Lacrosse shows early improvement as season gets underway


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Freshman goalie Sophia Viotto notched her first career win, only allowing six goals.  

Jason Piccolomini, Staff Writer

The Iona Gaels women’s lacrosse team’s season got started against La Salle on Feb. 12.  

The Gaels narrowly dropped their season opener 14-13 against the Explorers, but immediately bounced back four days later.  

The team followed up the loss by edging out an impressive 12-6 win over the Long Island University Athletics on Wednesday. 

With this win, the Gaels have already matched their win total from a season ago which leaves a lot to look forward to this year.  

Emily Stewart, a junior midfielder who has three goals and three assists on the season, is excited about the future.  

“I have very high and great expectations for this team this year,” Stewart said. “Our coaching staff is also ready to get after it this season and we have put in a lot of hard work and preparation in the off-season to get ready for the spring.”  

Part of the lofty expectations for the team comes from the incoming freshman class.  

“We have a lot of solid returners who are eager to have a normal season of both in and out of conference games this year, and our freshman class is very strong and adds nicely to the returning group,” Stewart said. “Last year we unfortunately did not have the time to prepare like we have this year because of COVID, but we are super fired up for the rest of our season and are ready to get out there and show everyone what we can do.”  

Part of that strong freshman class is Kira Varada, a midfielder who already has five goals on the season, including a hat-trick against LIU.  

Varada feels as though the transition from high school lacrosse to college lacrosse was made easier because of the team.  

“Our coaches brought us all to Six Flags, and that was only one of the many activities that made the transition fun and easier than I imagined,” Varada said. “The team is like a family as we can rely on each other on and off the field which has helped me already develop tight-knit relationships.”  

Iona wasn’t able to face any team outside of the MAAC last season. They opened up their first two games against Monmouth only scoring a total of eight goals. They start this season off scoring a total of 25 goals against two non-conference teams.  

The Gaels squad has six more non-conference games and won’t have a conference matchup until the end of March. They hope to bounce back from their 1-11 conference record from last year and they will have eight total conference games to improve upon that.  

The 1-1 Gaels look to improve upon that record in their home opener Feb. 23 against Central Connecticut.