Water Polo Takes Seventh At NCAA Championship
Courtesy: ICGaels.com  
Release: Sunday 05/13/2012

Head Coach Brian Kelly
“I just turned 40 a couple of months ago and I feel like I just turned 50 or 60 after that game. It was a tough game. It was kind of like our entire season. We have been a team all year that gets nice leads and squander them. The good thing is we have been winning those games all year. You have to give a lot of credit to Pomona. They really played tough and physical. They played much more physical than the last time we played them. They had us on our heels. We were lucky to get a couple of stops and get the game in overtime.”

SAN DIEGO, CA - The seventh-seeded Iona College women's water polo team earned seventh place at the 2012 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships with a 12-8 overtime victory over eighth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Sunday afternoon in the seventh place game held at the Aztec Aquaplex on the campus of San Diego State University.† The win marked the first NCAA Championship victory in program history.

Iona took an early lead when senior Cecilia Leonard found an open Alyssa Turza, who found the back off the net after shrugging off her defender as the Gaels took a 1-0 lead.† Iona would add their late later in the quarter when sophomore Erika Lauraitis skipped a shot past Pomona goalkeeper Sarah Tuggy.† Pomona would quickly respond as Mahalia Prater-Fahey and Sarah Westcott scored back-to-back goal for the Sagehens to even the game at two at the end of the first.

Iona would win the opening swimoff of the second quarter and take back the lead when Turza found the net for the second time of the day.† Pomona would respond with a extra-man goal by Annie Oxborough-Yanks to even things up before Iona closed the half on a 2-0 run.† Leonard would rifle a shot past Tuggy on a man-up opportunity for Iona before senior Caitlin McGregor scored on a 2-1 break away after Pomona turned the ball over in the Iona end of the pool as Iona heading into the half leading 5-3.

The third quarter was quiet as the two teams scored just one goal apiece.† Pomona cut the lead to one at 5-4 when Perri Hopkins converted a man-up opportunity with 3:33 remaining in the third quarter.† Lauraitis responded with her second goal of the game to push the Iona lead back to two heading to the fourth.

Pomona-Pitzer struck first in the fourth on a goal by Chrissie Alving-Trinh, once again closing the Iona lead to one.† On the next possession, Pomona-Pitzer tied the game at six with 6:25 remaining on Prater-Fahey's second tally of the day.† Iona retook the lead when Lauraitis got the ball on an Iona counter, swam up the pool and buried a shot under the right arm of Tuggy with 4:42 on the clock.† Leonard would extend the lead back to two, converting a backhand shot off a pass from senior Mackenie Mone with 3:30 remaining.† Pomona would not quit, as the Sagehens went on a 2-0 run to tie the game with 1:16 left.† First, a precise lob shot on the left shoulder of Iona sophomore goalkeeper Marisa Gaynor by Vicky Gyorffy cut the lead to one before Alyssa Woodward buried a shot from the outside to knot up the contest.† Pomona had a chance to take the lead late in the contest, possessing the ball with 12 seconds on the clock, but a turnover in the set helped the Gaels send the game into overtime.

Iona would outscore the Sagehens 4-0 in the two extra frames.† The first two minutes of the first overtime went scoreless before a cross pass from McGregor to Amy Olsen resulted in a goal for the Gaels, the first of the weekend for the sophomore two-meter.† Olsen would then draw a five-meter exclusion, allowing Leonard to convert a penalty shot to give Iona a two goal lead with 31 seconds remaining.† After the teams switched sides, Lauraitis tossed a lob pass over the head of Tuggy for her fourth goal of the game before Mone converted an open net goal with 10 seconds remaining to propel the Gaels to a four goal victory.

In net, Gaynor recorded 15 saves while Tuggy ended with 12 stops.† Iona ends the 2012 season with a record of 25-13, while Pomona-Pitzer, champions of the SCIAC, end the year with a 21-19 mark.

Goals: Pomona-Pizer: Mahalia Prater-Fahey 2, Sarah Westcot, Annie Oxborough-Yankus, Perri Hopkins, Chrissie Alving-Trinh, Vicky Gyorffy, Alyssa Woodward
Iona: Erika Lauraitis 4, Alyssa Turza 2, Cecilia Leonard 3, Caitlin McGregor, Amy Olsen, Mackenzie Mone

Saves: Pomona-Pizer: Sarah Tuggy 12
Iona: Marisa Gaynor 15

Score by Quarter † †1 † 2 † 3 † 4 † 0T1 † OT2† - †Final
Pomona-Pitzer † ††† 4 † 2 † 2 † 1 † 0 ††† 0† - † † †9
Iona College † † †† 3 † 3 † 4 † 5 † 2 ††† 2† - † †† 15

IONA Women's Water Polo


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