NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College lacrosse team fell to 0-2 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play with a 10-7 setback at the hands of Niagara Saturday afternoon at Mazzella Field. Ahead 5-2 at intermission, the Gaels were outscored 8-2 in the second half by the Purple Eagles.
Iona was led by sophomore Erin Pugh's three goals and one assist, while junior Mary Kate McCormick found the back of the net two times. In net, senior Blaire Nathanson made six saves.
The Gaels, who had won the previous eight meetings in the matchup, got out to a quick start as Pugh's second goal of the game gave Iona a 4-0 advantage with 12:57 left in the opening half.
Niagara got on the board for the first time on a tally by Taylor Wolf with 3:30 left in the frame. Pugh answered with her third to regain a four goal margin, before another Wolf tally cut the Iona lead to three at half.
The Purple Eagles scored the first seven goals of the second half. Wolf's goal with 19:48 remaining gave Niagara its first lead, 6-5, before a tally by Carrie-Jo Farrugia pushed the advantage to 9-5 with 4:45 left.
McCormick stopped the run with 3:24 left, before the two teams traded goals in the final 1:33 of play. Taylor recorded a game high five goals for the Purple Eagles, while Danielle Maio scored three goals and added one assist. Andrea Francisco recorded 11 saves in net.
Overall, the two teams were even in shots with 23 apiece. The Gaels held a 12-7 advantage in draw controls, while the Purple Eagles had a 22-16 margin in ground balls.
Iona resumes league play Wednesday afternoon at Fairfield, beginning at 3:00 pm.