Two Gaels win MAAC weekly awards

Kaylin Flukey, Managing Editor

The Iona University women’s soccer team had two players named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference weekly awards.  


Graduate goalkeeper, Emma Havrilla earned the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week title after her stellar performance against Wagner College on Sept. 4. The co-captain had a season best of eight saves in the match, making it her fourth win of the season. 


This shutout marked Havrilla’s second of the season making it a total of 11 in her career. She currently sits at third-most shutouts in program history.  


Also winning a MAAC weekly award was graduate forward Faith Preziosi. The co-captain was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week for her standout performances against Lafayette College and Wagner. 


Preziosi’s goal in the home-opener against Lafayette on Sept. 1 was the equalizer and helped the Gaels earn victory. Iona’s only goal against Wagner came from a shot from Preziosi in the first 10 minutes of play. This goal was the 20th of her career, the second-most in an individual career in program history. The forward also set another milestone with the goal being the 50th point of her career. 


Preziosi was also named to the College Soccer News Women’s National Team of the Week for the week ending Sept. 4. This organization recognizes 11 division one student-athletes that have standout performances each week. Preziosi was among players from Rutgers University, UCLA, Brown University and more. 


“I felt happy and accomplished because my dream when I was younger was to be at a Division I school, playing the sport I love, and making a name for myself.” Preziosi said. “Though it’s something so little it really hit home.” 


The Gaels have rallied behind Havrilla and Preziosi to have the best start to the season in program history. The team remained undefeated the first six games of the season and it was not until they played Seton Hall University on Sept. 11 that they suffered their first loss.  


The Gaels quickly bounced back on Sept. 14 with a hard-fought game against Army. Junior Kayla Thomas scored the only goal for the Gaels in the second half making it her second goal of the season. The team was not able to score another goal, but they were able to hold Army to one goal, ending the game in a draw. 


MAAC play began on Sept. 17 for the Gaels as they hosted Saint Peter’s University on Mazzella Field. The first goal of the game belonged to the Peacocks scoring in the 36th minute and they kept Iona scoreless in the first half.  


Saint Peter’s added to its lead in the beginning of the second half. Iona was then awarded a penalty kick, but Sofia Banegas was unable to convert from the spot.  


 It was not until the 71st minute of the game that the Gaels did pull a goal back, as junior Kayla Thomas scored assisted by sophomores, Sofia Banegas and Kedarjah Lewis. Iona was not able to find the back of the net again, resulting in a loss for the Gaels, just their second of the season. 


“The rest of the teams in the MAAC are also working hard day in and day out to get that playoff position but as long as we work together and play our hearts out, we are hoping to be quite high in the rankings.” Preziosi said. “One loss isn’t going to stop us.” 


Up next, the Gaels will host Mount St. Mary’s University for another conference match-up on Sept. 24 at Mazzella Field.