#ICWWP Primed And Ready For MAAC Championships
NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College Water Polo team has earned a spot in the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships. The fourth-seeded Gaels take on undefeated first-seeded Wagner Saturday at McCann Natatorium in Poughkeepsie, NY. The Seahawks clinched the number one seed for the second consecutive year and look to win the school's fourth consecutive MAAC title.
The Maroon & Gold finished fourth in the conference with a record of 8-6 despite a thin roster. Iona fell to Wagner 13-8 in the first game of MAAC play, but won the next two against St. Francis Brooklyn and La Salle, before falling to Marist in double-overtime 13-11. When the Gaels and Seahawks went head-to-head in Staten Island, Wagner bested Iona 9-8 in a hotly contested battle.
Iona went on to handle business against Siena and Villanova, winning both contests by 10 goals. After falling to VMI the following contest, the Gaels took care of St. Francis Brooklyn at home on Senior Day 15-7. Iona then split a pair of contests in Brooklyn, falling to Marist and upending Siena. The next day, the Maroon & Gold won a tight battle with the Villanova Wildcats 9-6.
The Gaels returned to the Hynes Center for the regular season finales against La Salle and VMI. After taking the first matchup against the Explorers 18-5, Iona gave up a tie-breaking goal in the final minute against the Keydets, falling 10-9.
Offensively, the Gaels are led by junior Hannah Schultz, a two-time MAAC All-First Team member and Preseason All-MAAC selection. The Tinley Park, IL native was named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week four times, and was tied for the MAAC lead with 89 goals, with 60 coming in conference play. She ranks fourth all-time in program history with 282 goals.
Senior captain Rebecca Koshy and junior Kayla Allen pack a punch offensively, finishing second and third on the team in goals with 40 and 39 respectively. Senior captain Darby Nevins also contriubted a career-best 25 goals on the season while adding 38 steals and 25 kickouts drawn.
Junior Britten Vilander protects the cage ranking fourth in the MAAC with 113 saves and leading the conference in steals with 68 in MAAC contests. The junior posted an 8.53 goals-against average and a .472 save percentage.
The Gaels will look to contain Wagner's Kimberly Watson and Erica Hardy. Watson led the MAAC with 61 goals in conference play, with Hardy leading the conference in assists (47) and points (94). Goalkeeper Emily Riddle man's the cage, ranking third in the MAAC with 123 saves and a 6.38 goals-against average.
The Gaels and Seahawks square off for the third time this season at Marist College beginning at 12:00 PM and can be viewed on MAAC.TV.