With a lead and Patrick Brucki looming, Princeton knew it needed one more big victory in its upset bid of No. 15 North Carolina Friday night in Princeton. Travis Stefanik was more than happy to provide that win, and it was one that nearly took the roof of Jadwin Gym.
The Princeton freshman came up with a first-period fall over Davin Kane that kept Princeton ahead to stay in one of its highest-ranked wins in decades. One month after an upset of No. 8 Lehigh, Princeton did it again with a 23-16 victory over No. 15 North Carolina.
Princeton moved to 4-3 with the win and will bring some added energy and confidence into Saturday's showdown with No. 3 Oklahoma State, which is set for 1 pm in Jadwin Gym. You can purchase tickets online or at the door.
Princeton never trailed Friday after taking three of the first four matches, starting with a 13-3 major decision for 10th-ranked Patrick Glory. The Tiger freshman controlled his match from the start in the leadup to his expected showdown with No. 4 Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State.
North Carolina won at 133 and sent out 19th-ranked AC Headlee at 141, but Marshall Keller was about to give Jadwin its first explosion of the night. A takedown and back points in the second period turned control to the Princeton corner, and Keller never let go of that momentum. A late push gave him the 14-6 major decision, which opened an 8-3 Princeton lead.
The main event of the night happened at 149, and top-ranked Matthew Kolodzik handled the moment just as Princeton fans would expect. He scored the only takedown of the match in the first period and then kept control of 5th-ranked freshman Austin O'Connor in a 3-2 Princeton win.
North Carolina got back into it with two straight wins, but that momentum came to a screeching halt with Stefanik's pin. Kevin Parker nearly kept the heat going against No. 15 Chip Ness of North Carolina, though Ness held on for the 7-5 win.
Regardless, Brucki was still in position to clinch the win, just as he did against both Lehigh and Rider. And for the third time, he handled the moment in style. Brucki pinned Chasen Blair in the first period to secure the Tiger victory. North Carolina added a win at heavyweight to finish the match.
Saturday's match against Oklahoma State will be streamed live on ESPN+.
125 - No. 10 Patrick Glory (P) mdec. Joe Heilmann 13-3
133 - Gary Wayne Harding (UNC) dec. Jonathan Gomez 7-4
141 - Marshall Keller (P) mdec. No. 19 A.C. Headlee 14-6
149 - No. 1 Matthew Kolodzik (P) dec. No. 5 Austin O'Connor 3-2
157 - Joshua McClure (UNC) dec. Quincy Monday 7-3
165 - Sawyer Donaldson (UNC) dec. Dale Tiongson 11-5
174 - Travis Stefanik (P) WBF Devin Kane 1:52
184 - No. 15 Chip Ness (UNC) dec. Kevin Parker 7-5
197 - No. 3 Patrick Brucki (P) WBF Chasen Blair 2:13
285 - Cory Daniel (UNC) mdec. Kendall Elfstrum 19-5