NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College men's soccer team dominated the second half to propel itself over Sacred Heart at Mazzella Field on Saturday afternoon, 3-1. Sophomore Najim Romero scored his first two goals of the season and senior Rory Head scored his second of the season.
Oscar Curras gave the Pioneers at 1-0 lead in the 14'. The Gael defense tried to clear it out horizontally, but Curras wouldn't relent with the pressure. He forced a deflection and then was able to put it past sophomore Giuliano Santuccifor his first goal of the season.
Sacred Heart took a 1-0 lead into halftime. Iona trailed despite outshooting the Pioneers 7-3. Santucci didn't make a single save in the first half while Robert Strain made four.
The Maroon & Gold came out aggressive in the second half and struck nylon first in the 54'. Senior Killian Colombie fed in a through ball from 25 yards out and it found the streaking Romero. He took one dribble and hit a line drive shot that went straight through the goalkeeper's hands.
Iona took the lead in the 64' with Head scoring his second game-winning goal in as many games. He took an initial shot from 12 yards out that was blocked by Strain. Head got his own rebound from eight yards out and kicked it home inside the right post.
Romero put the final nail in the coffin in the 85'. The score played out the back as deep as possible. Santucci made a save on a Sacred Heart shot and, rather than playing it safe, he kicked it deep to a pair of streaking forwards. Senior Anthony Gomez had a soft touch that led Romero toward net, and the Madrid, Spain native grounded one home to make it 3-1.
Iona finished the game with an 18-9 shot advantage. Santucci had to make two saves in net for the Maroon & Gold. Sacred Heart switched goalies late in the second half. Strain finished the game with three goals allowed and eight saves. Josh Inkel played the final six minutes and had two saves.
The Maroon & Gold begin the MAAC season on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Lawrenceville, NJ against the Rider Broncs. Kickoff from Ben Cohen Field is set for 7 pm.
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