WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Senior Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) finished second at 197 pounds as the top performer for The University of Scranton wrestling team at the season-opening Ned McGinley Invitational on Saturday at King's College.
D'Agostini's finish led the Royals to 10th place in the 16-team event, finishing with 51 points. York won the team title with 206.5 points.
D'Agostini, who was the third seed, showed his muscle right from the beginning, posting a 15-2 major decision in his first bout. He followed that with 7-3 and 7-6 decisions to reach the semifinal against second-seeded Jared Mooney of Penn College. D'Agostini got defensive in that bout, scoring a 5-2 win to advance to the final against top-seeded Muhamed Alic of York.
In the final, D'Agostini fell behind early and spent most of the match trying to play catch up. He trailed 3-1 in the third period, but had a significant advantage in riding time. But he could not secure another point to force overtime and eventually lost, 3-2. With his four victories, D'Agostini now has 73 for his career, seventh-most in program history.
Six other Royals posted at least two wins on the day, led by junior Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) at 285 pounds. After an opening win, a 19-5 major decision, Connelly followed with an 8-2 decision. But he was knocked into the consolation bracket with a 5-2 loss in his next match.
In the consolation bracket, Connelly went on a run, posting wins of 11-5 and 7-3 before being eliminated in a 5-0 decision in the consolation semifinal.
At 184 pounds, senior Andrew Gombas (Warren, N.J./Bound Brook) opened with back-to-back wins to reach the quarterfinal. He opened with a narrow 2-1 decision before posting a 5-2 decision. But in the quarterfinal, Gombas ran into top-seeded Frankie Krauss of York, who handed him a technical fall defeat, 21-6. Gombas then suffered a first-period pin in his first consolation match, ending his day.
At 165 pounds, senior Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) suffered an opening-round loss, but rallied in the consolation bracket to post three straight victories. The first came on a first-period medical forfeit while leading 3-2. After a bye, Merle then earned a 13-6 major decision and a pin in 2:34 before he suffered a narrow 6-5 loss in a consolation quarterfinal.
Also at 165 pounds, sophomore Kyle Shaffer (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) overcame a first-round defeat to post back-to-back pins, the first in 4:00 and the second in 6:46 before he lost to Merle to end his day.
At 174 pounds, freshman Justin Weimer (Leonardo, N.J./Middletown South) posted three straight consolation victories after a first-round loss. Among those wins was the first pin of his career in 1:48.
At 133 pounds, freshman A.J. Sortino (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan) posted two consolation victories at 133 pounds, including the first pin of his collegiate career, which came in just 35 seconds.
At 125 pounds, freshman Matthew Murawski (Harrington Park, N.J. / Northern Valley - Old Tappan) opened his day with a 15-0 technical fall before suffering a narrow 5-4 defeat in the next round. He battled back in the consolation bracket with three straight wins including a pin and two major decisions before being pinned in his final match of the day.
The wrestling team will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 11, when the Royals host the Electric City Duals beginning at 10 a.m. in the Long Center.