Iona women’s water polo wraps up season


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The team gathers around coach Brian Kelly during their Sunday double-header against VMI and LIU. The team’s defense had trouble getting stops, surrendering 28 points between the two games.  

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Assistant Sports Editor

Iona women’s water polo concluded their spring campaign on Sunday, April 25 with a 13-9 loss to Long Island University at the Hynes Center.  


The season was a difficult one for the Gaels water polo team. The team’s season only lasted for a little over three weeks and featured only nine matches. After winning their opening two games, the Gaels dropped the next seven to bring the season to a close.  


In the first game of Sunday’s double-header, Iona took on Vermont Military Institute. The first period saw a back-and-forth affair between the two teams, with junior Maeve Ellen Wydan putting the Gaels up 3-2 with her second goal of the period with a little over two minutes left on the clock.  


VMI pulled away in the second, making it a 7-4 match until freshman Kaya Hart connected on a five-meter penalty opportunity and Wydan followed with another score, cutting the lead to 7-6.  


The Keydets found the net three times early in the third period, but senior Erika Wimmer scored and Hart followed up with her second goal to close the gap at 10-8. VMI added two more goals to their lead, and scored with three seconds left in the period to go up 13-9. 


The Gaels would rally in the fourth period, with goals from Wydan, Hart, senior Danielle Hernandez and freshman Amanda Gonzalez, but VMI scored at the 2:11 mark to make it 15-13 and was able to run hold on to the win.  


Possession was an issue for the team, as they turned the ball over 19 times. The team was also not able to cash in on their advantages, while the Keydets converted on 6-13 nine-man up opportunities. 


The loss for Iona meant that the team did not qualify for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time since 2003.  


Game two of the day’s doubleheader pitted Iona against the Long Island University Sharks.  


Both teams matched each other in the first period, which featured four lead-changes and was capped off by Wydan’s tying goal with under three minutes on the clock. LIU scored with 35 seconds in the period to give them a 4-3 lead.  


The Sharks proceeded to score eight unanswered goals until Wydan’s score with 2:53 left in the third period sparked a small rally for the Gaels with goals from senior Laura Rockett and freshman Jori Aventurado to make it 11-6.  


LIU would maintain a big enough cushion to sustain Iona’s comeback attempt though and seal the victory, 13-9. 


The Gaels look to next season in hopes of having a full schedule of games and improving with the young talent they have on the roster.