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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Men’s water polo strings together wins to cap off road trip

Andrew+Miller+and+Luksa+Vlasic+combined+for+17+goals+on+Day+%231+of+the+Princeton+Invitational.
Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com
Andrew Miller and Luksa Vlasic combined for 17 goals on Day #1 of the Princeton Invitational.

The Iona University men’s water polo team owns a 4-6 record through the first 10 games of their season.  

 

The Gaels began the new campaign with action against four non-conference teams in the 2023 Bruno Classic.  

 

Iona faced off against McKendree University to begin the Bruno Classic, winning 16-13 after two first-period ties. Senior Andrew Miller was all over the stat sheet, scoring seven goals on ten shots. Six other Gaels, including seniors Trippe Bauman and James DiSalle, also got in on the fun with goals of their own to help earn their first victory of the season.  

 

Sophomore goalie Aleksander Slavkovic tallied one steal and eight saves out of 24 attempts by the Bearcats.  

 

Despite the high note in the season opener, Iona dropped the final three games of the four-game set, losing 12-9 against Bucknell University, 19-9 to #6 Pacific and 18-8 to #15 Fordham.  

 

Head coach, Brian Kelly, pointed to defensive miscues as something that needs to be addressed going forward.  

 

“Although we won, our defense wasn’t very good in the first game,” Kelly said. “Our defensive communication and our awareness are going to be the keys to our season.” 

 

Iona then moved on to the 2023 Princeton Invitational, facing off against Wagner College and #16 Santa Clara University on the first day.  

 

The Gaels’ matchup versus Wagner saw two ties and two lead changes. The Maroon and Gold eventually dropped the affair after getting outscored 4-1 in the fourth quarter, allowing crucial goals with a one-goal lead in the final period.  

 

Senior Diego Gomez impressed in goal, earning 13 saves, including one on a five-meter penalty attempt, and one steal.  

 

The Gaels’ matchup with Santa Clara saw Miller score on half of his attempts,4-for-8, while junior Luksa Vlasic and Bauman combined for five goals. 

 

Two consecutive goals by the Broncos in the fourth quarter sank the Gaels to a 14-11 final.  

 

Six days after dropping a Sunday afternoon game to Bucknell, Iona’s 10-game-long road trip was capped off during the 2023 Camel Round-Up in Connecticut on Sept. 16. 

 

The first game against Toronto was a thriller, featuring nine ties and four lead changes. Miller and Vlasic once again led the way with five goals each, while sophomore Rastko Jevdjovic put away four of his own.  

 

Gomez helped seal the game for Iona with two critical saves, including one on a breakaway in the final minute.  

 

The Gaels dominated their following game versus Penn State Behrend, coasting to an 18-4 victory thanks to 12 different players scoring.  

 

Iona kept the momentum going with a 15-12 win over Saddleback in the third match of the day.  

 

Slavkovic stopped eight of the Bobcats’ 20 shots, made four steals and helped out on the offensive side with an assist.  

 

Six Gael swimmers paved the way in the scoring department, helping avoid a loss despite a 3-0 run by Saddleback College midway through the contest. 

 

The men’s water polo team will next take on Connecticut College and Brown University as they host their first home game on Sept. 30.  

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Robert Hughes, Sports Editor

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