Concordia 23, Saint John’s 12

Early Lead Slips Away for SJU Wrestling in Moorhead

MOORHEAD, Minn. – No. 21 Saint John’s built an early 9-4 lead on No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead before the Cobbers won five of the final six matches in a 23-12 loss on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Moorhead.

Senior Alex Peck (Edina, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s) put SJU (8-10 dual record) on the scoreboard with an 11-4 decision, one point from a major, at 133 pounds.

Saint John's JohnniesSophomore Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) gave up the match-tying takedown with 20 seconds left, only to score a two-point reversal with six seconds remaining and earn an 8-6 win at 141 pounds.

Junior Joe Hessing (Loretto, Minn./Delano) used a pair of five-point moves (a takedown and three-point near-fall) and held on for a 14-13 upset of Jake Long, ranked as high as fifth nationally by D3wrestle.com (No. 7 by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association) at 149 pounds. The win gave the Johnnies a 9-4 lead, but Concordia (15-4 dual record) won each of the next four matches.

Senior Ryan Arne (Orono, Minn.), ranked No. 10 by the NWCA, fell by a 4-0 score at 157 pounds. The loss was just his fifth of the season (17-5 record). The Cobbers eked out a close 7-5 win over senior Brandon Seppelt (Foley, Minn.) at 165 pounds and earned a major decision at 174.

Sophomore Josh Willaert (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) lost a 4-1 lead via a pair of wild scrambles, involving back points, and lost by an 11-7 score at 184 pounds.

Junior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) ended the drought for SJU with a 4-0 shutout at 197 pounds, but the Cobbers’ Cody Kasprick, ranked as high as fourth nationally by the NWCA, ended the dual with a pin of senior John Scepaniak (Avon, Minn./Holdingford) in 1:02.

Concordia will now take an 18-day break to train for the NCAA West Regional Meet which will be held on Saturday, Mar. 1 at Augsburg.

SJU continues its tour against former MIAC-wrestling foes with a 7 p.m. dual at St. Olaf on Friday, Feb. 14, before returning home to host nationally-ranked Augsburg at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Sexton Arena.

No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead (CON) 23, No. 21 Saint John’s (SJU) 12
125: Gabe Foltz (CON) major dec. Alex Rod, 14-4 [0-4]
133: Alex Peck (SJU) dec. Will McCarthy, 11-4 [3-4]
141: Ben Henle (SJU) dec. Yonas Gebreab, 7-5 [6-4]
149: Joe Hessing (SJU) dec. Jake Long (No. 7), 14-13 [9-4]
157: Kyle LeDuc (CON) dec. Ryan Arne (No. 10), 4-0 [9-7]
165: Jake Krogstad (CON) dec. Brandon Seppelt, 7-5 [9-10]
174: Sebastian Gardner (CON) major dec. Teddy Erickson, 10-2 [9-14]
184: Chris Harrison (CON) dec. Josh Willaert, 11-7 [9-17]
197: Ryan Michaelis (SJU) dec. Delson Saintal, 4-0 [12-17]
285: Cody Kasprick (No. 4, CON) pinned John Scepaniak, 1:02 [12-23]

Match Notes:
– Concordia is ranked 6th in the latest NWCA Division III poll.
– #6 Concordia is now 15-4 in dual meets this season.
– The 15 wins is a school record for most dual-meet wins in a season.
– St. John’s is ranked 21st in the latest NWCA Division III poll.
– St. John’s is now 8-10 in dual meets this season.
– Concordia won 6 of the 10 individual bouts.
– Concordia won 3 bouts by decision, 2 by major decision and 1 by pin fall.
– St. John’s won all four bouts by a decision.
– No.4-ranked Cody Kasprick from Concordia was the only ranked wrestler to win and is now 21-9.

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