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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — After celebrating its Senior Day, the Iona University men’s water polo team split a pair of Northeast Water Polo Conference (NWPC) matches at Hynes Pool with a 13-10 win over Division III No. 4-ranked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 15-10 loss to No. 20 Harvard University. Prior to the MIT game, the Gaels honored their five graduating seniors: Trippe Bauman,James DiSalle, Jack Folan, Diego Gomez and Andrew Miller.

Against the Engineers, Iona overcame a six-all halftime tie to outscore MIT 7-4 in the second half to record the Gaels’ second conference win. Junior Luksa Vlasic led the Maroon and Gold with four goals on ten shots, while DiSalle, Miller and junior William Harrington had two scores each.  Bauman, Folan and sophomore Coby Scanlon added one goal apiece. The Gaels scored 13 goals on 28 shots on 10 assists with three by junior Edward Howaniec and two by Bauman. Scanlon won all four swim offs.

In goal, senior Diego Gomez had 12 saves on 25 Engineers shots, made two steals and had ten goals against. On defense, the Gaels made 11 steals with two each by Miller, Howaniec and Vlasic, who also blocked one MIT shot. 

Iona drew 10 MIT kickouts with three by Vlasic, including two five-meter penalties, while being ejected 13 times, including three five-meter penalties. Sophomore Rastko Jevdjvico and Edward Imm fouled out. The Gaels turned the ball over 21 times. Iona scored on two of 11 man-up chances, while MIT scored once on 13 man-up chances.

Scanlon got the Gaels on the board first for a 1-0 lead with 1:23 gone in the match, but MIT tied the game at one with 4:54 to go in the opening quarter.  With 3:15 on the clock, Vlasic gave Iona a one-goal edge 2-1, but two unanswered MIT goals resulted in a 3-2 advantage for the visitors going into the second quarter, after MIT missed a five-penalty shot with 11 seconds left. Just 39 seconds into the second quarter, MIT went up two 4-2, then Miller answered to get Iona back within one 4-3 with 6:31 to go.  After Engineers retook a two-score edge 5-3, two straight Gaels goals by Bauman on a five- meter penalty and Folan tied the game for the third time at five all with 3:49 remaining.   MIT retook a one-score lead with 17 seconds left, then with three ticks to go, DiSalle’s goal resulted in a six-all halftime tie.

In the third quarter, Iona outscored MIT 5-1. With 1:13 gone, Vlasic missed a five-meter penalty shot, but fired in the rebound to put Iona up one 7-6. Harrington upped the home lead to two 8-6 with 3:36 remaining. On Iona’s next possession, Vlasic buried another rebound into the back of the net for a three-goal 9-6 Gaels margin. After a MIT goal, Miller’s second score restored a three-goal 10-7 Iona lead with 1:22 left. Twenty-two ticks later, Vlasic’s fourth goal gave Iona a 11-7 edge going into the final quarter.

Continuing a 3-0 Iona run, Harrington’s second score put the Gaels up five 12-7 with 45 seconds gone in the fourth quarter, but MIT answered on this next trip down the pool to get back within four 12-8. On DiSalle’s second score, the Gaels build a five-score 13-8 advantage with 4:40 on the clock. Two straight Engineers goals, five-meter penalty score, sliced the home lead back to three 13-10 to 3:13 left. With 21 seconds left, a MIT five-meter penalty shot hit the post as Iona held the ball for the win.

Taking on Harvard in the nightcap, the Gaels were unable to hang with the Crimson. Down by a single goal to Harvard halfway through the second quarter, the Iona offense managed only five goals the rest of the match. Miller led the Maroon and Gold with four goals on 11 shots, while Jevdjovic had two scores on five shots.  Bauman, DiSalle, Vlasic and Harrington had one goal each. The Gaels scored 10 goals on 34 shots on eight assists with two by Bauman.  Scanlon won all four swim offs.

In the shallow-end goal, Gomez had seven saves on 19 Crimson shots, made three steals and had nine goals against. In deep-end goal, sophomore Aleksandar Slavkovic made four saves on 15 Crimson shots, three steals and one assist, with six goals against.

On defense, the Gaels made 10 steals with two by Harrington. Iona blocked three Harvard shots with two by Vlasic. Iona drew 10 Harvard kickouts with two each by Vlasic and Scanlon, while being ejected 11 times, including five five-meter ejections. Bauman fouled out. The Gaels turned the ball over six times.

Harvard got on the board first with two straight five-meter penalty goals for a 2-0 lead with 1:53 gone in the match.  The visitors tacked on another unanswered score before Bauman ended the Iona offensive drought to pull the Gaels within two at 3-1 with 5:23 to go. With 3:25 left, Harrington sliced the Crimson lead to one 3-2, then Harvard answered to go back up two 4-2 just eight ticks later.  Two straight home goals by Jevdjovic and DiSalle tied the score at four all with ten seconds left in the opening quarter. Harvard went back up one at 5-4 with 1:09 gone in the second quarter, then Miller re-knotted the score at five-all with 4:43 on the clock. Two unanswered Harvard goals put the Crimson back up two at 7-5 at the 2:52 mark. Continuing a 4-0 run, including two consecutive five-meter penalty goals, Harvard took a four-goal 9-5 lead into halftime.

Miller opened the third quarter with two straight goals and cut the Crimson edge back to two at 9-7 with 4:54 to go. With two more unanswered scores, the visitors retook a four-goal edge at 11-7 with 1:36 left. Just 16 ticks later, Vlasic pulled Iona back with three 11-8 going into the final eight minutes.

After a Harvard goal with 1:19 gone in the fourth quarter, Jevdjovic’s second goal cut the visitors edge back to three at 12-9 with 5:37 on the clock. With three straight scores, Harvard mounted a six-score advantage, its largest of the match, to lead 15-9 with 1:35 remaining. Miller tallied his fourth goal 25 seconds later to wrap-up the scoring.

Release courtesy Iona University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association