By Ryan Divish
Willson did the complete opposite of starting slowly. The defending national champion, barely broke a sweat pinning Joe Fivmara 43 seconds into the match.
After sitting out with a bad elbow, Azure wrestled a tough match against former Light Mark Nay. Azure started strong taking advantage of an overaggressive Nay picking up a takedown and a near fall 30 seconds into the match. Azure led 11-1 in the second period before Nay picked up seven points in the third period as Azure tired.
That certainly didn't please Ray, but Azure wasn't the only guilty party.
"We had a couple guys get tired at the end of their matches," Ray said. "I don't know if it's not warming up or preparation, but we can't have it. We want to be physical and wear our opponents down both physically and mentally in the third period."
Northern forfeited the match at 125 as Andy Thompson couldn't go, but also picked up a forfeit at 184.
Northern's only losses came at 174 as DSU's Gabe Harry defeated Trevor Floerchinger, 6-4, and the Blue Hawk's heavyweight Matt Benjamin pinned freshman Andrew Leichtnam.
"Trevor gave his man too much respect. He loses by two and if he's more aggressive he might have won," Ray said. "Andrew has barely been on the mat this year and it showed."
Despite everything that he didn't like, Ray will still take the win. It's early in the season and his team still isn't quite at full strength.
"This wasn't too bad," Ray said. "I know we're better than this. We've got to get a rhythm early and build on it."
Northern will head to Powell, Wyo. for the Northwest Open this weekend. Ray will take 26 wrestlers for the five team meet.
"This weekend will be a good chance for everyone to get on the mat," Ray said. "It will be good for the redshirts and other kids to get some experience."