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Sun Devils Down Tar Heels in Season Opener, 21-16
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 11/09/2012
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Nov. 9, 2012

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - A pair of timely pins gave the Arizona State University team the boost it needed to knock off the North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday Night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

It was a back-and-forth affair in Carmichael Arena, but the Sun Devils came out on top by a final score of 21-16 to improve to 1-0 to start the season. 

Shane McGough got things going for the Sun Devils at 133 pounds in a high scoring affair to open the 2012-13 season against Joey Ward, but came up just shy in a 15-10 decision.

At 141 pounds, freshman Matt Kraus made his Sun Devil debut against No. 19 Evan Henderson and dropped a 13-4 major decision as the Tar Heels jumped out to a 7-0 lead. 

Sophomore Nathan Hoffer got ASU on the board with an 8-7 decision over Christian Barber before Codey Combs grabbed another decision over Chris Mears in his ASU debut, 5-3, to bring the score within 7-6. 

UNC's John Staudenmayer then took down Parker Madl in a 6-2 decision to give UNC the 10-6 lead at the midway point. 

But just like that, the Sun Devils were back in it with the first fall of the night as Blake Stauffer pinned Frank Abbondanza with just 14 seconds left in his first career match in the Maroon and Gold to give ASU a 12-10 advantage through six bouts.

The Tar Heels bounced back with a win at 184 pounds as Alex Utley posted a decision over Kevin Radford, 6-4 to make it 13-12 in favor of UNC.

Senior Jake Meredith returned to the mat for the Sun Devils in the first time in over a year and did so in style, downing Antonio Giorgio at 197 pounds to give ASY a 15-13 edge. 

ASU's lone other senior and returning All-American and No. 8 Levi Cooper provided the clutch performance of the night as he pinned Jake Barnhart at the 6:18 mark to give ASU an insurmountable lead heading into the final bout of the evening at 21-13.

Dalton Miller dropped a decision at 125 pounds to round out the evening, but ASU took the match thanks to Cooper's 17th career pin as the senior improved to 63-38 in his career.

The Sun Devils return to action in a double-header tomorrow as the squad takes on Bloomsburg and Campbell beginning at 4 p.m. PT. A complete recap of tomorrow's matches will be available at the conclusion of the event.

133 - Joey Ward (NC) over Shane McGough (ASU) Dec, 15-10 - ASU 0, NC 3

141 - #19 Evan Henderson (NC) over Matt Kraus (ASU) MD, 13-4 - ASU 0, NC 7

149 - Nathan Hoffer (ASU) over Christian Barber (NC) Dec, 9-7 - ASU 3, NC 7

157 - Codey Combs (ASU) over Chris Mears (NC) Dec, 5-3 - ASU 6, NC 7

165 - John Staudenmayer (NC) over Parker Madl (ASU) Dec, 6-2 - ASU 6, NC 10

174 - Blake Stauffer (ASU) over Frank Abbondanza (NC) Pin, 6:46 - ASU 12, NC 10

184 - Alex Utley (NC) over Kevin Radford (ASU) Dec, 13-6 - ASU 12, NC 13

197 - Jake Meredith (ASU) over Antonio Giorgio (NC) Dec, 6-4 - ASU 15, NC 13

HWT - #9 Levi Cooper(ASU) over Jake Barnhart (NC) Pin, 6:18 - ASU 21, NC 13

125 - Nathan Kraisser (NC) over Dalton Miller (ASU) Dec, 10-5 - ASU 21, NC 16

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