CAMBRIDGE, MA/NEW LONDON, CT - The Iona College men's water polo team completed its regular season schedule Sunday with a pair of CWPA North matchups on the road. After leading for most of the first three periods, the Gaels dropped a close match 10-9 to MIT in the first contest of the day. In the second game of the day, the Gaels picked up a 20-10 win over Connecticut College at the Jane Cadwell Lott Natatorium.
Against MIT, the Gaels’ top scorer, junior Jake Lloyd led Iona with four goals, while senior Lee Stiles and junior Ian Thompson scored two each, and junior Nicholas Joslyn had one. Senior goalie Stefen Hill recorded 13 saves, and junior Matthew Stelnicki won all four swimoffs.
Only 19 seconds into the match, Thompson put Iona on the board, followed by Stiles and Lloyd, giving the Gaels a 3-0 lead with 1:52 left in the first period. MIT scored on a five-meter penalty to trim the Gael edge to 3-1 going into the second frame.
Stiles’ second goal 54 seconds into the second increased the Gael advantage to 4-1, but the hosts answered with two scores to pull within one 4-3 at the 5:06 mark. Joslyn put Iona back up by two with 2:52 left for a 5-3 halftime lead.
In the third period, the Engineers narrowed the Iona edge to 5-4 with 5:56 left. Fifty seconds later Lloyd’s second goal gave Iona a 6-4 lead. MIT hit two straight to goals to knot the match at six each with 4:07 left in the third. A minute and nineteen seconds later, Thompson’s second goal gave the Gaels a one-goal edge 7-6. In the third frame’s closing minute, MIT scored twice to pull ahead briefly, until Lloyd’s third goal tied the match at eight with three seconds on the clock.
MIT scored twice in the fourth for a 10-8 lead with 4:02 left in regulation. Forty seconds later, Lloyd’s left corner shot trimmed the score to 10-9. With a chance to tie and force overtime with 27.6 to go, Iona wound the clock down to seven seconds, but Stiles shot went high over the goal.
Against the Camels, Lloyd led Iona with four goals, while junior Kyle Elmore and Thompson had three each. Stiles and juniors James Ramaley and Stelnicki scored two each, while senior Sean Davis, Joslyn, sophomore Gerardo Sanchez Rivera and freshman Hudson Grieve had one goal each.
Thirty-one seconds into the match, Stelnicki put Iona ahead 1-0, but Connecticut tied the game at one just 33 ticks later. Three unanswered scores by Stiles, Thompson and Elmore gave the Gaels a 4-1 edge with 5:40 left in the high-scoring first period. The teams traded goals, then Connecticut hit three straight to tie the match at five each with 2:48 to go. But three consecutive scores from Elmore, Stelnicki and Lloyd resulted in a 8-5 Gael lead going into the second period.
The Gaels outscored the Camels 7-2 in the second quarter to lead 15-7 on goals from Stiles, Lloyd (2), Thompson (2) and Ramaley (2). In the third period, goals by Davis, Joslyn and Lloyd put Iona ahead 16-7 as the final frame began. The fourth period saw single scores from Rivera and Grieve to seal the win.
The Gaels are back in action next weekend at the CWPA Northern Division Championship in Cambridge, MA.