NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College men’s soccer team had its most impressive offensive showing of the season Saturday afternoon, defeating Niagara 6-1 in its 2015 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener. Sophomore Marcos Nunez and freshman Daniel Huertas each had two goals and an assist in the win. Freshman Daniel Ocana Garcia chipped in three assists.
The first goal from the Gaels came in the 15th minute when Nunez found the back left corner of the net after receiving a pass from sophomore Luis Mendoza. The sophomore appeared on the statsheet again for Iona’s second goal in the 25th minute; Nunez one-touched a pass over a Niagara defender, finding Huertas who then lobbed it over the oncoming goalie, Joel Gerberich.
The Maroon & Gold touched on another goal before the end of the first half when Huertas netted his second goal of the frame, firing a shot just under the crossbar from a yard outside the penalty area.
Iona led Niagara 3-0 following the first 45 minutes, dominating in nearly every category. The Gaels out shot the Purple Eagles 14-5, and held a 4-2 advantage on corner kicks.
The Maroon & Gold's domination continued early in the second half, In the 52nd minute, Nunez found the back of the net for the second time with assists from Huerta and Ocana Garcia, Nunez finished off the preceding precision passing process with Iona’s fourth goal of the game.
Sophomore Brendan Reardon made it 5-0, heading his fourth goal of the year into the back of the net off a cross from Ocana Garcia.
Niagara lone goal came off some solid pressure in the 76th minute. After a lob inside six yards rattled around several Iona and Niagara players, a clear attempt over the end line by an Iona defender resulted in an own goal and a 5-1 Iona lead.
Matias Correa entered the game late but made the most of his time. In the 87th minute, the sophomore found a rebound from a saved Aristotle Seferlis shot and put home his first goal of the seasn.
The Gaels' six goals are the highest for the program in a single game since their 6-5 win against the Rider Broncs on Oct. 21 in 2012.
Junior goalkeeper Julian Petrello played the first 70 minutes and allowed no goals, registering the lone save of the game for the Gaels. Iona finished the game outshooting Niagara 24-6.
The Maroon & Gold's next match is Wednesday (Sep. 30) at preseason MAAC favorite Monmouth on ESPN3.