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ASU Wrestling: No. 5 Michigan surges late to defeat No. 9 Arizona State

The Sun Devils are now 0-3 against top-five teams this season

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

Saturday night saw a mixup in Tempe as it was Big 10 versus Pac-12. No. 5 Michigan (5-0) was able to counter ASU’s hot start with a late rally and surge to a 23-12 victory over the Sun Devils (1-4). The Wolverines have now bested the Sun Devils two years in a row (they beat ASU in a dual meet last season 21-18).

Arizona State jumped on the board first courtesy of #15 Christian Pagdilao (157 lb.). The grad student earned a 6-2 decision against the Wolverines’ #3 Alec Pantaleo to set the tone early for the Devils. Junior, #5 Josh Shields (165 lb.), got the 7-3 decision against #6 Logan Massa to keep things rolling after that first win by Pagdilao.

In the second of two straight top-10 matchups, #2 Zahid Valencia (174 lb.) took to the mat to face Michigan’s #3 Myles Amine. The junior from Bellflower secured a takedown early in the first and then was able to prevent an escape attempt by Amine to round out the first period. Another takedown in the second period followed by an escape in the third put Valencia in the driver’s seat 5-2 down the stretch. A late takedown by Amine was not enough and with riding time factoring in to the outcome, Valencia came out on top 6-4.

After senior, Jacen Petersen (wrestling at 184 lb.), picked up another decision for the Sun Devils, ASU was leading the dual meet 12-0. The comfortable 12-0 lead would not last long.

The senior, Austyn Harris (197 lb.), fell to #18 Jackson Striggow in a 10-6 decision. Right after that, the Wolverines’ Mason Parris secured a fall on freshman heavyweight, Brady Daniel. Arizona State led 12-9 and their lead had dissolved.

Things did not improve for the Devils after the short break. In the 125 lb. bout, Brandon Courtney, a freshman out of Goodyear, Arizona, lost to #11 Drew Mattin in a close one. Sophomore, #20 Josiah Kline (133 lb.), suffered a technical fall. Cory Crooks (141 lb.), another Sun Devil sophomore, went down against #6 Kanen Storr. And junior, #11 Josh Maruca (149 lb.), was upset by Michigan’s Malik Amine.

Arizona State dropped six straight bouts and the Wolverines came roaring back to win the dual meet 23-12. The Sun Devils are away for the rest of February. They kick off their road trip this upcoming Friday at the Virginia Duals.