QUEENS, NY – No. 19 St. John's defeated Iona on Tuesday night at Belson Stadium by a final score of 3-2. The Gaels and the Johnnies entered halftime deadlocked at one, but St. John's two second-half goals were too much for Iona to overcome.
St. John's spent most of the first 10 minutes of the match in the attacking half of the pitch. Defensively, the Gaels were called for five fouls in the first 11 minutes of play. Niko Petridis let off the first shot of the game for either side and it was a rocket that hit top-shelf to give SJU an early 1-0 lead.
The Maroon & Gold were whistled for their eleventh foul of the night in the 33rdminute; the team didn't register its first shot until the 35thminute. Iona's offense began to apply pressure late in the period, and it resulted in the equalizing goal being scored off the foot of Lenworth Lopez with less than five minutes remaining.
Lopez found the rebound after Tomas Jamett was initially stopped in the box by Jan Hoffelner. The pass came up ahead from midfield from Eimantas Lotuzys to Jamett, and Lopez was the beneficiary of a gratuitous bounce.
St. John's scored twice in a matter of a minute to open the second half. Einar Lye scored both goals, the first via a deflection on a free kick from just outside the box. The second tally would ultimately be the difference in the end, a try that just snuck past the diving Giuliano Santucci in net.
Iona once again continued to battle late in the period. Josh Plimpton drew a foul in the box as the clock dwindled under 10 minutes. Esad Mackic took the penalty kick for the Maroon & Gold and buried it, cutting the deficit to just one.
Unfortunately for the Gaels, despite some good runs up the sideline in the final minutes of the match, they could not muster another goal and ended up on the losing side of a very physical match.
Iona will play its home-opener on Saturday against Binghamton. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 3 PM and will be broadcasted on Iona Insider.
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