The Johnnies returns to the road for a dual tonight at Concordia-Moorhead

No. 21 Saint John’s will dual No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead tonight at 7 p.m. in Moorhead.

Saint John's JohnniesA LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: No. 21 Saint John’s wrestling (8-9 dual record) split a pair of duals on Sunday (Feb. 9) in Dubuque, Iowa. The Johnnies defeated Wisconsin-Platteville, 29-14, before losing three matches by three points or less in a 25-14 loss to No. 28 Loras (Iowa). SJU started the day down 5-0 to Platteville before it tallied 23 unanswered points, via three consecutive pins and a technical fall, to gain a 23-5 lead. Senior Alex Peck (Edina, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret’s), sophomore Ben Henle (Spicer, Minn./New London-Spicer) and junior Joe Hessing (Loretto, Minn./Delano) recorded the pins, while senior Ryan Arne (Orono, Minn.), ranked No. 10 by the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association (NWCA), registered a 15-0 technical fall at 157 pounds.

The Pioneers recorded a pair of decisions at 165 and 174 pounds, but a 4-0 win from sophomore Josh Willaert (Le Sueur, Minn./Le Sueur-Henderson) clinched the dual win for SJU at 184. Junior Ryan Michaelis (Monticello, Minn.) suffered the Johnnies’ second overtime loss of the dual, 4-2 in triple OT at 197 pounds, before senior John Scepaniak (Avon, Minn./Holdingford) wrapped it up with a 7-5 win at heavyweight.

Loras rode the bulk of its lineup at 141, 149 and 157 pounds to build a 16-4 lead en route to the 25-14 win over SJU, the Duhawks’ first dual of the day. Peck put SJU on the board with an 11-0 major decision at 133 pounds, his second bonus-point win of the day, before the Duhawks took control. Matt Holmes, ranked as high as fourth by (No. 9 by the NWCA), edged Henle with a 6-4 decision. Joe Wood made it 13-4 with a 15-7 major decision over Hessing. Though unranked, Wood earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish as a sophomore at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships. Steve DeWitt, ranked third nationally at 157 pounds, defeated Arne, 15-8. Senior Brandon Seppelt (Foley, Minn.) stopped the bleeding, temporarily, with a 14-6 major decision at 165 pounds. Willaert cut the Johnnies’ deficit to 19-14 via pin at 184 pounds with two matches to go. Michaelis, however, suffered the Johnnies’ third loss decided by three points or less, 3-1, at 197 pounds to seal the dual win for Loras. SJU went 1-5 in matches decided by a three-point margin or less on the day.

SJU’s PROBABLE LINEUP: Here is SJU’s probable lineup tonight against the Cobbers:
-125: Sophomore Alex Rod (0-13 record)
-133: Senior Alex Peck (8-6 record)
-141: Sophomore Ben Henle (15-8 record)
-149: Junior Joe Hessing (16-9 record)
-157: Senior Ryan Arne, ranked No. 10 (17-4 record)
-165: Senior Brandon Seppelt (7-14 record)
-174: Freshman Teddy Erickson (7-12 record)
-184: Sophomore Josh Willaert (10-6 record)
-197: Junior Ryan Michaelis (11-8 record)
-285: Senior John Scepaniak (10-9 record)

SJU vs Concordia Live Video

A LOOK AT THE COBBERS: No. 6 Concordia-Moorhead (14-4 dual record) has six wrestlers mentioned in the latest rankings, including three in the top 10. Junior Jacoby Bergeron (23-7 record) is ranked as high as No. 5 by the NWCA at 133 pounds (No. 8 by He has won 14 of his last 16 matches dating back to Dec. 7 and is followed by senior Jake Long (23-7 record), who is ranked fifth ( at 149. Long has won 13 of his last 15 matches, including each of his last 11 dating back to Dec. 21. Senior heavyweight Cody Kasprick (20-9 record) is ranked as high as fourth (NWCA) and has won 10 of his last 14 matches, eight of which have been bonus-point victories. Sophomore Gabe Foltz (16-12 record) and junior Chris Harrison (21-8 record) were listed as “Contenders,” just outside of the top 10, by

-125: Sophomore Gabe Foltz (16-12 record)
-133: Junior Jacoby Bergeron (23-7 record), ranked No. 5/8; or junior Will McCarthy (13-8 record)
-141: Junior Yonas Gebreab (19-15 record)
-149: Senior Jake Long (23-7 record), ranked No. 5/7
-157: Senior Kyle LeDuc (22-9 record)
-165: Junior Jake Krogstad (15-8 record)
-174: Junior Sebastian Gardner (21-11 record)
-184: Junior Chris Harrison (21-8 record)
-197: Junior Delson Saintal (14-13 record)
-285: Senior Cody Kasprick (20-9 record), ranked No. 4/5

LAST YEAR: Then-No. 18 SJU fell to then-No. 21 Concordia via criteria (total match points, 51-42) 17-16 last Feb. 16 (2013) in Collegeville. SJU fell behind 10-0 before gaining a 16-10 lead with six consecutive wins. Chris Stevermer ’13 weighed in at 149 pounds for the second time that season and improved to 13-5 overall with a 3-2 upset over Jake Long, the 10th-ranked wrestler according to the NWCA. Arne tallied a 6-1 decision over Kevin Fynboh at 157 pounds before Nick Schuler ’13 tied the match at 10-10 with a 16-8 major decision of Josten Coleman at 165. Willaert earned his team-leading 17th win of the season (17-3 record) with a hard-fought 7-6 win over Sebastian Gardner at 174. Mitch Hagen ’13 recorded a one-point win of his own, 2-1, over Chris Harrison. Michaelis lost a close 3-1 decision in overtime to Nathan Schmitz and Tom Bouressa, the fourth-ranked heavyweight in the country (NWCA), ended the dual with a 6-0 decision over Scepaniak to tie it at 16-16.

RECENT SERIES HISTORY: The Johnnies are 15-6 against the Cobbers in dual meets since the 1994-95 season, though Concordia has won six of the last eight meetings. SJU won 13 straight from 1995-2007 before the Cobbers started a streak of four straight (2008-10).

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