NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Iona College men’s water polo team (6-9, 1-4) was defeated 15-13 in a highly contested battle in Brooklyn on Wednesday night against the No. 18 Saint Francis Brooklyn Terriers (7-8, 3-2). Five goals by junior Zach Roper and four by junior Marc Stauble were not enough to best the Terriers.
The Terriers jumped out to an early lead 30 seconds into the match. Roper tied the match at one just 18 seconds later to knot the score at 1-1. After a goal by Saint Francis, Stauble tied the game once more with a strike of his own. After the Terriers gave themselves a two-goal lead, Roper found the back of the net to cut the deficit to one, 4-3. The Gaels conceded two more goals before freshman Quinn Lloyd tallied his first of the game with a minute remaining, cutting the Terrier lead to 6-4 at the end of the first quarter.
The Saint Francis attack started strong in the second quarter, scoring the first three goals, and holding the Gaels scoreless in the first four minutes of play. Roper put the Gaels back on the board with 3:59 remaining, followed by Stauble’s second tally to trim the Terrier lead to 9-6. Saint Francis would tack on two more goals to give themselves a five goal lead at halftime, 11-6.
Iona outscored the Terriers 4-1 in the third frame. The Maroon and Gold opened up the period with a flurry of goals from Roper, sophomore Andres Guerra, and Lloyd. Roper scored his third of the game with 6:25 remaining, Guerra’s strike followed forty seconds later, and Quinn’s second tally cut the deficit to 11-9 with 4:55 to go in the third quarter. Saint Francis haulted the Iona rally with a goal of their own with 4:05 left, but Stauble found the back of the net twenty-five seconds later. The Gaels finished the period trailing 12-10.
The Iona comeback continued into the fourth period, as Roper put the Gaels down one goal, their closest margin since 2:44 remaining the first quarter. From there, the Terriers denied the Gaels’ comeback, scoring the next three goals, the last with 2:43 remaining to give the squad a 15-11 lead. Junior Patrick Judge put himself on the scoresheet with his first of the game, followed by another tally from Stauble with 1:03 left in regulation to put the final score at 15-13.
Freshman Jorge Andres Torres started in net, making 12 saves and collecting a team-high five steals. Roper stuffed the scoresheet, scoring five goals, dishing out two assists, adding two steals, and was credited with four kickouts drawn. Stauble nabbed four goals, added one steal and was credited with three kickouts drawn.
The Gaels will head west this weekend to take part in the Gary Troyer Tournament in Claremont, CA. On Friday, the Maroon and Gold will take on Chapman (12:00 PM EST) and Redlands (7:30 PM EST). The Saturday slate includes competition against Fresno Pacific (11:00 AM EST) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6:30 PM EST).