Women’s water polo concludes season in MAAC semi-finals


Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com

The women’s team also named eight athletes to the All-Academic team.

Kaylin Flukey, Managing Editor

The Iona women’s water polo team concluded the 2023 season at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York on April 29. 

The Gaels entered the tournament as the fourth seed, their first appearance since 2019. Iona played in the opening round where they faced fifth-seeded Mount St. Mary’s University. The Gaels faced the Mountaineers twice in the regular season with the Mountaineers taking the first game 8-9 and the Gaels taking the second, 11-8. 

The championship match saw five ties and four lead changes, but the Gaels were able to top the Mountaineers, 11-8 earning their first postseason win in four years. 

Graduate co-captain Jordan Van Reeken and junior Amelia Gonzalez led the offense with three goals apiece. Junior goalie Lily Morris made seven saves on 16 Mount St. Mary shots. The defense had a total of 13 steals, three of those by junior, Kaya Hart. 

The Gaels turned their focus to the next match as they looked to upset the number one seed, Wagner College in the semi-final round of the tournament. The Gaels lost to the Seahawks earlier in the regular season 12-20. 

Despite strong offensive performances by Van Reeken with three goals, graduate student Karsyn Stewart, Hart and freshman Lola Trujillo with two goals apiece, the Gaels were not able to top the Seahawks losing 11-27 to end their season. 

Iona finished with an overall record of 17-13 with an in-conference record of 7-6. This included big wins against Villanova University 13-12 (OT) and Bucknell University 9-8. 

Two Gaels earned All-MAAC honors for their standout performances in the 2023 season. Van Reeken was named to the All-MAAC first team for the third time in her career. Van Reeken finished the season with 93 goals and 20 assists. The co-captain also broke the Iona record of exclusions drawn with 289. Trujillo made her mark as a rookie being named to the All-MAAC second team finishing with 44 goals and 39 assists. 

Iona saw eight Gaels placed on the MAAC All-Academic Team. To be eligible, a student-athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale. The eight Gaels were Van Reeken, Gonzalez, Hart, Elizabeth Lovat, Mia Tovar, Malia Naugle, Addison Collins and Jori Aventurado. 

The team says goodbye to graduate students Jordan Van Reeken, Malia Naugle, Karsyn Stewart, Sydney Brightenburg but are hopeful as they look towards next season with a young, but experienced squad.