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MSU-Moorhead downs Northern State in NSIC opener

1/17/2013
Minnesota State University Moorhead Sports Information

MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Pins from junior Angel Vega and redshirt freshman Jesse Puncochar helped the Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team earn a 30-16 win over Northern State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference dual Wednesday night at Alex Nemzek Hall in Moorhead, Minn.
Jacob Bennett

The Dragons (6-2, 1-0 NSIC) have won four of five duals since returning from the holiday break, while Northern State fell to 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the league.

MSUM won seven matches on the night, and earned bonus points in four of them.

"I'm very proud that the guys went out there and got bonus points in those matches," MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. "That's something I've been stressing."

The dual started at 157 pounds, and senior Jacob Bennett, a national qualifier a year ago, got the Dragons off on the right note with an impressive win by technical fall (18-3 in 5:00) over Weston Resmen.

"Jake Bennett started the match great for us," Nelson said. "You go out there and get a technical fall off the bat, and there's five points. He set the pace and the guys continued to follow after that."

Senior Kerron Williams won a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Northern's Blake Lundgren to stretch the Dragon lead to 8-0. Puncochar then extended his winning streak to five with a pin of Northern's Anthony Navarro in just 53 seconds at 174.

"Jesse's on a great streak," Nelson said. "He is doing great things for us."

MSUM, which won the first five matches wrestled, got a solid 6-1 win from junior Matt Lewellen at 184 to stretch the lead to 17-0. At 197, redshirt freshman Lucas Moderow pushed the Dragon lead to 20-0 with a 5-3 win over Northern's Baker Haar.

"It was good to see Lucas go out there and get a win," Nelson said. "He just out-conditioned the guy."

Northern got on the board with a major decision at heavyweight and a pin at 125 to cut the Dragon lead to 20-10. However, MSUM won the next two matches to put the match out of reach. Sophomore Philippe Walker won the 133-pound match with a 9-1 major decision win over Northern's Tyler Frost to give the Dragons a 24-10 lead. Vega then recorded the Dragons' second pin of the match, a win by fall in 4:47 over Northern's Ian Muirhead.

"Vega continĂșes to keep going strong," Nelson said.

The Wolves won by fall at 149 but were down 30-10 entering the match as the outcome was decided.

The Dragons are right back in action on Thursday at No. 1-ranked St. Cloud State, which is 11-0 in duals this season.

"Overall we wrestled a good match," Nelson said. "We were a little flat at some weights, but going into the St. Cloud State match, it's a good match to have. They're No. 1 in the nation. We've got to pick it up another notch and get after them."

Results:
157-Jacob Bennett (MSUM) tech. fall Weston Resmen (NSU), 18-3
165-Kerron Williams (MSUM) dec. Blake Lundgren (NSU), 3-2
174-Jesse Puncochar (MSUM) pinned Anthony Navarro (NSU), 0:53
184-Matt Lewellen (MSUM) dec. Jeb Clay (NSU), 6-1
197-Lucas Moderow (MSUM) dec. Baker Haar (NSU), 5-3
285-Matt Meuleners (NSU) maj. dec. Gerad Fugleberg, 8-0
125-Anthony Bruno (NSU) pinned Mitch Dunlap (MSUM), 4:30
133-Philippe Walker (MSUM) maj. dec. Tyler Frost (NSU), 9-1
141-Angel Vega (MSUM) pinned Ian Muirhead (NSU) 4:47
149-Grant Steen (NSU) pinned Mariano Portillo (MSUM), 2:39

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