LEXINGTON, VA - The Iona College women's water polo team began defense of its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship with a pair of wins in MAAC play Saturday afternoon at the Virginia Military Institute, beginning with a 15-6 win over VMI before pulling out a 12-11 win over Wagner in double sudden death overtime.
In the opener, Iona raced out an early 2-1 lead after the first period on goals by juniors Georgina Lee and Erika Lauraitis. Senior Alyssa Turza and junior Sarah Hanly would find the net once each in the second period, while Lauratis scored three times in the eight minutes, pushing Iona ahead 7-4.
Iona put four more goals on net in the third, while holding the Keydets scoreless, to take a commanding 11-4 lead into the final period. Iona would outscore the home squad 4-2 in the final period to claim the 15-6 win.
Lauraitis finished with a pool record eight goals, while Turza scored twice. Hanly, Lee and freshmen Taylor Silva, Meghan Mahoney and Sara Bortz each had one goal each in the victory. Junior Marisa Gaynor made eight saves in net.
Against Wagner Iona held a 4-3 halftime lead as Turza and Lauraitis each tallied a goal in the first half and junior Amy Olsen scored twice. The Seahawks would outscore the Gaels 4-3 in the third quarter, knotting the game at seven before the squads traded two goals each in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime tied at nine apiece.
Olsen opened the scoring on a goal with 2:38 remaining in the first overtime before Wagner's Jess Lundgren scored to even the game at ten with 1:22 left on the clock. Lundgren opened the second overtime with another goal, before Olsen scored the game tying tally with one second remaining in the extra period.
In the second sudden death overtime, Olsen put in her sixth goal of the game with 1:33 left as the Gaels secured their second win of the day. Lauraitis and Turza each scored twice and Gaynor made 12 saves in net.
Iona looks to keep its winning ways intact Sunday with two more matches at VMI, beginning at 12:00 pm when the Gaels face off with Villanova before taking on Siena at 3:00 pm.