Possession, turnovers prove to be weakness for Gaels

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Possession, turnovers prove to be weakness for Gaels

PHOTO COURTESY OF ICGAELS.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF ICGAELS.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF ICGAELS.COM

Frances Hoey, Contributing Writer

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The Iona College men’s water polo team hit the road to participate in two tournaments over the past two weeks to continue their play in their non-conference schedule.

The Gaels traveled to Princeton, New Jersey to play in the Princeton Tournament coming off of a 1-4 record. The team’s effort in all three tournament matches would not suffice, as Iona fell to each of its opponents.

After putting up a strong fight in their initial loss to Wagner, the Gaels struggled in back-to-back matches against Navy and Johns Hopkins. The team’s performances were ridden with turnovers and many scoreless minutes.

While the results were unfavorable, this did not stop the Gaels from moving forward. With the fresh start of a new week, Iona men’s water polo took to New London, Connecticut to play in the Connecticut College Tournament.

The Gaels came out strong with 16 steals and eight assists, holding their opening opponent Penn State Behrend to only two goals in the second half. The winning spirit carried over into the team’s second game of the day, as Iona outscored Saddleback 19-10.

Iona showcased its talent on both the offensive and defensive ends, with 11 steals leading to a five goal run in the second quarter. The Gaels fell to Cerritos by a three goal deficit in their final game of the day, despite putting up a solid performance.

Although it did not end on a high note, the team was able to add crucial game experience and two victories to the season. Maintaining possession seems to be the Gaels’ biggest weakness, as both forced and unforced turnovers played a large role in the team’s losses.

Despite this, the team has proven they can overcome the challenge in showcasing high scoring and strong defensive abilities throughout both tournaments.

With performances like these, the Gaels have much to achieve in looking ahead to conference play. Iona looks forward to take on their competition in the Northeast Water Polo Conference as they play Brown on Saturday at the Hynes Center Pool.