NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College men's soccer lost in the opening round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Championship to the Rider Broncs at Mazzella Field on Sunday afternoon. The No. 5 seed Broncs upset the No. 4 seed Gaels, 2-0. Iona was shutout for the first time in its season-finale.
Rider advances to the MAAC Championship semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 8. Sunday's contest marked the final collegiate game for Anthony Gomez, Killian Colombie Samuel Saenz, Rory Head, Sebastian Gordillo, Ali Dawha, George Tsevdos, Claude Diesse and Humbert Ferrer.
After a deadlocked first half in which Iona had a 5-0 shot advantage, Rider stormed out the gates at halftime and put the Maroon & Gold on their heels. The Broncs had 10 shots in the second half and three corner kicks while restricting any potential Gael attacks.
Sophomore keeper Giuliano Santucci made his first save of the game in the 49' on a distanced shot from Pablo DeCastro. Iona looked to respond in the 51' but a masterful saved by Pablo Gatinois kept Head and the Gaels off the scoreboard. Rider would not allow another shot on goal for the remainder of the game.
The Broncs scored the game-winning in in the 74'. Elliott Otmani put in a corner kick from the right side toward the top of the box. Waiting was Sylvain Coco who headed it home into the left netting for his third goal of the season.
Iona went a man down in the 77' with rookie Mauro Bravo being issued a red card. There were eight total cards issued in the game and 35 combined fouls.
Rider added an insurance goal in the 85' with Pable DeCastro scoring his seven strike of the season.
The Maroon & Gold's best chance to score in the game came in the 27'. Head missed a point-blank shot on goal after sophomore Lenworth had created space on the right side and fed it to the cutting senior in the box.
Head, Colombie and sophomore Tomas Jamett each had three shots. Sophomore Najim Romero, Head and Bravo had Iona's three shots on goal.
Each team finished with three saves and four total corner kicks. Sophomore Joseph Cusano had a team save for Iona in the 63' on a grounded shot from Elliot Otmani. Rider outshot the Gaels 10-9 in the match.
The MAAC will announces its 2018 All-MAAC Teams and individual award winners on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Be sure to follow Iona College athletics and men's soccer on all social media platforms:
ICGaels: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (Email Updates)
Iona Men's Soccer: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (Email Updates)