Women’s lacrosse ranked sixth in MAAC preseason poll


Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com

Besides the Covid-19 season back in 2021, the last time the team qualified for the MAAC tournament was in 2018, where they were knocked out in the opening round.  

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

The Iona women’s lacrosse team was ranked sixth place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll.

The Gaels received 29 votes, 2 ahead of Manhattan College who were ranked seventh with 27 votes, Marist College with 23 votes and Quinnipiac University with 22 votes.  


Fairfield University was projected to be first in the conference after they received 78 votes and seven first-place votes. Mount Saint Mary’s University and Siena College were tied in second place in the rankings with 68 votes and one first-place vote each. Niagara University (51 votes) and Canisius College (39 votes) rounded out the top five.  


Kira Varada was the lone Gael to be selected to the MAAC preseason team in the coaches’ poll in the midfield position after her freshmen year performance.

Varada was named Rookie of the year, selected for the All-MAAC Rookie team, and selected for All-MAAC second team while also being named MAAC Rookie of the week three times in her first season.  


During her first year for the Gaels, Varada led the team in ground balls with 43 and caused turnovers with 27. Varada also had 11 multi-goal games in the 16 games she played in and eight starts that she had. Her 39 goals were second only to Junior Emily Stewart who notched 42.

The Gaels have begun their season going 2-1 through their first few games against non-conference teams.

Iona opened their season with an 11-8 home victory against La Salle University on Mazzella Field. Kira Varada picked up from where she left off last season, leading the team in goals (4), draw controls (5), ground balls (8) and caused turnovers (7). Senior Amber Brewster also notched three goals in the opening day victory.  


Iona’s next game went to double-overtime against Long Island University (LIU), where they came out 14-13 winners. The Gaels overcame a 0-4 start to lead at the halfway point 8-7. Iona led 13-12 until there were 37 seconds left in regular time. Amber Brewster scored the winning goal for the Gaels, 24 seconds into the second period of over-time.

In the Gaels’ most recent game, they lost for the first-time in 2023 against Boston University. Iona started well, as they scored the first two goals of the game and led 3-2, before Boston outscored the Gaels 11-2 in the second and third quarters to sink Iona to an eventual 14-9 loss.   


Despite defeat in their latest match, last season’s top scorer Emily Stewart was back amongst the goals as she led the team with three. Micaela Fitzpatrick notched two goals, and Amber Brewster kept her scoring run going with one.  


The Gaels’ next game is against Fairleigh Dickinson University on Feb. 22 at Mazzella Field.

The 2023 MAAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship takes place from April 30- May 7. Iona will need to finish in the top six of the MAAC regular season to qualify for the championship.