EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Dakota Leach's second-period pin at 133 pounds gave SIUE wrestling an early lead as the Cougars clipped The Citadel 18-16 Sunday in a Southern Conference dual at the Vadalabene Center.
It was SIUE's first-ever victory over The Citadel in four meetings against the Bulldogs. SIUE improved to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in the SoCon. The Citadel, which was ranked third in the SoCon preseason poll, fell to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the SoCon.
"It was nice to get a win for our team," said SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates. "We had a really close dual last night with Northern Illinois but just came up on the wrong end. Today for our guys to get that first SoCon win, that's really going to build some momentum towards the end of the year."
Leach pulled out a pin in 3 minutes, 56 seconds over The Citadel's Caleb Smith. After being taken down in the first period, Smith chose the bottom position in the second period only to be caught in a cradle.
"He got the crowd back into it," said Spates. "I think that was a big shift in the momentum."
SIUE's John Fahy also earned a huge victory at 149 pounds. Fahy bested three-time NCAA qualifier and two-time defending Southern Conference champion Matthew Frisch with a 6-4 sudden victory. Fahy gained a takedown in the first overtime period.
Spates said Fahy has been defeating the wrestlers he has supposed to defeat but hadn't picked up wins against wrestlers ranked higher. After the past two days, Spates noted he hopes this improves Fahy's standing.
"We have Higgins up a weight at 165 now, and I think that's a good adjustment for him," said Spates.
The Cougars have four dual meets planned for next week. SIUE travels to Brookings, South Dakota, for Friday duals against Cal State Bakersfield and South Dakota State. Next Sunday, SIUE face SoCon rival Davidson and Grand Canyon at the Vadalabene Center.
SIUE 18 The Citadel 16
125 - Charles Kearney (The Citadel) over Joe Antonelli (SIUE) (Dec 7-4)
133 - Dakota Leach (SIUE) over Caleb Smith (The Citadel) (Fall 3:56)
141 - Tyler Buckiso (The Citadel) over John Muldoon (SIUE) (Dec 8-2)
149 - John Fahy (SIUE) over Matthew Frisch (The Citadel) (SV-1 6-4)
157 - Aaron Walker (The Citadel) over Erik Travers (SIUE) (MD 17-5)
165 - Nate Higgins (SIUE) over Daniel Smith (The Citadel) (Dec 8-2)
174 - Clayton Bass (SIUE) over Timothy Knipl (The Citadel) (Dec 6-0)
184 - Derek Nagel (SIUE) over Sawyer Root (The Citadel) (Dec 5-4)
197 - Marshall Haas (The Citadel) over Jake Tindle (SIUE) (Dec 9-4)
285 - Joseph Bexley (The Citadel) over Chris Johnson (SIUE) (SV-1 4-2)