FORT WAYNE, Ind. — You’ll have to forgive head coach Matt Nagel if he wants to have every meet be renamed the National Duals.
Nagel has guided the Cobbers to unbelievable success at the prestigious mid-season championship dual meet. Concordia has finished in the top 3 of the meet which attracts the top 20 teams in the national the past two seasons.
No.7-ranked Concordia lived up to their past NWCA National Duals success stories as they beat No.12-ranked Coe 21-17 and then upset No.3-ranked Wis.-La Crosse 18-17 in the quarterfinals.
The wrestler who embodied Nagel’s “Little Engine That Could” theory on the national stage the most was sophomore Jake Johnson who posted the biggest win of the whole tournament by upsetting No.1-ranked Tyler Schneider of La Crosse 9-8. Johnson entered the match with a 7-11 record and proceeded to toss the returning national runner-up to the mat in the final seconds of the third period in their match at 174 and then chalked up back points to turn a sure 8-3 loss into a 9-8 “what the heck just happened” upset win of the year.
Johnson’s two team points coupled with Ricky Briggs, who won 2-1 in the very next match at 184, sealed the win over La Crosse who entered the match 6-2 in dual meets and hadn’t lost to a Division III opponent all season.
The two wins gives Concordia 12 dual-meet victories for the year and moves their overall record to 12-2.
Gabe Foltz, Ty Johnson, Ben Cousins and Joe Heinz scored the other decision wins for Concordia against La Crossse. Foltz, who is ranked eighth at 133, came away with a 6-5 win at 133 which tied the team score at 3-3. His victory was against Dustin Weinmann who is currently ranked fifth in the weight class.
Johnson started a streak of five straight wins for the Cobbers. He won 7-1 at 149. That was followed by a 3-1 victory by Cousins at 157, a 2-1 overtime decision from Heinz and then the two match-sealing wins by Johnson and Briggs.
Johnson is now 14-7 on the year while Cousins recorded his 17th victory of the season. Heinz is one “w” behind at 16-9.
The Cobbers started the day by coming from behind to beat Coe by four points. The match was signed, sealed and delivered by junior Justice Davis who earned a pin fall at 285 to grab six points and erase a 17-15 deficit heading into the final bout of the dual.
Concordia held a 12-3 lead over the Kohawks with wins by Jakob Stageberg, Foltz, Ben Baumgartner and Cousins. Stageberg, who is now ranked fourth in the nation, started the opening dual of the day with a 5-2 win at 125. It was his team-leading 21st win of the year.
Foltz followed with a 10-6 victory and then Baumgartner gave CC a 9-3 lead with an 11-6 win at 149. Cousins looked to give the Cobbers a safe 12-3 edge when he scored a 6-4 win at 157.
The dual did a 180-degree turn in the course of the next five minutes as the Kohawks came up with a pin fall and then a technical fall at 165 and 174 with wrestlers ranked first and second in the nation in their weight classes.
Dan Marquette stopped the bleeding by winning 3-1 at 184 and the Cobbers were back in the lead at 15-14.
A 12-8 loss at 197 set the stage for Davis to finish off the dual at 285.
HISTORY IS ON THEIR SIDE
Concordia has now made the semifinals of the NWCA National Duals meet the past three seasons and during that time is 8-2 in duals at the meet. CC has gone 3-1 at the National Duals the past two seasons and has finished second in 2014 and third in 2015.
HISTORY IS ON THEIR SIDE II
Concordia also has a successful history against semifinal opponent Wabash at the National Duals. The Cobbers have beaten the Little Giants in each of the past two years at the meet. CC beat Wabash 22-13 in the quarterfinals in 2014 and then posted a 21-19 victory in the third-place match last year.
NAGEL KNOWS DUALS
Matt Nagel, who is in his third season as head coach of the Cobbers has had a great deal of success in dual meets. Nagel has guided Concordia to 40 dual-meet wins in his two-plus years. He owns a 40-12 dual-meet record and that includes a 15-5 mark in 2014. The 15 wins in 2014 is a program record for dual-meet victories in a single season.
Concordia square off against Wabash in the semifinals on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 10 a.m. Live scoring will be available for the match. The Cobbers will then wrestle at either noon or 3:30 p.m. depending on the outcome of the semifinal. If CC posts a win at 10:00 a.m. they will wrestle in the title match at 3:30 p.m. If they fall to Wabash they will wrestle in the third-place match at noon.
Concordia 18 UW-La Crosse 17
125 – Ryan Weinmann (UWL) decision #4 Jakob Stageberg (CC); 10-4 (UW-La Crosse 3-0)
133 – #8 Gabe Foltz (CC) decision #5 Dustin Weinmann (UWL); 6-5 (Tied 3-3)
141 – #4 Cody See (UWL) decision Blane Tschida (CC); 6-4 (UW-La Crosse 6-3)
149 – Ty Johnson (CC) decision Mason Geary (UWL); 7-1 (Tied 6-6)
157 – Ben Cousins (CC) decision Austin Schoen (UWL); 3-1 (Concordia 9-6)
165 – Joe Heinz (CC) decision Andrew Dayland (UWL); TB-1 2-1 (Concordia 12-6)
174 – Jake Johnson (CC) decision #1 Tyler Schneider (UWL); 9-8 (Concordia 15-6)
184 – Ricky Briggs (CC) decision Alex Friedman (UWL); 2-1 (Concordia 18-6)
197 – Zach Tooley (UWL) tech. fall Kody Van Den Eykel (CC); 18-2 (Concordia 18-11)
285 – #8 Clay Broze (UWL) pin fall Justice Davis (CC); 4:10 (Concordia 18-17)
Concordia 21 Coe 17
125 – Jakob Stageberg (Concordia-Moorhead) over Jan Rosenberg (Coe) Dec 5-2
133 – Gabe Foltz (Concordia-Moorhead) over Mike Gussarson (Coe) Dec 10-6
141 – Trey Schuler (Coe) over Blane Tschida (Concordia-Moorhead) Dec 5-2
149 – Ben Baumgartner (Concordia-Moorhead) over Levi Azinger (Coe) Dec 11-6
157 – Ben Cousins (Concordia-Moorhead) over Jake Voss (Coe) Dec 6-4
165 – Farai Sewera (Coe) over Joseph Heinz (Concordia-Moorhead) Fall 2:01
174 – Ryan Harrington (Coe) over Jake Johnson (Concordia-Moorhead) TF 17-1
184 – Dan Marquette (Concordia-Moorhead) over Casey Rohret (Coe) Dec 3-1
197 – Andrew Holladay (Coe) over Jacob Briggs (Concordia-Moorhead) Dec 12-8
285 – justice davis (Concordia-Moorhead) over Creighton Fox (Coe) Fall 6:58