A Very Tough New Year's Eve Task

Cobber junior Ricky Briggs battled St. Cloud State wrestler Uthman Rabiu for the second straight year in CC's year-ending dual with the Huskies.
Cobber junior Ricky Briggs battled St. Cloud State wrestler Uthman Rabiu for the second straight year in CC's year-ending dual with the Huskies.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (12/31/16)--- Concordia found out why St. Cloud State is the defending national champion and currently ranked No.1 in NCAA Division II. The Huskies used their six wrestlers ranked in the top 6 of the country to blast past the Cobbers 47-0 in the final dual meet of the 2016 calendar year.

Concordia lost all eight contested matches and then had to forfeit the bouts at 197 and 285 because of injuries and sickness.

The Cobbers have their two-match win streak come to an end and are now 6-4 on the season. The Huskies remain unbeaten in duals and improve to 2-0.

The marquee match-up of the day was the opener at 125. Concordia junior All-American Jakob Stageberg, who is currently ranked sixth in Division III squared off against Brett Velasquez who is the top ranked wrestler in Division II.

The match at 125 was even until late in the second period. Velasquez notched the only points of the opening period when he scored a takedown. Velasquez then started on the bottom of period 2 and got the escape to take a 3-0 lead. He then got another takedown before Stageberg came up with an escape of his own to trail 5-1. Velasquez got Stageberg to the mat late in the second period. The third period was once again a closer affair with Velasquez gaining a 6-3 edge to win the match 13-4.

The most dramatic bout of the day came at 141 where Cobber junior Adam Presler battled No.6-ranked Matt Nelson all the way to the wire. Nelson had two takedowns in the first period while Presler countered with an escape and a reversal to trail 4-3 after the opening frame. Nelson had the only points of the second period to lead 7-3 before Presler posted an escape as the only points of the third and lost 8-4 after riding time.

The closest decision of the day came at 149 where Blane Tschida lost 5-2 to James Pleski who entered the dual with an 8-4 record and finished second at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open. Pleski took a 2-1 lead after the first period but then Tschida tied the match at 2-2 with an escape to start the second period.

The decisive points in the bout at 149 came in the third period with the score still tied at 2-2. Pleski was able to get an escape after starting the frame on the bottom. He then sealed the match with a late takedown.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will return to Division III action when they participate in the annual NWCA National Duals on Jan. 5-6. Last year the Cobbers finished fourth at the meet and have finished in the Top 4 in three straight years.