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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Men’s water polo celebrates 40 years in opening homestand

Iona+recognized+their+five+seniors+prior+to+the+13-10+victory+over+MIT.+
Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com
Iona recognized their five seniors prior to the 13-10 victory over MIT.

The Iona University men’s water polo team celebrated its 40th anniversary during an event in the LaPenta School of Business on Saturday, Sept. 30.  

 

Alumni and friends gathered to support Iona’s enduring water polo program in between games versus Connecticut College and Brown University.  

 

Greg Judge, an Iona Athletics Arrigoni Hall of Famer and water polo’s Director of Operations, announced prior to the event that he will match up to $40,000 in gifts and pledges to help a new endowment fund for long-term support of the program.  

 

“Iona water polo will always hold a special place in my heart – the lifelong friendships I made help keep the amazing memories alive,” Judge said. “I feel very fortunate to have the ability to give back as Iona provided the education that prepared me for success in my career.” 

 

Head coach Brian Kelly said that Judge’s contributions to the water polo program do not go unnoticed and make a big impression on both students and staff.  

 

“Greg is Iona water polo and embodies all the qualities we preach to our student-athletes,” Kelly said. “His generous gift not only makes an immediate impact but helps to sustain Iona men’s water polo for the next generation.” 

 

The Gaels began their 2023 Northeast Water Polo Conference schedule with their home opening matchups at the Hynes Athletic Center Pool on Saturday.  

 

Senior Drew Miller was all over Iona’s stat sheet against Connecticut, notching four goals, two of which came within the opening moments of the affair.  

 

Junior Luksa Vlasic backed up his teammate with a score of his own just over a minute into the contest.  

 

The Camels scored at the buzzer in the first period, but the Gaels followed with a 5-0 run to add much-needed insurance.  

 

Seven Maroon and Gold swimmers tallied double-digit goals en route to a 23-7 victory.  

 

Iona then faced off against #17 Brown for the second game of the day, losing 15-11.  

 

Miller once again led the way with three goals on nine shots, bringing the Gaels’ total to 11-for-28 overall. 

 

Iona nearly came back from an eight-goal deficit going into the fourth quarter, but time became a factor as they were down four tallies with 1:38 to go in the contest.  

 

The Gaels honored five graduating seniors before their Sunday morning game against the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology.  

 

Senior goaltender Diego Gomez stymied the Engineers’ offense, stopping 12 shots and making two steals. 

 

The score sat at 6-6 at halftime, but Iona added seven goals in the second half, compared to MIT’s four.  

 

The final match of the opening homestand came against #20 Harvard University.  

 

Trailing by just one goal midway through the second period, Iona could not capitalize on Harvard’s offensive dry spell, tallying only five scores the rest of the way.  

 

Three straight goals late in the fourth quarter allowed the Crimson to hold a 15-10 lead, one they would not relinquish. 

 

Iona is set to host two more NEWPC matches this week, as they play against Long Island University on Wednesday and Princeton University on Oct. 7.

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