NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College lacrosse team opened its 2011 season Saturday afternoon at Mazzella Field with a matchup with the University of Connecticut. After holding tight in the first half, the Gaels were unable to keep with the Connecticut attack in the second and fell by a final of 18-11.
The Gaels scored the initial two goals to take an early lead. Junior M Emily Taddei picked up the first Iona tally of the season with a goal just three and a half minutes into the contest off an assist from senior M Elizabeth Coholan. Twenty-three second later, senior A Caitlyn Collins scored off an assist from sophomore A Kylie Gregory. The Huskies responded from the early deficit by scoring the next three goals in a two and half minute span, bookended by goals from M.E. Lapham. The Gaels were able to take the lead with another 2-0 run, beginning with Collins returning the favor and assisting on a goal by Gregory. Just over three minutes later, Taddei notched her second of the game to put Iona up 4-3. The two squads would trade goals including the first collegiate tally from freshman A Bridget Sickles. Connecticut would then score three unanswered tallies to take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the afternoon. Coholan would score for Iona with three mintues left to pull Iona within one at 7-6 by UConn closed out the half with a goal to take a 8-6 lead at the half.
Lapham would open the second half for UConn with a goal, her fourth of the game to the lead to three. Collins answered with her second before Connecticut would score the next five in a row and nine of the game's next 11 goals. Iona was able to get into the double digits late when junior M Casey Scully scored on a free position. Scully scored her second just over a minute later to reach the 11 goal tally for the Gaels.
The second half was dominated on the Connecticut offensive end as the Huskies outscored the Gaels 28-7 and 40-17 overall in the contest. A 12-4 advantage on draw controls allowed Connecticut to get the shot opportunities.
Collins led the Gaels with five points on two goals and three assists while Coholan had four points on two goals and two assists. In net, freshman GK Maria Ortiz had her first career start in net and made 14 saves.
The Gaels are back in action Wednesday when they travel to Philadelphia, PA to take on La Salle. Start time is scheduled for 2:00 pm.