Photo courtesy of icgaels.com
The Iona Women’s soccer team’s season came to an end after losing 0-3 to Siena in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. It was the Gaels’ first time back in the playoffs since 2013.
The Gaels finished the season with an overall record of 1-4-1 and 1-3-1 in MAAC regular season-play. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic meant the Gaels were only able to play five games during the regular season.
The COVID-19 pandemic also meant that the season was played in the spring where it would normally be played in the fall.
The first match of the season for the Gaels was a 0-3 loss to Monmouth at Mazzella Field. The Gaels showed improvement in the second game of the season where they tied against Monmouth at Mazzella Field. Fifth-year senior Nicole Whitley scored Iona’s first goal of the year in a 1-1 draw.
The Gaels’ next game was an away fixture against Siena at Hickey Field which the team lost 0-6. The Gaels were then due to play Marist, but this game was cancelled. The following game was a 0-2 loss against Canisius.
During the Gaels’ final game of the regular season they managed to pick up their first victory of the season against Saint Peter’s, at Caven Point Field. The Gaels had trailed 0-2 at the half before a penalty scored by Nicole Whitley put them back in the game. Whitley scored her second goal with 13 seconds left in the final period and sent the game to overtime.
During the first period of overtime, Iona’s Kiera Haggerty completed the Gaels’ comeback with a goal that put the team in front 3-2. St. Peter’s was unable to respond, and the Gaels recorded their first victory of the season.
The victory against Saint Peter’s meant that the Gaels qualified for the MAAC Tournament for the first time since 2013, as the number 8 seed. This set up a game against number-one seed Siena in the quarterfinals.
The game against Siena was played at Hickey Field in Loudonville, NY. The first half of the game was close and the Gaels managed to keep the Saints scoreless until the 39th minute, when Siena took the lead. The Gaels stayed in the game until the 77th minute where Siena scored their second goal and put the game almost out of reach for the Gaels. The Saints then finished the game off with a third goal in the 85th minute to send Iona out of playoffs.
The Gaels’ return to the playoffs this year showed improvement from recent seasons. They will hope to keep improving next season to hopefully get a better seed in the regular season and make a tournament run.