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The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Women’s lacrosse off to historic season start

Photo+courtesy+of+ionagaels.com.+Sweeney+ranks+13th+in+saves+per+game+among+the+rest+of+the+nation.+
Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com. Sweeney ranks 13th in saves per game among the rest of the nation.

The Iona University women’s lacrosse team is off to an excellent 10-4 to begin the 2024 spring season.  

The lacrosse team started their new season on Feb. 17 against Boston University, which turned out to be an 18-13 loss. Their first MAAC matchups began in March and, to date, they own a 5-2 in-conference record.  

Following a victory on March 30 against Siena College, Iona played in their second straight home game on April 3, versus Rider University. Graduate student Emily Stewart was superb offensively, recording four goals and one assist to total a team-high five points. Senior Micaela FitzPatrick and sophomore Maliya Haddock also scored, posting hat tricks. Rookie Calen Norton set a career-best in draw controls with three.  

As for the defensive side of things, sophomore goaltender Lauren Sweeney made 10 saves on 21 shots on net, leading to her eighth win of the season. This performance brought Sweeney to the top of the MAAC leaderboard in saves and saves per game.  

Soon after the 14-11 win, the Gaels traveled to Buffalo, N.Y., for an April 6 matchup with Canisius College. The game kicked off at 11 a.m. and Iona was strong right from the get-go. Junior Kira Varada and Stewart led the way for the offense, combining for nine goals on the day. FitzPatrick and Haddock, meanwhile, also had multiple-goal affairs. Sweeney added a career-high 15 saves to the scoresheet and tied Carlee Street for the fourth-most wins in program history in the 15-9 win.  

Iona returned home on April 10 to play Niagara University in a 1 p.m. matchup. Haddock notched a hat trick on the afternoon, but Niagara kept on scoring, eventually winning 19-10. Sweeney could only muster seven saves but did help cause one of nine Niagara turnovers.  

The loss was the Gaels’ first in exactly two weeks, as Iona fell to Fairfield University on March 27.  

The Gaels picked things up again and got back in the win column with a tight 14-13 victory over Quinnipiac University. Iona’s offense was consistent until the fourth quarter, when they were blanked by the Bobcats’ defensive crew. With the game headed to overtime, FitzPatrick found the net quickly, scoring a game-ending goal within the first 46 seconds of the extra period. Haddock, Varada and Kate Krueger joined together for the remaining goals on the day.  

The Gaels’ 10th win turns out to be a program record, while their five wins against MAAC opponents is the most ever for Iona.  

The women’s lacrosse team has now qualified for the MAAC Championships, which take place from April 28 to May 5. In the meantime, they’ll play Manhattan College to wrap up their regular season schedule. 

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Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes, Sports Editor

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