New Castle News

October 12, 2012

Neshannock golfers finish third in the WPIAL

Andrew Petyak
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — It wasn’t a three-peat for the Neshannock High golf team, but the Lancers were pleased with a third-place trophy nonetheless.

Senior Mike Maciarello shot an 8-over-par 80 to lead Neshannock to third place out of six teams in the WPIAL Class AA Boys Golf Championship yesterday at Cedarbrook Gold Golf Course. The third-place finish snapped a streak of two WPIAL championships for the Lancers.

“Nobody really expected much of us when the season started,” Maciarello said. “Making it this far was pretty nice.”

Burgettstown took first place with a score of 411, while Sewickley Academy was second at 415, and Neshannock third at 430. Shenango finished in a tie for fourth with Freeport at 447. Winchester-Thurston rounded out the group of six with a 458.   

Six of the 59 Class AA teams in the WPIAL qualified for yesterday’s event. The top five scores for each team of six golfers were counted.

Despite making it to the championships, both Lawrence County teams were disappointed with their performances.

“I just couldn’t capitalize on the green,” Maciarello said. “I missed a couple of short putts. I could have scored a little bit better.”

Maciarello’s score placed him third overall, trailing Burgettstown’s Owen Miller, who shot a 74. Maciarello wasn’t the only golfer having issues for the Lancers.

“I spent a lot of time in the sand,” Neshannock senior Matt Cioffi said. “I forgot to bring my beach towel.”

Cioffi, who shot 84 and finished second on the team, also has qualified for the WPIAL individual tournament that will take place Monday at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville.

Freshman teammate Marissa Kirkwood, daughter of coach Mike Kirkwood, finished third with a score of 87. Senior Max Watters finished with a score of 89. Juniors Grant Weaver and Marcus Giangiuli both shot 90.

“I think they scored a little higher than our practice round yesterday,” Mike Kirkwood said. “Maybe they just didn’t take the respect to the course that they should have.”

Kirkwood doesn’t see third place this time around as a step back.

“We really had four unknowns on this team coming into the season,” Kirkwood said. “They’re doing pretty well.”  

Shenango coach John Dado wishes his team could have done better.

“We didn’t get off to a good start,” Dado said. “It’s a little disappointing.”

Wildcats junior Lucas Villani shot 87 to lead the team, but had trouble with the grind of the day.

“It was a long day,” Villani said. “I couldn’t get anything going. It was just double bogeys, double bogeys, double bogeys.”

Wildcats standout Darren Carone followed closely behind with an 88. Carone, a senior, also will participate in Monday’s individual tournament. Sophomore Paul Turco mirrored Carrone’s score of 88. Senior Tyler Settle shot a 91, while junior Rocco Fiorilli had a 93.

This was the second consecutive finals appearance for the Wildcats, a positive not lost on Dado.

“I think it’s a big accomplishment just to get here,” Dado said. “To win the section like we did, to win the Tri-County. We had a great year.”