Tue, Feb. 14, 2012 - [Wrestling]
Dubuque 21, Loras 12
To say there was a collective rollercoaster ride of emotions in the AWC on Tuesday night would be an understatement. Six seniors and their families were honored for their commitment to Loras College wrestling prior to the dual with crosstown rival Dubuque. Eight of the ten matches were decisions, with a cumulative point total adding up to a 31-30. We had an honorary coach on the Loras bench. The teams traded the lead regularly in the early parts of the dual. We even stopped to clarify some points (and a near fall that never officially happened) during the closely contested 133-pound match. Throw in an early bench warning and when it was all said and done, the visitors came away with a 21-12 win over the host Duhawks in front of over 500 fans.
The early matches on the night were some of the closest.
At 125 pounds, senior Pat Pfantz and Andre Taylor of Dubuque were tied at 4-4 when the third period started. Taylor escaped and ended up earning the final takedown of the match to win 7-5.
Matt Holmes answered with an entertaining 4-1 win at 133 pounds for the Duhawks. A quiet first period gave way to a rowdy second, which ended with a fierce Holmes takedown of Chris Sokol as the final seconds of the second period ticked away. The crowd roared as the buzzer sounded as Sokol tried to get out from under a Holmes attempt at a pin. The period had concluded with just the two point takedown and official Eric Jobgen correctly awarded Holmes his two points after concluding nothing beyond the initial takedown took place during the second period. Sokol would escape in the third period but not threaten Holmes victory at 133 pounds.
Siven Furseth took a major decision, 12-4, from Loras' Chris Reed at 141 pounds to give the visitors a 7-3 lead.
The Duhawks would answer with a pair of wins for Joe Wood at 149 pounds, 5-2, and senior Chris Gansen's convincing 7-2 win at 157.
Joe Kubica earned a 5-2 win over Mitch Gansen at 165 and the Dubuque lead was up to 13-9 after a second straight win for the Spartans at 174 pounds. #6-ranked Logan Einerson beat Joe Butler, 4-1.
Senior Josh Kirkland did his part to keep everyone focused on the team score when he made it 13-12 with two bouts to go. Kirkland controlled his match, winning 5-1 and benefiting from stalling points turned over to the Duhawk by Matt Manning of Dubuque.
Most of the points at 197 pounds came in the final period, where #9-ranked Sam Johnson opened up a 7-2 lead over Loras' Ryan Ward. With the addition of the riding time, Johnson claimed an 8-2 win for Dubuque to put them up 16-12 prior to the heavyweight match.
David Vinton went at Loras' Kyle Henry early and often and earned a tech fall after 5:44, sending the #21 Spartans into the win column, 21-12.
The Duhawks and head coach Randy Steward took time before the dual to recognize the careers of Chris Reed, Pat Pfantz, Mitch and Chris Gansen, Josh Kirkland, and Mike Gossen.
The program also welcomed back two-time All-American and Loras College Hall of Famer Leo Costello as honorary coach on Tuesday night. Costello won 95 matches in his career and was an economics major and Academic All-American for the Duhawks prior to his 1992 graduation.
The dual closes Loras' regular season at 5-18, and 2-5 in the Iowa Conference. They'll now prepare for the February 24thIowa Conference Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where they'll look to earn individual berths to the NCAA Division III Championships on March 9-10 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.