NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College women’s soccer team fell at Mazzella Field to NJIT on Friday afternoon, 2-1. The Gaels played their most complete ninety-minute effort of the season, but a late score by the Highlanders proved enough to hand the Maroon & Gold their fifth loss. Freshman Amber Crispin scored her first career collegiate goal for Iona’s lone score.
NJIT applied heavy offensive pressure in the opening 11 minutes of the game, firing four shots on goal, forcing Iona goalkeeper junior Tiffany Martinez to make three early saves. Following the early barrage, the Gaels and Highlanders played an even keel match until Crispin gave Iona its first lead of the 2016 season.
Sophomore Kiri Dale took in a pass at midfield and drove down the sideline, carrying with her multiple members of the Highlander defense. She was able to get away a swerving cross that found the jumping-knee of Crispin in the box to give the Maroon & Gold an 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute.
The momentum of the score didn’t last long. NJIT sophomore Nicole Baldassani took a lofted pass from freshman Jessica Aseng and was able to lift a soft line drive shot over the Iona defense to tie the score at one. She has two goals on the season coming off the bench.
The Highlanders held a 10-4 shot advantage in the first half. They had two corner attempts compared to none for Iona.
Head Coach Sarah Brady put some fire into the bellies of the Maroon & Gold during her halftime speech. Junior Julia Campagna, sophomore Mariana Jaramillo, and junior Marisa Bentley each fired a shot over course of the opening four minutes in the second half.
The heavy striking presence left the Gaels defense vacant, and sophomore Noelle Batista nearly took advantage in the 54th minute when a long-range attempt railed off the crossbar. Just seconds later off the reverberating rebound, sophomore Arianna Gerber fired a shot high over the bar.
Iona's final close scoring chance came when senior defender Emily Hansen took a shot on goal off a free kick in the 66th minute. Her attempted rattled off the crossbar and landed at the feet of Campagna in the box. The junior forward let loose a worm-burner that was swallowed up by Highlander senior goalie Karen David.
The game-winning goal for NJIT came in the 74th minute when freshman Emily Heckman headed in her first goal of the season off a corner kick cross from sophomore Alex Gilgorri. Iona did not record a shot on goal over the final fifteen minutes of the game.
Martinez made a season-high 11 saves in goal for the Gaels. The Highlanders held a 23-10 shot advantage, and 6-2 corner kick opportunity edge. Jaramillo had a team-high three shots for Iona. Campagna recorded two scoring chances and senior defender Christine Rebus and junior Marisa Bentley each tallied one shot.
Iona's next game is Sunday, Sept. 4 against the Yale Bulldogs at 1:00 PM.