The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team dropped a tough dual match to the North Idaho College Cardinals, 24-21, Friday night in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Despite winning three matches by pins, the Lights were forced to forfeit the heavyweight division with Matt Carter attending his grandfather's funeral.
"If Matt is there he pins their guy," said Lights head coach David Ray. "Instead of giving them six points, we get six and win the dual."
Even with Carter's understandable absence, Ray said, his team still could have won the dual. Northern dug itself a huge hole, losing the first five matches of the dual starting at 141 pounds. Still, Northern was able to fight back into position to win the dual as Mike Lester (184), Emmett Willson (197) and Andy Thompson (125) recorded consecutive pins to bring Northern within six points at 24-18. However, Caleb Schaeffer was unable to pin NIC's Justin Pearch and won by decision.
Knowing a pin would tie the team score and Northern would then win because of most six-point victories, Schaeffer tried everything and anything to pin Pearch.
"Caleb really pushed it early trying to get the pin," Ray said. "He's a team guy and knew we could tie. He came out so hard, he got a little tired late in the match."
Ray, who hasn't seen his team lose many duals, wasn't particularly pleased losing this one.
"I'm pretty upset," Ray said. "We needed to do something at the beginning of the dual. We needed to get a win from those guys and we didn't. They have some really good kids in those weights, but we still should have won at least one of those matches."