A Fitting Battle Of Top 10 Teams

Sophomore Cole Sladek gets the takedown in the third period in his 7-3 upset over No.5-ranked Eric Hensel of Augsburg.
Sophomore Cole Sladek gets the takedown in the third period in his 7-3 upset over No.5-ranked Eric Hensel of Augsburg.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/22/16)—The battle of top 10 teams in Division III came down to the fifth tiebreaker criteria. No.4-ranked Concordia was eventually edged out by No.8-ranked Augsburg 34-32 in individual points to give the Auggies a 16-15 victory.

Both teams were victorious in five individual matches and all five were won by a decision. Since neither team had the advantage in matches won, or earned a point by unsportsmanlike conduct or had any bonus point victories, the dual came down to points won in individual matches and that is where Augsburg held the 34-32 advantage.

Concordia drops its third straight dual decision – all to teams ranked in the top 10 of the nation – and falls to 12-5 in duals this season. Augsburg is now 10-2 in dual meets.

While the match was decided on tiebreak criteria it was won with a streak of four individual wins by the Auggies from 174 through 285. The match started at 141 and the Cobbers claimed three of the first four wins before the Auggies went on a four-match win streak to grab a 15-9 lead with only two bouts left.

Concordia rallied behind wins from No,6-ranked Jakob Stageberg at 125 and then No.5 ranked Gabe Foltz at 133 to tie the match at 15-15 and send it to the officials for the tiebreaking decision.

Stageberg had a takedown in each of the first two periods, didn't allow a single takedown in the match and earned a 6-2 decision. Foltz then battled through a scoreless first period before getting an escape and takedown in the second period. The winning margin came when Foltz got a takedown in the middle of the third period and won 5-3.

The biggest upset of the night came at 165 where Cobber sophomore Cole Sladek got a pair of late third-period takedowns to beat No.5-ranked Eric Hensel. Hensel was 16-2 coming into the match. Sladek had a takedown in the first period and an escape to start the second and took a 3-1 lead into the final period. Hensel got the escape to start the third but then Sladek came up with the two huge takedowns and posted a 7-3 win.

Blane Tschida and Ben Cousins had the other two wins for Concordia. Tschida gave Concordia a 3-0 lead when he scored a 3-2 decision at 141 to start the team match. Tscida had the only takedown at 141. His first-period takedown plus an escape to start the third period gave Tschida his third win of the year.

Cousins used his usual M.O. to record his 18th win of the season. Cousins refused to give up points. His defense wore down his opponent and then he grabbed two takedowns in the third period to win 7-3 at 165. His opponent only had three escapes for the three periods. Cousins has won 11 of his last 14 matches and is now 18-10 for the year.

Jakob Stageberg has backed up his NCAA Meet appearance in his freshman season by leading Concordia in wins in his sophomore year. Stageberg has won nine of his last 10 matches and is now 24-7 on the year.

Senior Gabe Foltz has now won seven straight matches and is 19-3 on the year. His last loss came at the Desert Duals in Las Vegas in December. He is 6-0 in 2016.

Concordia will stay at home and square off against Dickinson State in a dual meet on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. The Cobbers beat the Bluehawks 21-14 last season in a dual held in Dickinson.

Individual Match Results:
141 - Blane Tschida (CC) decision Aaron Wilson (AC); 3-2 (Concordia 3-0)
149 - Rashad Kennedy (AC) decision Ty Johnson (CC); 5-2(Tied 3-3)
157 - Ben Cousins (CC) decision Grant Parker (AC); 7-3 (Concordia 6-3)
165 - Cole Sladek (CC) decision #5 Eric Hensel (AC); 7-3 (Concordia 9-3)
174 - Austin Boniface (AC) decision Jake Johnson (CC); 4-0 (Concordia 9-6)
184 - Sebastian Larson (AC) decision Ricky Briggs (CC); 4-1 (Tied 9-9)
197 - Logan Hortop (AC) decision Jake Briggs (CC); 1-0 (Augsburg 12-9)
285 - #1 Donny Longendyke (AC) decision Justice Davis (CC); 7-1 (Augsburg 15-9)
125 - #6 Jakob Stageberg (CC) decision James Goman (AC); 6-2 (Augsburg 15-12)
133 - #5 Gabe Foltz (CC) decision Sam Bennyhoff (AC); 5-3 (Tied 15-15)

* Augsburg wins dual 16-15 on tiebreaker criteria #5 - overall points (34-32)