CAMBRIDGE, MA - The Iona College women's water polo team saw a four goal lead evaporate in the final quarter before allowing a last second goal as the Gaels fell to Pomona-Pitzer 13-12 in the seventh place game of the 2013 NCAA Championship, held at Blodgett Pool on the campus of Harvard University.
Junior Amy Olsen led the Gaels with five goals in the contest, finishing the season with 102 tallies. Olsen becomes the second player in program history to eclipse the 100 goal barrier in a single season (Maggie Wood, 2011).
The Sagehens got on the board first on a goal by Katy Schaefer in the first minute of play. Iona sophomore Katie Stelnicki was able to tie the game at one with 4:44 remaining in the frame. Pomona-Pitzer would answer with two straight tallies before goals by Olsen and freshman Taylor Silva in the final two minutes of the first evened the game at 3 after one.
In the second, Pomona-Pitzer once again got an early goal to go ahead 4-3 before a pair of goals by Olsen gave the Gaels their first lead of the contest. Silva would connect on her second of the game with seven seconds remaining to give Iona a 6-4 lead at the half.
After the teams traded chances in the early portion of the third, juniorGeorgina Lee put Iona ahead 7-4 with 4:39 remaining in the period. Iona would get another goal from Stelnicki to go up 8-5 before the Sagehens went on a 3-1 run to end the quarter, with a goal by Schaefer with eight seconds remaining cutting the Iona lead to one, 9-8.
In the fourth quarter, Iona opened the frame with a 3-0 run with goals from Lee, Olsen and freshman Meghan Mahoney. Depsite the four goal deficit, the Sagehens would continue to battle. Keeping Iona off the scoreboard for the final 4:44, Pomona-Pitzer got another goal from Schaefer with 4:23 remaining to begin its rally. A goal by Alyssa Wodward with 46 seconds left knotted the game at 12 before a shot by Sallie Walecka as time expired got past the Iona defense for the game winner.
Schaefer led Pomona-Pitzer with five goals while goalkeeper Sarah Tuggy made 13 saves, including 10 in the second half. Sarah Westcott had three goals for the Sagehens while Woodward finished with two.
Iona completes its 2013 campaign with a record of 21-11.