Iona Defeated By Wagner In MAAC Semifinal 13-5
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– After being tied with number-one seeded Wagner College at the end of the first quarter, and down by only two goals at halftime, the fourth-seeded Iona women's water polo team were outscored 8-2 in the second half for a 13-5 loss to the number-nineteen-ranked Seahawks in today's Metro Atlantic Athletics Conference first semifinal match at Marist College.
In goal, junior Britten Vilander, a second-team All-MAAC team selection, had eight saves on 23 Wagner shots, and five steals.
On defense, the Gaels made 15 steals, two each from Co-MAAC Offensive Player of the Year junior Hannah Schultz, and senior co-captain Darby Nevins. Iona drew 10 Wagner kickouts, while being ejected six times. Koshy and Schultz were disqualified with three ejections each. The Gaels committed 14 turnovers. Iona scored on two of 10 man-up opportunities, while Wagner scored on one of four.
Just 41 seconds into the match on the Gaels first possession, Koshy capitalized on a 6-5 advantage to put Iona up 1-0, but the Seahawks answered 1:30 later for a one-all tie. Wagner took the lead with 4:31 left in the first period, but a minute later Koshy's second goal retied the game at two.
After stopping two Wagner breakaways, Iona went back on top 3-2 on Hofer's goal with 5:05 left in the second period. On their next possession, the Seahawks tied score at three, then retook the lead 4-3 on a man-up opportunity with 1:31 left in the first half.
With 2:17 gone in the third, the Seahawks upped their lead to 6-3 on a five-meter penalty shot, but the Gaels raced down the pool to trim the Wagner edge to 6-4 with Allen's goal 15 ticks later. In the next 1:30, two unanswered Wagner goals increased the Seahawk edge to 8-4. Wagner hit a five-meter penalty shot with 53 seconds on the clock to lead 9-5 going into the final period.
The Seahawks' 6-0 run continued into the fourth period with three unanswered scores in the first 2:59 for a 12-4 lead. With 4:28 to go, Hofer's second score ended the Gaels scoring drought on a 6-5 advantage, but the Seahawks answered on their next possession for a 13-5 advantage to seal the win.
Iona faces VMI tomorrow at noon in the third-place game.