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ASU Wrestling: #24 Lehigh tops #23 Arizona State, Devils winless on road trip

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The squad went 0-2 in this weekend’s meets versus ranked opponents.

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

After losing to Lock Haven Friday night, #23 Arizona State (4-8) traveled to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to face #24 Lehigh (6-7). Lehigh came in riding a five game win streak, and after beating ASU, the program has won six dual meets in a row.

Lehigh kept their hot streak alive as the Sun Devils lost to the Mountain Hawks 23-13, and failed to round out the weekend with a win.

After the 125 lb. and 133 lb. bouts, the score was even at three apiece. Freshman Brandon Courtney earned a 3-2 decision over Lehigh’s Luke Resnick to start things off. Lehigh responded by tying up the scoring 3-3 with a decision of their own. Josh Kramer (133 lb.) fell to Brandon Paetzell the very next round 4-2. The junior lost in a decision last night as well.

Following Kramer’s defeat, Cory Crooks (141 lb.) also lost in a decision against Ryan Pomrinca. The sophomore was defeated 6-4 and Lehigh was up 6-3 early.

Junior #24 Josh Maruca (149 lb.) picked up a 7-2 decision before graduate student #13 Christian Pagdilao (157 lb.) was upset by Lehigh’s #18 Josh Humphreys in the following round. Humphreys came through with a 6-1 decision heading into the intermission. Lehigh was clinging to a 9-6 lead at the half.

Juniors #5 Josh Shields (165 lb.) and #2 Zahid Valencia (174 lb.) both secured big wins for the Devils heading into the second half of the meet.

Shields prevailed against Gordon Wolf 7-6 to stay unbeaten for the weekend, and Valencia came away with a major decision versus #7 Jordan Kutler to put Arizona State out in front 13-9.

With a four point lead heading into the final three bouts, ASU looked like they had a chance go 1-1 over the course of the weekend’s competitions. But one issue this team has had this season is the inability to finish out meets strong. That proved to be the problem again on Saturday.

Jacen Petersen (wrestling up at 184 lb.) was no match for #7 Ryan Preisch. The senior lost in a major decision 10-0. Another senior, Austyn Harris (197 lb.), was pinned in the third period of his match with 54 seconds left. Finally, heavyweight Brady Daniel (285 lb.) went down in major decision fashion while taking on Lehigh’s #7 Jordan Wood. Wood won the match 12-4.

ASU Wrestling will be hitting the road one final time this month: They are in Northern California to throw down with Stanford next Saturday. The meet will start at 2:00 PM MST and should be available to watch through a Stanford live stream.