NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College men's water polo team opened CWPA Northern Division play with a 17-12 defeat to St. Francis Brooklyn at the Hynes Center. The Terriers - receiving votes and just outside the top 20 in the CWPA national poll used a strong third quarter to pull away from the Gaels.
Sophomore Marc Stauble opened the scoring for the Maroon & Gold in the first quarter taking advantage of a man-up situation. Following a St. Francis tally by Bogdan Kostic, rookie Alex Guerra put Iona up 2-1 just under halfway thought the period. The Terriers responded with four straight goals before a buzzer beating tally by junior Chris Ellis made score 5-3 after the first eight minutes.
Iona rallied to tie the game at 5-5 with back-to-back tallies by Guerra and senior Rafael Romero. St. Francis took the lead for good with two man-up tallies. Down 7-5, sophomore Patrick Judge and sophomore Zach Roper sandwiched a Terrier tally as the Gaels trailed 8-7 at the half.
The decisive third quarter saw six of the nine goals scored by the visiting team and a four-goal St. Francis advantage heading into the final frame. Ellis, Roper and Judge scored the Iona goals.
Roper and Stauble got on the board in the fourth quarter with St. Francis' largest lead coming midway through the period.
Roper scored a team-high three goals with Ellis, Guerra, Judge, and Stauble scoring two apiece. Ellis had a team-best three assists with Judge adding a pair.
The Terrier's Ilija Djuretic had six goals and four assists while Bora Dimitrov added five goals and Nikita Prokhin had two goals and three assists in the win.
Junior Anthony Zdanavicius made 10 saves in the loss. Nikola Zivkovic and Zach Cleveland split time in net for St. Francis and combined for 10 saves.
The Gaels host four CWPA Northern Division opponents at the Hynes Center this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.