The Sun Devils were in University Park, Pennsylvania Friday night looking to snap top-ranked Penn State’s (4-0) 48 dual match win streak. That didn’t happen. The Sun Devils (1-3) got chewed up by the Nittany Lions and suffered their worst dual meet loss of the season by far.
The freshman, Brandon Courtney (125 lb.), took on Penn State’s Devin Schnupp to get the night started. Courtney secured a trio of takedowns to jump out ahead in the first period. Heading into the third period, Courtney had a 9-3 lead. He was able to come away with two more takedowns in the third to give himself the 13-7 victory and ASU a 3-0 lead after the first bout. This was the highlight of the night for ASU: Courtney gave them their only victory.
Ryan Millhof (125 lb.), a senior who wrestled up in the 133 lb. weight class, lost to the speedy Roman Bravo-Young 14-1. ASU sophomore, Cory Crooks (141 lb.), got pinned down in the very next bout. Just like that, Penn State had taken a 10-3 lead over Arizona State.
Penn State just kept on rolling after that. Josh Maruca (149 lb.), a junior from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville (PA), lost a close match to Penn State’s Brady Berge. Graduate student, Christian Pagdilao (157 lb.), was then taken out 18-5 by defending champion, Jason Nolf. Nolf had four takedowns in the first period alone. Penn State rode a 17-3 team lead into halftime Friday night.
Sadly, things did not improve for ASU after the break as junior, Josh Shields (165 lb.), couldn’t get anything going versus Vincenzo Joseph. Shields lost in a major decision 11-2. And in the big matchup of the night, the 174 lb. bout featuring juniors #1 Zahid Valencia and #2 Mark Hall (both previous national champions), Hall shut Valencia down en route to a 4-0 decision victory. This was Valencia’s second collegiate loss ever with both having come at the hands of Hall.
It was a rough end of the night for the Sun Devils: Sophomore, Kordell Norfleet (184 lb.), fell to Shakur Rasheed 15-0. Austyn Harris (197 lb.), a senior, was swiftly defeated by Bo Nickal. Nickal was able to pin Harris in just 35 seconds for his 97th career win. Finally, freshman heavyweight, Brady Daniel, came up short against Penn State’s Anthony Cassar. Cassar secured a fall in the third period giving himself the victory. When it was all said and done, the Nittany Lions had routed the Sun Devils 41-3. Yes, 41-3 was the final score tonight from University Park.
The team will now take a two-week break before regrouping in Hoffman Estates, Illinois for the Midlands Championships which are December 29-30.