VILLANOVA, PA – After four straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference wins last weekend, the Iona College women’s water polo team suffered its first league defeat of the season with a narrow 9-8 loss to Marist in the first of two MAAC matches this afternoon at the Villanova University Aquatic Center.
Trailing 7-4 midway through the third period, the Gaels (12-8, 4-1 MAAC) stormed back with three unanswered goals to tie the game at seven with 6:13 remaining in regulation on a goal by Iona’s leading scorer junior Amy Olsen.
Fourteen seconds later Marist (16-8, 1-0 MAAC) regained the lead 8-7 on a five-meter penalty shot. Junior Erika Lauraitis needed only forty seconds to tie the score again. Marist went ahead 9-8 with 3:35 remaining. The Gael offense attempted a closing minute comeback, but Olsen’s lob at 13.91 seconds left sailed wide.
The Red Foxes scored first on a five-meter penalty shot 2:39 into the game, but senior Alyssa Turza on Olsen’s assist tied the game at one each at 4:42 remaining the opening period. A half-minute later, Olsen’s breakaway goal put Gaels up 2-1. Marist tied the game at two each with 38.14 seconds left in the first period.
Thirty seconds into the second period, Turza gave Iona a 3-2 edge , but Marist tied the score at three with 5:55 left to intermission. Lauraitis’ goal at 4:41 put the Gaels back up 4-3, until two straight Marist goals gave the Red Foxes 5-4 halftime lead. Marist netted two more unanswered scores until the Gaels mounted their own 3-0 rally.
Olsen and Lauraitis led the Gaels with three goals each. Turza had two scores, while making two steals and drawing two kick-out ejections. Junior goalie Marisa Gaynor recorded eight saves in the loss.
The Gaels take on St. Francis College at 4 p.m. EDT.