Men’s water polo ends regular season as sixth seed

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Men’s water polo ends regular season as sixth seed

Philip Wachowski has 22 goals and 19 assists from 69 shots, giving him a .319 shot percentage this season.

Philip Wachowski has 22 goals and 19 assists from 69 shots, giving him a .319 shot percentage this season.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ICGAELS.COM

Philip Wachowski has 22 goals and 19 assists from 69 shots, giving him a .319 shot percentage this season.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ICGAELS.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF ICGAELS.COM

Philip Wachowski has 22 goals and 19 assists from 69 shots, giving him a .319 shot percentage this season.

Matthew Chaves, Sports Editor

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The Iona men’s water polo team concluded their regular season in the Northeast Water Polo Conference on Nov. 9 against Princeton in a 12-19 loss.

The Gaels had a solid team at the beginning of the season, showing their best play against Johns Hopkins during the Navy Open. Iona won 18-14 against the Blue Jays, as the whole offensive front pulled through to gain goal after goal.

In net, senior Jorge Andres Torres kept the shots at bay, making 19 saves. His counterpart, senior Michael Banks, made three saves, including a penalty shot in the second half.

The Gaels showed their most consistent play in the season at the Connecticut College Tournament, where they won two of three matches. Iona took on Penn State Behrend, Saddleback College and Cerritos College.

The men’s water polo team won against the Lions 15-7 and the Gauchos 19-10 showing off again their offensive ability in the pool.

Against the Lions, juniors Patrick Hudak and Brett Hofer showcased their talent with four and three goals each, respectively. Freshman Lester Machado also performed well with three goals for himself.

Against the Gauchos, seniors Quinn Lloyd and Philip Wachowski, sophomore German Rodriguez and Hofer all scored three goals apiece. The teamwork in front of the net proved well and would help the Gaels secure both matches.

The NWPC season didn’t go as planned for the Gaels despite glimmers of excellence from them. Iona lost five straight matches, four out of five of which had score lines with a four-goal difference or less. Two of these matches against St. Frances Brooklyn and MIT went into overtime, the latter of which went into double overtime. It was here that injuries and fatigue started to kick in, as well as close, unlucky losses hindering the Gaels.

Iona didn’t let it get to them though, and right after their last NWPC match against Princeton in the first half of the season, they went on to beat Wagner 16-12, carrying that momentum into the 2019 Penn State Behrend Invite.

The Gaels fell to the hosts 11-12 but went on victorious against Mercyhurst 16-13 and Gannon 16-11. It’d be the first time Iona had back-to-back wins since the Connecticut College Tournament almost a month prior.

The annual trip to the West Coast came along after that with the Julian Fraser Memorial. Here, the Gaels like to test their tactics and play against west coast style water polo, which differs from the Northeast style the team has.

The highlight of the trip was Iona’s 15-6 win against Ottawa University Arizona. Games against Fresno Pacific and Chapman came close, with score lines of 9-12 and 11-12 respectively, where the Gaels fell short.

Unfortunately for Iona, they couldn’t quite find the solution to their problem of close score lines. Iona went on to lose the next five games of their NWPC matches, as well as falling to Fordham in the Judge Cup 8-12.

The Gaels enter the NWPC championship on Nov. 22 against Brown University.