Mustangs conclude regular season with a pair of home duals

MARSHALL, Minn. – The Southwest Minnesota State wrestling close out the regular season hosting the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Friday at 7 p.m., and Minnesota State on Sunday at 2 p.m., inside the PE Gym.

MUSTANGS IN THE RANKINGS: SMSU has one wrestler ranked in the InterMat rankings (Feb. 2) and NWCA rankings (Jan. 21). The team is also ranked inside of both rankings … Caden Steffen leads the charge for the individuals, ranking fourth in both the InterMat and NWCA rankings at 184 pounds. Steffen is 13-1 on the season and 5-0 in duals after grinding out a 4-0 victory over Wyatt Lindberg of UMary before dominating a 20-5 tech fall over Joseph Lopez of Minot State last weekend. His only loss this season has been by injury default, and has won three matches by fall, two by tech fall, and three by major decision … SMSU has also been recognized for its team success, as NWCA ranks them at No. 21 and InterMat ranks the Mustangs at No. 23 in the team rankings.

LAST WEEKEND: SMSU suffered a 36-4 loss at the hands of St. Cloud State in the Mustangs’ first home match of the season inside the PE Gym on Thursday, Feb. 3. After an early takedown from SCSU, coupled with a pair of back points, Hunter Pfantz would dig in, only giving up a second period escape the rest of the way, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard in a 5-0 defeat at 133. Luke Peterson would keep up the toughness at 141, taking a 2-0 lead into the second period. Peterson would get flipped in the second period for a reversal to tie the match at 2-2, but Peterson would reclaim the lead with a third period takedown to go up 4-2. He would give up another reversal to tie the score and would give up an escape in the tiebreaker period to lose a close match. SCSU would dominate in the middle weights, winning a pair by fall and one by tech fall to go into the intermission up 23-0, and would win a decision at 174 following the intermission to grow the lead to 26-0. Caden Steffen would get the Mustangs on the board at 184, recording six takedowns and recording a riding point in a dominant 13-4 victory. Dillon McEachran would give No. 2-ranked 197 Noah Ryan a match, battling for a scoreless first period before losing by decision, 8-3. Jacob Dykes would follow suit, battling with No. 2-ranked 285 Kameron Teacher, trailing 7-4 in the third period before Teacher was awarded a riding point to win 8-4. The match would conclude at 125, with Jackson Stauffacher and Paxton Creese displaying their quickness and flexibility to nearly go into the second period scoreless, but Creese would get a takedown just before the buzzer to lead 2-0. Stauffacher would cut the lead in half with a second-period escape, but Creese would be in complete control of the third period, recording a reversal and 10 near fall points en route to a major victory.

SMSU Leaders:
Caden Steffen (14-1)
Carter Marx (11-7)
Neil Hanson (9-5)
Dillon McEachran (9-9)
Hunter Pfantz (9-11)

The Mustangs will have 13 days off before the NCAA Super Regional on Feb. 26 in Moorhead.

WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE NOTES: The Rangers (4-2 overall, 4-1 NSIC) come into the weekend ranked eighth in the nation on both InterMat and in the NWCA rankings … UWP has five ranked wrestlers in the InterMat/NWCA rankings … No. 1/No. 3 125 Joe Arroyo, No. 4/No. 3 165 Shane Gantz, No. 8/No. 6 174 Job Ayala, No. 11/Unranked 184 Reece Worachek, and No. 15/No. 9 197 Rodsean Graham … Parkside went 2-0 last weekend, defeating Northern State 24-9 before defeating MSU Moorhead 31-3 on Sunday … Parkside is led by Gantz (23-0), Ayala (20-3), Worachek (18-7), Graham (15-10), and 157 Ben Durocher (15-11).

MINNESOTA STATE NOTES: The Mavericks (2-4 overall, 2-4 NSIC) come into the weekend ranked 18th in the nation on InterMat and 17th in the nation in the NWCA rankings … MSU has four ranked wrestlers in the InterMat/NWCA rankings … Unranked/No. 10 125 Trenton McManus, No. 10/No. 5 149 Kyle Rathman, No. 3/No. 8 174 Trevor Turriff, and Unranked/No. 10 285 Darrell Mason … The Mavericks had three duals last weekend, defeating MSU Moorhead 41-6 on Friday before losing to Northern State (30-13) and St. Cloud State (34-7) on Saturday … MSU is led by Turriff (13-2), Mason (12-0), 184 Shane Gibson (9-5), 165 Mike Smith (9-7), and 133 Kolbe O’Brien (6-1).

WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE HISTORY: UWP leads the all-time series 3-0 in a series that dates back to 2001. The Rangers are 1-0 in Marshall and defeated SMSU 28-6 in their previous meeting on Jan. 21, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis.

MINNESOTA STATE SERIES HISTORY: MSU leads the all-time series 31-9 in a series that dates back to 1980. The Mavericks have won 29 of the previous 30 meetings, including a 31-8 victory in their last meeting on Jan. 30, 2020. SMSU is 5-13 at home and last won in Marshall on Feb. 1, 2014.

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SMSU Probable Wrestlers:
125 – Jackson Stauffacher / Ben Emrich
133 – Hunter Pfantz
141 – Luke Peterson / Justin Sampson
149 – Robert Shields / Sean Howk
157 – Lucas Hodges
165 – Elijah Sterner / Nathan Moore
174 – Carter Marx
184 – Caden Steffen
197 – Dillon McEachran
285 – Jacob Dykes / Neil Hanson

Check out Mustangs Wrestling at smsumustangs.com and on Twitter.

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