Lack of resources are the root of Gaels struggle: Kelly



Kelly has coached the Gaels on the men’s side since 2006 and the women’s side since 2007.

Matthew Chaves, Sports Editor

The Iona men’s water polo team is currently on a five-game losing streak after losing to Harvard 9-19 on Oct. 6. Head Coach Brian Kelly attributes the struggle the Gaels are going through this season to injuries, lack of depth and insufficient resources for the water polo program.

“We’re like every program at this school, you need more resources,” Kelly said. “That’s first and foremost.”

Iona has been struggling for the past few seasons when it comes to the men’s team. This season proves to present the same consistent hurdles as last season and the season before that, with injuries hurting the Gaels’ performance.

Junior Patrick Hudak is a pivotal player for the Gaels and has been out for seven of the 12 games so far. The hole the All-American center leaves hurts the performance of the Gaels by a big margin, Kelly claims.

“It’s difficult to not only be missing your most valuable player from last year, but he’s your starting center,” Kelly said. “That’s a position you can’t miss.”

The Gaels’ competitiveness is shown in their play, with score lines such as a 12-14 overtime loss against St. Francis Brooklyn, an 11-14 loss to Brown and a 9-10 double-overtime loss to MIT. The missing link here is Hudak, who would definitely be the edge the Gaels’ need to put away wins, Kelly explained.

“He makes a big difference in some wins and losses in our record,” Kelly said. “We could easily have four or five more wins on our schedule.”

The Gaels are aiming to be competitive until the team is fully healthy again. So far this season, the absence of two freshmen players and Hudak has dealt a blow to the team’s depth, Kelly explained. Once healthy, the team can prove to the rest of the league that they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Kelly made it clear that the results through this season are through no fault of the players and their determination and work. The long-time head coach made sure to acknowledge the outstanding performances of his senior goaltenders Jorge Andres Torres and Michael Banks as well as his freshman goaltender Kyle Laufenberg. Senior Quinn Lloyd, junior Brett Hofer and sophomore German Rodriguez were also mentioned for their constant presence throughout the pool during play as well as high stamina during the match.

“I can’t thank [the whole team] enough for how hard they work,” Kelly said. “We have a lot of really good guys that play both ways and play really hard. It’d be nice for those guys to get more wins.”