Gregory's Five Points Pace Iona Past Sacred Heart

FAIRFIELD, CT - The Iona College lacrosse team took an 8-6 decision over non-conference foe Sacred Heart on Wednesday afternoon.

Senior Kylie Greogry led the team with five points on the afternoon, scoring three times and added two helpers. Sophomore Casey Palmer scored twice and freshman Mary Kate McCormick had a goal and an asisst.

Iona (1-0) scored the first tally of the contest after a free position attempt allowed McCormick to find junior Nicole Brancaccio with 27:56 remaining. The Pioneers tied the game 10 minutes later when Kelsey Russo tagged Emily Pepe at 16:43. Sacred Heart (0-1) then took the lead with 12:53 left on a shot by Jenna Liljeberg.

Junior Jenna Stone tied the game for the Gaels with 8:49 off a pass from Gregory. After a draw control win by McCormick, the Gaels took a 3-2 advantage on a score by Palmer with an assist from Gregory. The senior then added her third point of the half with a goal after a successful clear attempt. Sickles was credited with the assist at 3:22.

Although Iona trailed in the shot category, 15-10, the Maroon & Gold were backstopped by junior Maria Ortiz who made nine stops after 30 minutes.

The visitors added a marker after a yellow card was assessed to the Pioneers as Sickles found Palmer to begin the second half. Iona continued to hit the back of the net when Gregory scored her second of the day at 26:08.

Sacred Heart added three consecutive goals to cut the lead 6-5 with 16:41 remaining off tallies from Shelby Vaccaro, Emily Pepe and Taylor Babin.

Iona then added two insurance goals in the final 11 minutes on goals from McCormick and Gregory.

Ortiz made a game saving block on a free position shot with 6:02 remaining. The Pioneers then added a goal nine seconds later from Pepe. Ortiz finished with 16 saves with Kelly Keenan making nine saves for SHU.

Iona will make their home debut on Saturday against Connecticut at 1:00 p.m.


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