Despite down year, Iona gains much needed experience

The 2017 Iona College women’s soccer season seemed to be lost, but it was not.

Even though the Gaels ended the season with a 3-14-3 record, 2-7-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, it was a season to build off of. The campaign provided head coach Sarah Brady the opportunity to give a critical amount of playing time to the team’s younger players, who has the potential to play a vital role in Iona’s future.

Injuries allowed for players such as freshman Kelsie Kearns, sophomore Mariah Elsenheimer and other underclassmen to get big minutes on the pitch. Senior defender Christine Rebus missed the majority of the season with a leg injury and senior forward Charlotte Stuart missed time as well.

Brady’s squad was led by graduate student Erika Flowers, senior goalkeeper Tiffany Martinez and junior midfielder Mariana Jaramillo.

Flowers had a flair for the dramatics this year, scoring multiple clutch goals to either win or tie the game late for the Gaels. She led team with seven points and three goals.

Martinez held her ground inside the net this season, controlling the game with massive saves game in and game out. She finished with a record of 3-14-3, but had two shutouts with a .729 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average.

Jaramillo was right behind Flowers in team scoring with five points and two goals. Her presence was felt throughout the season due to her ability to get shots off even when there didn’t seem to be an angle to shoot. She finished with 61 total shots and a .377 shots on goal percentage.

While the production that Martinez and Flowers brought as well as other upperclassmen will be missed, Brady has the benefit of having underclassmen who may have more on field experience than other teams will next year.

The Gaels will look for Kearns, Elsenheimer, sophomore defender Treloara Harrison and sophomore midfielder Amber Crispin to take the next step next year after all three showed glimpses of what they can offer.

Brady will have to say goodbye to 10 players, but will also have 16 players coming back for the 2018 season.