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Water Polo Splits Opening Day Matchups

ANNAPOLIS, MD – After dropping a close 9-7 season-opening contest to Navy this morning, the Iona men's water polo team notched its first victory of the 2018 campaign with a 14-4 win over Salle this afternoon at the 2018 Navy Open hosted by the United States Naval Academy. Navy 9, Iona 7 Despite being down five goals in the third period, Iona rallied with four goals in the final period to pull within two with 3:54 remaining, but fell 9-7 to Navy in this morning's game. Junior Cullen Seipp and sophomore Brett Hofer led the Gaels with two goals apiece, while junior Quinn Lloyd, redshirt junior Philip Wachowski and sophomore Andrew Brozovichad one goal each. In goal, junior Jorge Andres Torres made 13 saves on 29 Navy shots, including a five-meter penalty shot, and two steals. On defense, the Gaels made three steals and blocked two Navy shots. Iona drew eight Navy kickouts with sophomore Patrick Hudak drawing three, while being ejected 15 times. Seipp and freshman German Rodriguez were disqualified with three ejections each. Iona turned the ball over 14 times. The Gaels did not score on seven man-up opportunities, while the Midshipmen scored four goals on 13 chances. With 2:17 gone in the match, Navy struck first on a 6-5 advantage, then added two unanswered goals to lead 3-0 with 4:10 left in the opening quarter. Lloyd scored the Gaels first goal of the season on a five-meter penalty shot drawn by Hudak with 2:35 remaining in the first period. Seipp pulled Iona within one, 3-2 with 4:47 left to halftime, but Navy answered on its next possession 17 ticks later to go back up two 4-2. The Midshipmen tacked two more goals in the closing 2:37 for a 6-2 lead at intermission. Navy scored with 2:03 gone in the third quarter on a 4-0 run, until Brozovic pulled Iona back within four 7-3 just 25 seconds later. Navy took that lead into the final period as neither squad scored for the rest of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Gaels outscored the Midshipmen 4-2. Wachowski needed only 29 seconds to trim the Midshipmen's lead to 7-4, but the hosts scored on their next possession for an 8-4 advantage with 5:57 remaining. Beginning a 2-0 Iona run, Hofer cut the Navy edge to 8-5 at the five-minute mark. His second goal 1:06 later got the Gaels back within two 8-6 with 3:54 remaining in regulation. Navy answered, but Brozovic's second score cut the Midshipmen's edge to 9-7 with 1:34 to go, as Iona's rally fell short. Iona 14, LaSalle 4 After the opening period featured two lead changes and three ties, the Iona defense held LaSalle to a single score, while the Gael offense outscored the Explorers 11-1 for Iona's first win of the 2018 season with a 14-4 victory in today's second game. Hudak led the Gaels with four goals, while Wachowski, Brozovic and freshman Michael Feeley had two scores each. Lloyd, Seipp, Hofer and freshman Derek Friday, Jr., scored one goal apiece. Friday and Freeley recorded their first Gael goals. The Gaels dished out five assists with two by Lloyd. In goal, junior Michael Banks make 17 saves on Explorers 29 shots and one assist. On defense, Iona made six steals with two by red-shirt sophomore Daniel Savage, and one blocked shot. Iona drew 11 LaSalle kickouts with three by Feeley, while being ejected 14 times. Hudak was disqualified with three ejections. Iona scored three man-up goals on ten chances, while LaSalle scored once on twelve man-up opportunities. Hudak needed only 52 seconds to put Iona up 1-0, but La Salle answered with two straight goals, including a five-meter penalty shot score, to lead 2-0 with 5:30 left in the opening period. Brozovic tied the match at two on Iona's next possession 49 seconds later. With Seipp's goal, Iona regained the lead 3-2 with 2:52 remaining, until La Salle retied the score with 1:34 left in the first quarter. With 42 ticks gone in the second period, Lloyd put Iona back up 4-3. Brozovic, Hudak, Wachowski and Hofer followed with four consecutive goals for a five-goal 8-3 lead with at intermission, as the Explorers failed to score. With the Gaels defense also holding the Explorers scoreless in the third period, Hudak's third and fourth goals and Wachowski's second score gave Iona a 11-3 eight-goal advantage going into the final quarter. Three fourth quarter scores from Hofer and two by Freeley sealed the win. "I thought we played exceptional half-court defense all day," said Iona head coach Brian Kelly, who begins his 24th season at the helm. "Both goaltenders had big games for us. "We're a very different team than last year after graduating seven seniors. We're just learning how to play together. One thing I know is that we will be very fast and dynamic." On Sunday, Iona faces Fordham University at 10:15 a.m., and George Washington University at 3:15 p.m.

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