Women’s soccer season, win streak ends at Siena


Photo Courtesy of icgaels.com

The team’s 11 wins this season equals the total amount of games they have won in the last three seasons combined.

Jordan Score, Staff Writer

The Iona women’s soccer winning streak, as well as their season, ended on Sunday with a loss to Siena 2-0 in Loudonville, NY in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals.  


Siena spent most of the first half on Iona’s end of the pitch, and this early offensive pressure resulted in two goals to make it 2-0. The Saints clamped down on their defense in the second half and kept the Gaels off the scoreboard on their way to a victory.  


This season marked one of the most successful campaigns for the Gaels in recent memory despite the loss on Sunday, as their 11 wins ranked second all-time in program history. The last time the team won 10 or more games was back in 2005.  


The team began their 2021 conference schedule by dropping four of their first five games against MAAC opponents. Iona, led by third-year head coach Todd Plourde, responded to this difficult stretch by ripping off six-straight wins to end the season.  


The Iona Gaels were able to keep their win streak alive with a 2-0 win over Rider on Oct. 27 at Mazzella Field. In the ninth minute of the game Andrea Ferrer, who is finishing up her senior year, scored her second goal of the season giving Iona an early 1-0 lead to start off the game. 


Sophomore midfielder Madison Lennon scored the first goal of her college career in the eighty-ninth minute to seal the win for the Gaels and lock them in as the fifth seed in the tournament.  


This win over Rider moved their win streak to six straight games. Their first win to start this run came against Wagner on a rainy afternoon as the team turned a cold day into the start of a hot streak. The Gaels were able to beat top teams in their conference in Niagara, Quinnipiac and Fairfield over this stretch, and finished tied for fourth place in the conference. 


Senior goalkeeper Emma Havrilla was a key contributor to the team’s defensive success over the second half of the season. Havrilla and the rest of the backs, led by Kelsie Kearns, Katie Benson and Mackenzie Meixner, had only given up one goal in the last six games of the season heading into their matchup with Siena.  


 “When she comes up and makes great saves, which she’s been doing throughout the whole year, it fires up the defenders to really step their game up,” Plourde said in a phone interview. 


The veteran players led by example and paved the way for the youth on this team both on and off the field. Every player worked hard every time they took the field, and the team’s practices were just as intense as the games, according to Plourde.  



Any fan of Gaels soccer knows that senior forward Faith Preziosi has been at the center of the team’s attack since she first joined the team in 2018, but the addition of freshman forward Kendarjah Lewis and the immergence of sophomores GraceAnn Murphy and Emily Drake and junior Kierra Haggerty helped create a more-balanced offense for Iona.  


Preziosi still led the team in total points as well as in assists, taking on a new role this season for the Gaels, and their offense benefitted as a result. Plourde praised the forward’s shot creation and leadership as an integral part of the team’s success.  


“She makes everyone around her better,” Plourde said.  


This season showed the potential of Iona women’s soccer moving forward. With the NCAA granting an added year of eligibility to players due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team may see some of its senior players return for an additional season.  


The promising performance of the team’s younger players could point to even more success in the 2022 season as the Gaels will look to build on this year’s historic campaign.