NEW ROCHELLE, NY –The Gaels played toe-to-toe with the second-placed Broncs Wednesday afternoon but fell short on the scoreboard. Rider used two quick-succession second half goals to slip by Iona at Mazzella Field, 2-1.
The first half saw the Broncs and Gaels trade very few promising scoring opportunities. Senior Emily Hansen had bail out the Maroon & Gold defense with a timely block in the 13th minute. Freshman Amber Crispin and sophomore Mariana Jaramillo each a shot on goal before halftime.
With 55:53 passed, Jaramillo gave Iona a 1-0 lead with a tantalizing shot from the right side of the box. Junior Marissa Dundas was credited with the assist having slid it to Jaramillo after forcing a turnover in the offensive zone.
Rider come back and answered in the 60th minute. Senior Hollie Kelsh stood eight yards away from goal when a ball deflected off various Gael defenders and found its way onto her foot. Kelsh pushed her first goal of the season across the goal line to tie the game.
The Broncs continued their momentum just three minutes later. Junior Ellie Smith, Rider’s leading scorer, scored the game-winner off assists from senior Victoria Maley and sophomore Kourtney Cunningham.
Iona applied pressure in the final moments of the game. Crispin had a shot blocked in the 83rd minute, and Jaramillo had two chances turned aside in the 88th.
The Gaels were outshot 15-13, but had a 5-3 edge in corner kick opportunities. Junior Tiffany Martinez made five saves in net for the Maroon & Gold, and senior Bethany-May Howard had three saves for the Broncs.