NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College men’s soccer team found their offensive footing Wednesday afternoon, defeating the previously MAAC unbeaten Marist Red Foxes at Mazzella Field, 5-2. Freshman Daniel Huertas scored two goals and recorded one assist, and sophomore Marcos Nunez finished the game with three assists and a goal of his own.
The opening portions of the match saw the Gaels and Red Foxes feeling each other out, with much of the play centralized in the midfield area. The pace quickened roughly 15 minutes in, and at 17:23, the first of five goals for the Maroon & Gold was scored by sophomore Luis Mendoza. The first goal of the season for the forward came via a rebound off a shot on goal from Nunez.
In the closing moments of the first half, Marist was given a penalty kick opportunity. Freshman Simon Lund Jorgensen stepped up to the dot and tied the score at one apiece, pushing his groundball shot to the left side past Iona junior goalkeeper Julian Petrello.
The Gaels were outshot 5-3 in the first half, and were forced to defend the lone corner kick opportunity of the opening 45’.
Iona put the pressure on the Marist defense from the onset in the second half, and its perseverance would pay off with a bountiful stretch. Huertas broke the 1-1 tie, scoring in the 55th minute, taking in a series of passes from Nunez and sophomore Joshua Calderon; he finished with a strong, close-range net rattler.
Sixteen minutes later at the 70:45 mark, Huertas scored his second to give Iona a 3-1 lead. Junior co-captain Oscar Gonzalez got his head on the ball at midfield, directing it toward Nunez. The Tabaiba Baja, Spain resident took the ball on his foot and finessed a beautiful pass between two Red Fox defenders, finding the cutting Huertas just in front of the box. The reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week would deke his way past the aggressively charging Marist goalkeeper, giving himself an open net to fire home his seventh goal of the year.
After assisting on the Maroon & Gold’s first three scores, Nunez saw it fit for him to get in the goal-scoring column. Huertas would register his one assist for the game by sliding it to his teammate in the box, where Nunez was battling a Marist defender for position. With nearly his whole body on the Mazzella Field turf, Nunez was able guide the ball into goal, giving Iona the 4-1 lead.
Marist would get within two goals roughly six minutes later on an Iona own goal, but the setback didn’t halt the Iona aggressiveness. Midway through the 87th minute, former MAAC Rookie of the Week award winner Aristotle Seferlis pushed forward a long, leading pass to fellow freshman Killian Colombie. Colombie took advantage of the overly-offensive minded Red Foxes and buried the first goal of his collegiate career.
Iona will look to continue their scoring momentum this Saturday at 1 pm when they travel to Loudonville, NY to take on the Siena Saints.