NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Iona College women’s soccer team fell in its home opener Friday afternoon, falling to Columbia, 4-0. The Lions scored three times in the final 25 minutes to seal the victory.
Columbia put pressure on the Gaels in the opening portion of the first half. Junior Tiffany Martinez made two close-quarters saves just four minutes into the game. Lions’ senior Grace Taylor fired a shot on Iona’s net and followed with a quick rebound attempt but the Gaels’ goalkeeper was up to the early challenge.
Columbia got on the board at the 9:27 mark when sophomore forward Emma Anderson chipped a shot over the keeper from just outside the box. The Gaels were forced on their heels facing five more shots in the next 14 minutes.
Iona’s first shot came in the 28th minute when senior defender Emily Hansen fired a shot on net and forced sophomore netminder Sophie Whitehouse to make a save for the visitors. Sophomore midfielder Mariana Jaramillo also recorded a shot attempt in the 33rd minute that sailed wide to the right of the net.
The final 13 minutes of the half proved uneventful, allowing the halftime buzzer to sound with the score still favoring the Lions 1-0. Columbia had 10 shots in the first half compared to Iona’s 2.
Iona came out blazing in the second half. Just 45 seconds in, Jaramillo fired a long-distance shot off the fingertips of Whitehouse and over the cross bar. Five minutes later, Jaramillo gave Iona its best scoring chance when an identical attempt hit the bar. Iona put the rebound into the back of the net, but an offside whistle negated the tally.
The Lions calmed the Gael momentum and overturned it with a score at 65:59. Sophomore Emma Anderson scored Columbia’s second of the game off a right-side cross from Anderson.
Columbia sealed the game two goals within eight minutes. Senior Madeline Linde and junior Holly Seshat each scored to push the lead to the eventual final, 4-0.
Columbia held a 19-7 shots advantage and 6-1 in corner kicks. Jaramillo led the Maroon & Gold with four shots for the second consecutive game.
Iona’s next game will be against another Ivy League opponent in Dartmouth. The Big Green host the Gaels this Sunday (Aug. 28) at 1:00 pm.