NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College men's water polo team picked up a 10-8 victory over Fordham in CWPA North action Wednesday evening at the Hynes Center Pool in the team's home finale of the season.
The Gaels were led in the contest by three goals from junior Jake Lloyd and two goals by senior Lee Stiles and sophomore Zach Presto. Seniors Sean Davis, Matthew Stelnicki and Bryan Driscoll each had one goal while senior goalkeeper Stefen Hill recorded 12 saves.
The Gaels got the scoring going with a goal by Davis less than 90 seconds into the contest. Iona would only be able to find the net once for the remainder of the period, as a 3-1 Fordham run gave the Rams a 3-2 lead after the first quarter.
In the second period, Iona knotted the game at three on a goal by Stelnicki. Down by one with 4:14 left before half, Presto tied the game at four before a goal by Stiles gave Iona a 5-4 lead. The Rams would tie the game at five with 3:18 left in the period, which would hold up for the remainder of the half.
In the third, the Gaels would erupt for four goals, including three from Lloyd, while holding Fordham to just one goal.
In the final period, Fordham would cut into the Iona lead before a goal by Stiles with 1:11 left in the fourth pushed the Iona lead back to three, 10-7. A Fordham goal by Fordham in the final ten seconds would cut the final margin to two.
Prior to the game, the Gaels recognized Davis, Driscoll, Hill, Stelnicki, Stiles and classmate Jonathan Hernould for their contributions over the past four seasons.
The win earned the Gaels the Judge Memorial Cup in the second annual contest for the prize. The Cup is named after Dr. Francis X. Judge, a water polo pioneer at Fordham and the founder of the Hudson Valley Water Polo Club.
He was the father of five Iona water polo players including three Goal Club Hall of Famers: Greg '84 (HOF '03), Matt ’86 (HOF '09), Ray ’87 (HOF '09), Mike '94 and Kevin ’95. Chris '80 (Fordham HOF ’96), his second oldest son, starred for Fordham and also coached the team.
The Gaels are back in action Saturday for two non-conference matchups in Princeton, NJ. At 10:00 am, Iona squares off with George Washington before finishing the day against Princeton at 4:30 pm.