WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The University of Scranton wrestling team opened its 2017-18 season by finishing eighth at the Ned McGinley Invitaitonal at King's College.
Sophomore Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) was the Royals' top finisher, placing fourth at 197 pounds. Connelly entered as the no. 2 seed and posted three straight wins by decision to reach the semifinal where he lost a narrow 4-3 decision to Peter Pjetri of Oneonta State. Connelly rebounded with a win in a consolation semifinal before falling in the third-place match.
Three other wrestlers earned three victories for Scranton – sophomore Nicholas Ciaccia (Freehold, N.J./Howell) at 141 pounds, freshman Kyle Shaffer (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) at 149 pounds and sophomore John Sheedy (Somerset, N.J./Bishop George Ahr H.S.) at 157 pounds.
Ciaccia started the day in impressive fashion, posting back-to-back pins to reach the quarterfinals. There, he lost a hard-fought decision, 2-1, to Oneonta State's Anthony Messina. Ciaccia rebounded to win a decision in a consolation bout before falling in the consolation quarterfinal.
Shaffer opened his college career with a 12-3 major decision over Penn College's Zach Fitzsimmons, then followed that with a victory by decision to reach the quarterfinals before losing by pin. In the consolation bracket, Shaffer rolled to a 15-5 major decision before falling in a quarterfinal bout.
Sheedy advanced all the way to the semifinal at 157 with a pin, a major decision and a technical fall. But an injury ended his day there as he took a medical forfeit in the semifinal and in a consolation semifinal.
Scranton also received two wins each from Nathaniel Cohen (Port Jervis, N.Y./Port Jervis) at 165 pounds, sophomore Kiel Pechko (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) at 174, freshman Patrick Deacon (Glenside, Pa./La Salle College H.S.) at 185 and freshman Tomi Toles (Freeport, N.Y./Chaminade) at 197. Pechko and Deacon both had pins among their two wins.
The Royals will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 11, when they host the Electric City Duals in the Long Center beginning at 10 a.m.