Water Polo Sweeps Tripleheader at Connecticut College Tournament
NEW LONDON, CT - The Iona College Women's Water Polo team completed a thrilling three game sweep at the Connecticut College Tournament on Saturday. The Gaels topped Cal Lutheran in the morning (12-10) and nightcap (9-8), and bested the host, Connecticut College 17-5.
On the offensive side, junior Hannah Schultz scored 11 goals on 29 shots and junior Megan Hofer netted seven goals. Junior Britten Vilander, the reigning MAAC player of the week, put on a stellar performance, picking up wins in all three contests, making 18 saves and collecting 20 steals.
GAME 1: Iona 12, Cal Lutheran 10
Hofer led the charge with four goals on eight shots, with senior Darby Nevins tallying three goals and two steals. Juniors Devika Joshi and Kayla Allen added a pair, with senior Rebecca Koshy adding one goal.
In goal, Vilander made eight saves and ammassed an incredible ten steals in the contest.
The Regals jumped out to an early lead two minutes into the contest before Allen connected on two straight in a 30-second span to give the Gaels a 2-1 advantage. Koshy and Nevins follwed suit with a tally each top put Iona up by three, 4-1. The Regals closed out the quarter scoring with 40 seconds remaining.
Iona struggled in the early minutes of the second quarter as the Regals climbed back to even the score with 6:26 left in the frame. From there, the Gaels would go on to score the next four. In the five minute span, Hofer, Nevins, Joshi, and another by Nevins gave the Gaels a lead they would not relinquish. The Regals clawed back with a goal with 66 ticks remaining as Iona took an 8-5 lead into the half.
Both teams locked down defensively in the third quarter, Cal Lutheran cut the deficit to 8-7 with 2:12 to go before Hofer halted the run, putting the Gaels up by a pair at the end of 24 minutes of play.
In a hotly contested fourth quarter, the Gaels struck first after a blast from Koshy gave Iona a three goal cushion. Hofer answered another Regal goal before the opposition would rattle off two more to cut the lead back down to one, 11-10. With 3:02 remaining Hofer struck her final blow into the Regals, giving the Gaels a commanding two goal lead which would hold up for the remainder of the contest.
GAME 2: Iona 17, Connecticut College 5
In a contest that saw the Maroon & Gold dominate from start to finish, the Gaels improved their winning streak to two with a commanding 17-5 victory over the host Connecticut College Camels.
Schultz led the way with seven goals on 12 shots and added three steals. Nevins added three goals on eleven shots and grabbed four steals. Freshman Regan Warmoth and Hofer each tallied a pair, with junior Karli Normand, sophomore Alyssa Gayapa and Allen connecting for a goal. Vilander saw less action in the contest, making six saves, collecting five steals, and adding two assists.
Hofer and Schultz were the lone Gaels to score in the opening period of play, with the Gaels leading 2-1 after the first eight minutes.
The Gaels stormed the Camels in the second quarter outscoring the host 6-1. Schultz and Nevins scored in the first five minutes to open up a three goal Gael advantage, followed by Gayapa, Nevins and Allen. The teams traded goals in the final minute of play, as Iona took an 8-2 lead into the second half.
Iona continuted to roll in the third quarter, outscoring the Camels 7-3. The Camels cut the Iona lead to 8-3 before Schultz answered with three of her own, opening up an 11-3 Iona lead halfway through the quarter.Normand put the Gaels up by 9 before the Camels connected on a pair. The Gaels closed out the period scoring the next four. Warmoth tallied the Iona goals in the fourth quarter as Iona held the Camels off the scoreboard en route to the 12-goal victory.
GAME 3: Iona 9, Cal Lutheran 8
In a tightly contested rematch against the Cal Lutheran Regals, the Gaels held on for a nail-biting 9-8 victory to complete the sweep of the Connecticut College Tournament. Schultz commanded the ball, taking 12 shots, with four finding the back of the net. Allen scored a pair, and Koshy, Hofer and Nevins connected for one goal each. Vilander made four key saves in the victory.
Allen scored her lone goals of the game in the first quarter, giving Iona both a 1-0 and 2-1 lead, as the Gaels took the advantage into the second quarter.
The teams would trade goals in the second frame, as the Regals struck first, followed by Hofer. Nevins answered another Regal goal, as the scoreboard read 4-3 in favor of the Gaels after 16 minutes of play.
In the third quarter, the Regals were able to knot the score. Schultz gave the Gaels a two goal advantage before the opposition scored the next two to knot the score at 5-5 with 2:22 remaining. Schultz scored again to put the Maroon & Gold up by one with 39 seconds left, but was answered in the final 10 seconds with the two teams looking up at a score of 6-6.
Koshy scored a crucial opening goal just 19 ticks into the final period of play, but was answered 30 seconds later to find the teams tied for the final time. Schultz scored the next two goals in 1:15 to put the Gaels up a pair. with 5:46 remaining. The Regals pulled to within one with 3:33 remaining with the Gaels trying to put the clamps on defensively. The Maroon & Gold forced two turnovers in the final minutes, including one with 17 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
The Gaels will open up MAAC play against the defending conference champions Wagner on Saturday, Mar. 18 in Villanova PA.