8-2
149 - Andrey Patselov (NDSU) dec. Justin Gonzales, 6-4
157 - Justin Gaethje (NC) fall Vince Salminen, 1:11
165 - Tyler Johnson (NDSU) dec. Kevin O'Brien, 8-4
174 - Mac Stoll (NDSU) dec. Rocco DePaolo, 6-0
184 - Kenny Moenkedick (NDSU) dec. Eric Brennan, 5-4
197 - Drew Ross (NDSU) wins by forfeit