Report Courtesy of Dr. Jack Breslin
RIVERSIDE, CA – Ending a four-year drought, the Iona College women’s water polo team mounted a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback for a 10-9 Wednesday afternoon victory over California Baptist University.
Sparked by junior Amy Olsen’s five-goal performance, the Gaels won their first match of an eight-game Spring Break road trip in Southern California.
Tied 6-6 going into the final period, the Gaels (5-4) ripped off three unanswered goals, including two by Olsen. But the Lancers (10-11) responded with their own 3-0 run to tie the game at 9-9 with only 26 seconds left. With only 11.92 seconds in regulation, Olsen slammed in another score to put Iona up 10-9. In the final seconds, junior goalie Marisa Gaynor stole a CBU pass in front of the goal to seal the narrow Iona win.
Senior Alyssa Turza celebrated her birthday with two goals. Olsen also had three assists, a steal, and drew four kick outs. Junior Sarah Hanly, sophomore Katie Stelnicki, and freshman Meghan Mahoney scored one goal each. Gaynor recorded ten saves.
CBU took a 1-0 lead at 7:16 gone in the opening quarter, until Turza tied the game 1:05 later. The teams traded goals, but the Lancers led 3-2 going into the second period. Outscoring CBU 3-2, the Gaels tied the game 5-5 at halftime.
Each team managed only a goal each in the third period for a 6-6 deadlock to begin the final quarter.
Olsen and Turza combined for a 9-6 Iona edge with 5:38 left, but the Iona defense let CBU score three unanswered goals in the next four minutes to tie the game at nine with 26 seconds remaining. Then Olsen scored 15 ticks later for the win.
Iona continues its Spring Break road trip against Concordia College in Irvine, CA, Thursday at 5:00 pm.