The Northern State Wolves came into Bresnan Arena to take on a hungry Minnesota State Mavericks team that was out for blood after a road mishap. The Mavericks cruised to a 38-6 rout of the Wolves Thursday night.
To begin the night, Chris Zimmer wrestled right through the clock problems to kick the match off with a Maverick win. Zimmer proved faster than Harrison Townsend the entirety of the match, which showed big in the end as he won on back-to-back takedowns.
“We had a great night and our boys did a great job,” head coach Jim Makovsky said. “One of the key factors for us all year has been our great locker room and all the positivity and competition from that. We still have a big goal this year and are looking ahead to do well in Regionals.”
Andrew McFall had a great match Thursday. After earning an early take down, he finished Matthew Leier off with a beautiful submission to win the match. This came after multiple throw downs, setting up the finishing move.
Louie Sanders started out fast, grabbing a pair of takedowns followed by an extended pin on the mat that doubled his points. With Sanders mounting the point total, C.J. Voegeli started wrestling more desperately, playing right into Sanders’ hand. He dominated with three more takedowns to Voegeli’s one.
Northern State did show signs of life when Tyler Sternberg took the mat in his bout with Daniel Close. It only took a takedown and fall due to Close’s inability to escape from Stenberg’s grip. This gave the Wolves their first points of the night to make it 19-3, MNSU.
The duo of the night occurred when Blake Perryman and Dylan Herman took the mat in an exciting back-and-forth affair for Northern State’s chance to build on momentum and get back into the match. With a pair of takedowns and three ear pulls, Perryman seemed to be doing just that for the Wolves as he had a dominant lead. However, Herman refused to go quietly, slowly working his opponent, looking for a chance to apply his signature move: the bobby or gator roll. He was able to work in the move and grabbed a submission to complete the victory.
Zack Johnston took the mat against Ben Fichter to follow. Both Johnston and Fichter started out with early take downs. However, late in the match Johnston was able to pull ahead with an escape and take down back-to-back, which helped him pull ahead.
“My favorite memory will be running down that tunnel with the home crowd and the excitement of the team and the match ahead, and that never gets old from freshman year to my last time,” said senior Adam Cooling after his last performance in front of the MNSU’s home crowd.
Cooling took the home mat for the last time in his bout with Tanner Olsen, who also stood in the way of his 100th win. Olsen was no match for Cooling’s aggressive style of wrestling, and Cooling was in control all night long as he notched six takedowns to none, grabbing his 100th win in dominate fashion and showing another stellar performance in Bresnan Arena.
“It’s pretty cool to get to that 100 mark,” said Cooling. “But that is not the final goal. The final goal is to do really well at Regionals and hopefully beyond.”
Corey Abernathy built off Cooling’s momentum with another impressive MNSU performance as he was able to impose his will on David Murphy, racking up points quickly with a takedown and near fall. After another take down, Abernathy sealed the fight on the submission off a fall and took the fight, giving the Mavs an impressive 38-3 lead headed into the final match of the night.
Despite a disappointing night for Northern State, Joe Gomez gave the Wolves a win to end the night on. The Maverick freshmen Matt Blome had a lot of trouble with Gomez’s defense and after he scored an early takedown, he protected his lead with a conservative approach.
The night ended with a Minnesota State win 38-6, with some great performances from guys all over the roster. Thursday night’s win paired with a tight 21-16 win in Augustana on Friday gives the Mavs seven wins over their last eight matches. Up next for the Mavericks will be the NCAA Division II Super Region Three tournament February 24-25 in Moorhead, Minn.